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Wearable Tech

Samsung to start selling Gear S2 smartwatch this Friday in the US

The company hopes the minimalist, circular-faced wearable can coax customers away from the Apple Watch.

The Gear S2, Samsung's seventh smartwatch, starts at $300. CNET

Samsung Electronics announced it will release its new Gear S2 smartwatch in the US this Friday.

The Korean electronics giant said Wednesday it will sell the Gear S2 for $300 and the Gear S2 Classic for $350. The Gear S2 is the main model, sporting a modern, minimalist look, while the more traditional Gear S2 Classic has a black body and leather band.

At launch, the Gear S2 will be available through Samsung.com, Amazon.com, Best Buy and Macy's. Consumers will also be able to test out the Gear S2 at Best Buy and Macy's Herald Square on October 2, and at an additional 50 Macy's stores nationwide starting October 16.

A third Gear S2 option that includes a 3G cellular connection, so people can make calls directly from the watch, will come later this fall and be available at AT&T, T-Mobile and Verizon Wireless. U.S. Cellular will carry the Bluetooth-only version. Pricing and availability for that model will be announced later.

The Gear S2, Samsung's seventh smartwatch but its first featuring a circular screen, was revealed earlier this month at the IFA tech trade show in Berlin. Other round-faced smartwatches include Motorola's Moto 360 and the LG Watch Urbane. The company is hoping the Gear S2 can help it tempt customers away from the Apple Watch. So far, many analysts and reviewers have deemed the wearable a huge jump from Samsung's earlier smartwatch attempts. Still, the Apple Watch has quickly become the leading player in the smartwatch world since it was released in April.

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In the second quarter of this year, 76 percent of smartwatches came from Apple, while Samsung's share tumbled to 7.5 percent, Strategy Analytics said.

Notably, Samsung's new smartwatch, which runs on the company's homemade Tizen operating software, works with non-Samsung phones for the first time. The Gear S2 will be able to operate with newer phones using Google's Android software.