SAMSUNG will be without a smartphone for the all-important lead-up to Christmas this year but it is launching a minor comeback today.
The beleaguered technology giant revealed its Gear S3 smartwatch is now available for pre-orders in Australia, and will ship to customers on November 18.
Buyers will be able to use the $599 smartwatch with Samsung’s older phones, like the Galaxy S7 released in March, and with other Google Android handsets.
The smartwatch was first unveiled at the IFA technology show in Berlin, just days before Samsung announced its first worldwide recall of the potentially dangerous Galaxy Note7 smartphone.
The Gear S3 smartwatch features 1.5m water resistance, a larger Super AMOLED screen, GPS tracking, Corning Gorilla Glass SR+ designed for wearable devices, and the same rotating bezel for navigation as the last watch.
Crucially, the smartwatch also adds a speaker so users can take phone calls by listening and talking to their wrist.
Samsung Electronics Australia mobile vice-president Richard Fink said the round-faced smartwatch, available in a Classic or sports-friendly Frontier model, was designed “to offer a classic watch experience” in addition to notifications, apps, and fitness tracking.
The Gear S3 will be sold from Samsung stores, the company’s online shop, and Harvey Norman, with a pre-orders attracting a bonus red silicon watch band.
The smartwatch comes at a difficult time for Samsung, as the company attempts to retrieve the last of its Galaxy Note7 smartphones from Australian users following two recalls.
The South Korean company also recalled 2.8 million washing machines in the United States last Friday after their lids began detaching and harming users.
The recall does not affect Australian machines.
By Jennifer Dudley-Nicholson