Samsung, Motorola Debut New Smart Watches at IFA 2015

Both Samsung and Motorola are touting their latest smart watches -- unveiled today at the IFA 2015 consumer electronics show in Berlin -- as stylish timepieces that can run for days on a single charge and come with lots of useful apps for daily living. The next question, though, is how the new Samsung Gear S2 and Moto 360 watches will perform in a market that's been dominated by the Apple Watch since that device was launched in April.

Powered by the Tizen operating system, the Gear S2 (pictured right; three models) will give users access to more than 1,000 applications, Samsung said. Among the companies that have developed apps specifically for use on the smart watch with the circular face are ESPN, Bloomberg Business, Twitter, Uber, Yelp and TripCase.

Motorola's new line of Android Wear-powered Moto 360 (pictured left, forefront) smart watches also offers a range of apps, including MyFord for starting an app-compatible vehicle, a Delta app for air travelers and Lyft for hailing a car. A feature called Live Dials also lets users create watchface shortcuts to their most commonly used apps.

Emphasis on Style

Beyond their watches' access to task-related and fitness-related apps, both companies are emphasizing the styles of their devices. Samsung has partnered with Italian designer Alessandro Mendini to design a variety of custom personalization options for the Gear S2, while Motorola offers a Moto Maker design studio to let users choose from a wide range of bezels, colors, materials and bands.

"Because smart watches are worn directly on the wrist, visible to everyone, they represent a more unique, personal experience than the everyday smartphone," said Younghee Lee, executive vice president of Global Marketing for Samsung's IT & Mobile Division.

Samsung has not yet announced pricing for the Gear S2. Motorola is currently taking pre-orders for...

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