The Samsung Gear S has been officially unveiled by the Korean company – a standalone smartwatch that doesn't need a smartphone for connectivity as it packs its own SIM card slot for 2G/3G capabilities.
We've spoken to our contact at Samsung and can confirm that you will need a separate SIM card plan in order to take advantage of the untethered call and message features.
So while the Gear S will still operate, like the Gear 2 smartwatch, as a companion device to your Samsung smartphone using Bluetooth – for message updates, Bluetooth calling features and the like – you will need a whole new plan if you want to use your new smartwatch without relying on your phone.
Our contact told us that the device has multi SIM users in mind. Unfortunately here in the UK only EE offers any sort of shared plan and even then the phone numbers across the family of SIMs are different. It's only the data and call / SMS allowances that are shared.
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That would mean Gear S users, who want to use their watch independently, will have to give their pals two different numbers – their original smartphone one and their new smartwatch number. That is, if they don't decide to ditch their phone altogether and go all-out Dick Tracy.
Of course, call forwarding can be set up to get around the dual number issue – that's a solution that would work well with EE's shared plans.
In some countries multi-SIM packages are sold where the same phone number is shared across multiple SIM cards. StarHub in Singapore, for example, has a range of 'MultiSIM' plans that offer “the convenience of holding one mobile number across two devices".
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There is also the option of popping out your phone's SIM and sticking it in your new Gear S as well, although that sounds clunky beyond belief.
The Samsung Gear S goes on sale in October, prices are still to be confirmed. We'll keep you updated and will also bring you a full Gear S review as soon as we've had time to test the new smartwatch.
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