Samsung Gear S3 Smartwatches to Go on Sale Nov. 18
Today's topics include the start of preorders for the Samsung's Gear S3 Smartwatch on Nov. 6, the release of Huawei's newest fitness wearable, the launch of Google's Rich Communication Services messaging for Sprint Android phones and Intel's new drone that's designed specifically to display aerial light shows.
Samsung started preorders on Nov. 6 for its latest Gear S3 Frontier and Classic smartwatches, which will be generally available for purchase on Nov. 18. The Gear S3 smartwatches, which start at $350, include the Frontier watch in two versions—a WiFi and Bluetooth model, and a WiFi, Bluetooth and LTE model—as well as the Classic model, which is equipped only with WiFi and Bluetooth connectivity. The Frontier model has more rugged styling while the Classic version looks more like a traditional digital watch and has a sleeker look that's designed to appeal to business professionals.
Huawei has launched its latest wearable device, the $130 Huawei Fit sports watch, which provides multi-sport fitness tracking, heart rate and sleep monitoring, automatic step counting and more on a circular always-on display. Huawei designed the Fit to bridge the gap between a full smartwatch and a dedicated fitness tracker.
The Huawei Fit has an aluminum body that comes in two finishes, Moonlight Silver and Titanium Grey. Three wrist band colors will be available—black, which is available exclusively at Best Buy through early January—blue and orange. Following the exclusive Best Buy arrangement, the devices will also be sold through Amazon, Newegg and other retailers. The Fit features a 1.04-inch circular black and white touch-screen display, 256KB of memory, 16MB of on-board storage and an 80mAh rechargeable battery that lasts up to six days on a charge with normal use.
Google's efforts to push broad adoption of Rich Communication Services for cross-operator messaging on mobile devices appear to be gaining traction. The company announced on Nov. 4 that it has launched RCS messaging for Sprint customers that are using Android phones. The new support will allow Android users to conduct group chats, send high-resolution photos, receive and read receipts, and generally do more with chat than they currently are able to with standard Short Message Service. Sprint subscribers will see RCS support in Messenger for Android becoming available in 2017. All new Android devices from Sprint will have the RCS-enabled version of Messenger enabled by default on their systems starting next year.
In recent months Intel has been demonstrating how aerial drones can be used for entertainment purposes. The company set a world record earlier this year by putting 100 drones into the air simultaneously, all of which were controlled by a single pilot. But on Nov. 4, Intel unveiled a new drone designed specifically for light shows and announced that the company in October had set a new Guinness World Record by having 500 of the drones—called the Intel Shooting Star—in the air at the same time, again being controlled by a single pilot in a demonstration presented in Germany.