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Samsung debuts wearables and latest Galaxy smartphone

(Reuters) - Samsung Electronics unveiled a new smart watch and fitness band along with the latest version of its Galaxy smartphone on Monday, demonstrating how the battleground for innovation is shifting from the hand to the wrist.

The world's biggest smartphone maker set a trend less than six months ago for wearable devices that link to mobile handsets with its Galaxy Gear watch, which has seen rivals like Sony and Huawei follow in its wake.

JK Shin, chief executive officer and president of the IT and Mobile Communication Division at Samsung Electronics, said the devices were designed to make life easier for consumers in areas like fitness, rather than dazzling them with new technology in the handset.

"Our consumers do not want eye-popping technology or the most complex technology," he told an audience of Samsung employees, partners and media in Barcelona.

They instead wanted beautiful design, a better camera, faster connectivity and technology that would help them keep fit, he said.

Samsung's Gear 2 smart watch, which runs on the Tizen operating system rather than Google's Android software, can monitor the wearer's heart rate, a function used in increasingly popular health and fitness apps, or individual programmes.

The Samsung Gear Fit, also targeting the fitness sector, has a heart rate monitor, too, as does the Samsung Galaxy S5 itself, a first for a smartphone, Samsung said.

The Gear Fit has a curved touch-sensitive screen and its features include a pedometer, the South Korean company said.

The Galaxy S5, which will be available in April, has a slightly bigger screen than its predecessor, at 5.1 inches compared with 5 inches, improved camera technology and better protection against water and dust, Samsung said.

It also has a fingerprint scanner on the home button, it said, which can be used to protect data and provide security credentials in a swipe.

Analysts said the improvements in the fifth iteration of the Galaxy S, which has sold more than 200 million units in total, were more incremental than in previous devices, showing it was becoming harder to innovate at the top end.

Forrester Research analyst Thomas Husson said, "The Galaxy S5 has great features and will probably sell well due to massive marketing support.

"But is the total product experience it offers differentiated enough to continue the sales success story? Is it enough to bet on fitness and fingerprint sensors to beat Apple - rooting the experience in people's daily lives? I don't think so."

It will enter a market that has seen slowing demand at the top end, where Samsung is already in fierce competition from Apple Inc and Chinese vendors.

(Editing by David Evans and Jan Paschal)

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brandi42889 February 24 2014 at 7:44 PM

I have a 40 in. Samsung that I got recently and it is a wonderful TV. The pictue is terrific. it is an improvent over my last one by far.

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1 reply
zack is the man brandi42889 February 24 2014 at 8:28 PM

what was your old 1...19inchblack&white RCA?

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2 replies
leonjwitter zack is the man February 24 2014 at 8:44 PM

1948 12" RCA

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PSYCHiATRY is a SCAM zack is the man February 24 2014 at 9:50 PM

but the tv shows were better

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Bobby February 25 2014 at 6:51 AM

I am so tired of the hype to buy the latest gadget. People do it even when nothing is wrong with what they now have. Come on...get real...the tech companies have us on the run - just to make the change, up. Since last year has anyone really, really seen anything that was a must-have, to replace what they now successfully use?

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stvhndyman February 25 2014 at 4:11 AM

Glad to see these electronics are getting smaller, again.
Cell phones started out large- remember the "brick"?
Then the got smaller and easier to carry.
Then all of sudden it was like carrying a laptop around in your pocket!
I don't need to play "games" while walking down the street, or worse, while driving!
Bring back the "small"

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Matt February 25 2014 at 7:27 AM

and finally, I sure hope they didn't make the "glass" part as easily breakable as on the S3 ... when you drop in in your house, from 22 inches from the floor, the soft lead-like edges dents and the lense breaks (thats bent over to pick something up off of the floor, and it slides out of one's shirt pocket. )
This really got to me If one must have a $45 caseing for his $650 phone, you would think that case would come WITH THE PHONE. I guess it's good for "upgrades" sales. We are tremendous SUCKERS

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2 replies
amosesjr Matt February 25 2014 at 8:37 AM

Matt..........it's called "what the traffic will bear." The companies are only doing what the buyers will allow. You are spot on..........."we are tremendous SUCKERS."

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mae13rle11 Matt February 25 2014 at 11:28 AM

Money is a tool. Use it to consume your needs/wants on your journey. When you arrive at "The Station" you will not need any. Plan accordingly and ENJOY YOUR journey. Do not obsess over the dirty paper.....

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Larry Stephenson February 25 2014 at 10:13 AM

I am ready for the new Samsung, where can I get 3 of them ??, also when and where are they going to be available from, Thanks

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Matt February 25 2014 at 7:06 AM

when ever I wish to deceive somonewith photography I make sure that I don't show the two items straight-on, side by side ..... They might as well just make one the size of a on a glue-on fingernail , so you really can't see it !

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bucks0818 February 24 2014 at 10:58 PM

we have 3 samsung flat screen TVs, love them, a Samsung tablet and a samsung g3 phone great

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amalkov February 24 2014 at 8:30 PM

S5, We've been expecting you!

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1 reply
George Sier amalkov February 24 2014 at 8:37 PM


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LewTag February 24 2014 at 8:50 PM

With the pace of technology zooming there is no way to imagine what the world will be like even a decade from now...but as one now age 81 who has lived since vacuum tubes ruled, I can say I don't see how it is all better....we are losing something very important to mobile devices that worries me...I cannot enjoy a visit from my son because he is online all the time with his IPhone doing what the hell no one can tell...but it obviously is more important than a visit with me....and when the device in your hand becomes an obsession we are losing our humanity....I used to have a banker who managed my cash, but now all I have are numbers on a puter....one day we will wake up and wonder what happened....but I probably won't be here to see the crash....and that may be a good thing...

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5 replies
gfirealty February 24 2014 at 8:25 PM

Another product we all need like a hole in the heard...

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