Samsung's Gear S2 circular smartwatch will make contactless payments


Samsung's first circular smartwatch will carry Samsung Pay so wearers can use it to make contactless payments.

The Gear S2, which was officially confirmed by the Korean technology giant last week, has had its first public outing at the IFA electronics show in Berlin.

The smartwatch, which also comes in a Classic version complete with traditional leather strap, will launch in the UK in October with around 1,000 apps available to download and customisable watch faces alongside the technology allowing mobile payments to be made.  

Samsung Mobile's Conor Pierce said: "Samsung has pioneered and led the wearables category over the last few years, bringing exciting new innovations into the market." 

"The Samsung Gear S2 is the most exciting smartwatch to date and offers customers a completely new wearable experience. With an incredibly vibrant screen, it's the first-ever watch with voice capability and a host of connected features like being able to make calls without the need for a smartphone. You'll want to wear it from day to night as the ultimate fashion accessory."

Samsung Pay is going to Korea and the US first, but is expected to launch in the UK by next year. The Gear S2 has the near-field communication (NFC) technology housed in it that enables contactless payment. 

Rivals Apple have a similar feature in their own Apple Watch.

The S2 also has wi-fi connectivity built in, which Samsung says means it will be possible to still receive notifications on the device even when not close or directly connected to a smartphone. 

The frame of the S2 rotates, and this feature can be used to navigate between different screens and apps.

The technology company was the first major brand to release a modern smartwatch, in 2013, but has since come under pressure from the likes of LG and their Watch Urbane, Motorola's Moto 360 and the Apple Watch as the market saturates. 

The increasing popularity of devices with a more traditional, circular watch face - such as the Urbane and the 360 - are also believed to be part of the reason Samsung has shifted its own design principles. 

A new Moto 360, as well as the high-end, fashion-driven Huawei watch, have already been unveiled at IFA this week, both with circular screens.