Thinking of pulling the trigger on a new smartwatch purchase soon? Well, if there's one in particular that you want, you don't have to wait too much longer -- Samsung's new Gear S2 will be out in Australia within a couple of months, and you'll be able to use it with any Android smartphone.
Gear S2 Will Work With Any Android Phone
This was the big news out of Samsung's Gear S2 showcase tonight -- the fact that the new premium smartwatch will work with any Android phone, and not just Samsung's own Galaxy models, massively broadens its appeal, and brings it more squarely into competition with Android Wear watches from Samsung's competitors in LG, Motorola and Huawei.
Gear S2 Will Be Available In Two Variants
Samsung is going to release the Gear S2 in two distinct variants -- a regular Gear S2, distinguishable by the curved edges of the lugs where it meets its watchband, and the Gear S2 Classic, which has squared lugs like the LG G Watch R and will accept regular watchbands.
Gear S2 Will Have a 3G Variant, Though We Might Not Get It
An eSIM 3G variant, using a virtual SIM card, will be available for the Gear S2 internationally (although not the Gear S2 Classic variant). There's no confirmation that we'll be getting it in Australia, though, but Samsung Australia says it's in discussions with local telco providers -- it's up to them as well as Samsung whether we'll get a Gear S2 you can use while you're away from your phone.
Gear S2 Will Charge Wirelessly With The Qi Standard
The widely-adopted Qi wireless charging standard, which Samsung's own new Galaxy Note 5 and S6 Edge+ smartphones also support out of the box, makes for convenient recharging for the Gear S2 without any proprietary accessories needed. Being an open standard, you'll also be able to charge your Gear S2 on a non-Samsung-branded charger (as long as it's Qi and not the competing PMA variant).
Gear S2 Will Be IP68 Water- And Dustproof
Incredibly usefully for a fitness-oriented smartwatch, the Gear S2 will be IP68 water- and dustproof, meaning it won't die if it's excessively sweated on or if it's used out in the rain. While it won't be particularly useful for tracking fitness during swimming -- the internal accelerometer won't work nearly as effectively as when walking or jogging -- it will tolerate the experience.
Gear S2 Has An Australian Release Date, But Not A Price
We now also know when the Gear S2 is coming to Australia -- and it's not far away. We'll have the Gear S2 in retail stores -- definitely including Samsung's own flagship Experience Stores -- from the end of October onwards, and probably before the end of September. A local price, though, is still elusive -- we'll let you know as soon as possible.
Stay tuned for a local hands-on test of the Gear S2, direct from the IFA 2015 showroom floor in Berlin, in the coming hours. [Samsung]