Samsung Pay Gear S2

Besides announcing some very large phones today, Samsung used their Unpacked 2015 event to offer up details on the upcoming Samsung Pay launch and show off a new smartwatch. The smartwatch is called the Gear S2. It is a metal, round faced watch that appears to run on the company’s custom Tizen OS platform. If the watch does run Tizen, it likely will not be compatible with non-Samsung devices. From the short glimpses shown today, it appears that Samsung is trying to improve the look of their wearables and corresponding software. Interestingly, we aren’t sure whether or not the Gear S2 is supposed to be a follow up to the original Gear S; it shares very little stylistically with its namesake and likely doesn’t have the S’s internal cellular connection. Samsung has promised to release more details about the wearable next month at IFA.

Samsung Pay also received some stage time today. With CurrentC exclusivity expiring, Apple Pay and other NFC based mobile payment systems are ready to make big leaps. Android Pay is expected to launch this Fall and we now know when Samsung Pay will come the US. The official US launch of Samsung Pay is September 28th, but select users will be able to beta test the service beginning August 25th. Slightly different from its competitors, Samsung does not require a NFC enabled pay terminal. Instead their technology also allows you to transmit a magnetic signal from your phone to swipe-based credit card readers. It will be interesting to see how practice the technology proves to be, especially since some pay terminals have a touch time reading cards that are actually physically swiped. Samsung hopes to bring its mobile payment service to the UK, Spain, and China next.