September 4, 2013 3:30 pm

Samsung unveils smartwatch, next generation products

TORONTO – Samsung has officially unveiled it’s highly-anticipated smartwatch, dubbed ‘Galaxy Gear’, alongside the latest generation of its smartphone and tablet devices.

The tech giant unveiled Galaxy Gear, the Galaxy Note 3 smartphone and the Galaxy Note 10.1 tablet  during an event in Berlin, Germany on Wednesday.

Samsung says the Gear can act as an extension to a smartphone by discreetly alerting users to incoming messages and calls on its display screen, which measures 1.63 inches diagonally.

Gallery: First look at Samsung Galaxy Gear

Users can even make calls, secret agent-style without getting out their phone.

The Gear also sports a basic camera and works with popular social media and fitness apps such as Twitter and RunKeeper.

Video: Global’s Steve Makris shows off Galaxy Gear’s built-in camera feature

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The Android-powered device starts shipping in most countries Sept. 25 starting at $299.

Read More: Galaxy Gear smartwatch gives a glimpse of wearable tech’s potential

Samsung’s Executive Vice President of Mobile Lee Young-hee confirmed the tech giant would unveil the smartwatch in an interview with The Korea Times last week.

Read More: Samsung will unveil Galaxy Gear smartwatch Sept. 4

The event comes just a week before rival Apple is expected to unveil the latest generation of iPhones. On Tuesday, Apple sent out invitations for a Sept. 10 media event at the company’s Cupertino, California headquarters.

Though it has also been rumoured that Apple has been working on a smartwatch, the event is said to be focused solely around iPhone.

Despite the anticipation of new devices, some might be tuning in to Samsung’s event to see if the company does a repeat of its Galaxy S4 event, which raised some eyebrows.

The event started off with a fairly traditional keynote, but things got unusual about 17 minutes into the presentation when the tech conference turned into a Broadway show – different features of the Galaxy S4 were introduced by characters, including a tap-dancing child, a lost backpacker and a group of bridesmaids drinking with the bride-to-be.

Read More: Samsung Galaxy S4 event raises some eyebrows

The majority of the criticism was due in part to the bachelorette segment of the show, which some deemed sexist.

Samsung’s UNPACKED 2013 event starts at 1 p.m. ET.

- With files from The Associated Press

© Shaw Media, 2013

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