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Sep 4, 2013 10:30 PM by Jesse Cohen

Samsung unveils smartwatch ahead of rival Apple

BERLIN (AP) - Samsung has unveiled a highly anticipated digital wristwatch at least weeks ahead of a similar product expected from rival Apple. The so-called smartwatch is what some technology analysts believe could become this year's must-have holiday gift.

Samsung unveiled the Galaxy Gear on Wednesday in Berlin ahead of the annual IFA consumer electronics show.

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.

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.

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

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