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Samsung's gold Gear S2 smartwatch ships for a fraction of the price of Apple’s

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Samsung's gold is just plating, while Apple's is solid

It's apparently cheaper to buy a gold smartwatch from Samsung than it is from Apple. The Korean electronics company announced the "global launch" of its Gear S2 Classic today, with the watch — including its 18k rose gold and platinum variations — going on sale in new markets starting with China. Samsung hasn't provided a detailed breakdown of availability and prices, but we've seen the gold and platinum variants of the S2 Classic available for preorder for €480 in Europe. That's around $520, although Samsung hasn't confirmed this information yet.

This price tag might seem unusual at first glance, especially compared to Apple's rose gold smartwatch, which can set you back as much as $17,000 dollars. However, the difference is to be expected when you consider how much precious metal you're actually buying: Samsung's gold is just plating on top of the Classic's stainless steel body, while the Apple Watch Edition is solid gold.

The Gear S2 Classic itself is a more traditional take on watch design compared to the Gear S2, but pretty much identical in terms of specs. In our review last year we thought both devices were impressive, with good looks, an original and practical navigation system (that rotating bezel), and a fast OS. (Although limited app choice and poor voice control were annoying.) At $349.99, the Classic costs just $50 more than the regular S2, so, if these unconfirmed prices are correct, will it be worth an extra $150 or so to upgrade to gold plating? We're not sure, but at least compared to Apple, you won't be losing so much precious metal when the smartwatch itself goes out of date.

Verge Video: Samsung Gear S2 review