Samsung's Orbis smartwatch will pack NFC for mobile payments

Shaping up to be a true rival to the Apple Watch

If the rumours are to be believed, the Samsung Orbis (or Samsung Gear A, as it'll probably be called) is shaping up to be quite a smartwatch. We already know it'll be round, and feature a rotating bezel that you'll use to navigate the menus. Now comes word it'll support NFC for mobile payments.

That's according to South Korean newspaper The Economic Times, via Reuters. It claims Samsung will implement NFC to support mobile payments on a smartwatch to be launched "in the second half of the year". The Samsung Orbis isn't mentioned. But it's the only Samsung smartwatch that's leaked recently, so surely must be what it's referring to.

Samsung recently unveiled Samsung Pay, a mobile payments service to rival Apple Pay. It has announced the service will be available with "select partners" in July.

The Orbis will be Samsung's first round smartwatch. Considering it's leaked numerous times over the last few months, it seems it's been in the works longer than most of Samsung's smartwatches. The South Korean tech giant could be accused of throwing a load of designs at the wall and seeing what sticks – an approach it also takes with phones and tablets.

The Orbis will most likely be called the Samsung Gear A when it goes on sale. In April, Samsung invited developers to start making apps for it, revealing a lot of info about the device in the process. It also dropped a rather massive hint that it will have a round face, as you can see from the image at the top of this story. The bezel will be used to scroll, zoom and adjust the volume and screen brightness, and should be a handy adjunct to the touchscreen.

It's said to launch in September, most probably at IFA 2015 at the start of the month.