Samsung Unveils GALAXY Gear Smartwatch, Ships Next Month For $299 [VIDEO]

Samsung has finally made the much rumoured GALAXY Gear smartwatch official at its Galaxy Note 3 launch event held in New York earlier today. While the GALAXY Gear is surely not a phone in its own right, it can however let users to make and receive calls through their bluetooth connected Android smartphone, in addition to notifying them about their SMS, Email and other updates.

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Offered in six different colours of adjustable wrist band, the GALAXY Gear sports a 1.63-inch AMOLED display, a single-core 800MHz Exynos processor, 512MB of RAM and more surprisingly, a 1.9-megapixel integrated camera with a speaker and two microphones, allowing users to shoot short 720p movies. However, all this hardware is encased in an ugly looking metal face with 4 screws and a mediocre wrist band with buckle. What’s worse is its underpowered 315 mAh battery, which will hardly last a day on “regular” use according to Samsung, meaning you’ll need to keep a sharp eye on its battery status at all times. In comparison, the battery on the much less-flashy Pebble smartwatch lasts 5 to 7 days, while getting the job done.

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The folks over at The Verge, who’ve just published an early GALAXY Gear hands-on experience, are reporting that by the end of their briefing with Samsung, the cameras on most of the demo units were refusing to turn on “due to the watches running low on power”. Well, that says a lot doesn’t it?

Here’s what they say about the GALAXY Gear:

The Korean company also claims the bands are very ergonomic, but in trying them on I found them less supple and flexible than the strap on the Pebble. Additionally, with all of its extra integrated tech, the Galaxy Gear is a fair bit bulkier than the Pebble, though Samsung’s correct in saying its watch is lighter than it appears.

There are a couple of significant downsides that temper my enthusiasm for the new Gear. First and foremost is the speed and intuitiveness of the user interface — or rather, the lack thereof. There’s a tangible lag to anything you do with the Gear, while the swipe gestures are hard to figure out and do different things depending on where you are in the menus. Additionally, the speaker built into the buckle is too quiet and makes the old sci-fi action of conducting a phone call via your watch a possibility only in quiet areas; it also doesn’t play back any music, it just controls output on your connected device. Most of all, however, I find it hard to justify spending the $299 asking price on an accessory like the Galaxy Gear.

The Galaxy Gear will cost $299 when it makes its October debut in the U.S. Meanwhile, check out the hands-on video of the device from The Verge (Flash video):

Is this a watch you would want to buy?

“Technology runs through my veins...” | Follow me: @DrUsmanQ usman@iPhoneinCanada.ca

  • Chrome262

    LOL love the tweet LOL. I like my swatch touch, if it was a smart watch then I would love it even more, seriously, they have to do a hell of alot better for me to actually contemplate getting one. and the Camera placement is kind of bad for conversations. Waiting for the LG, or other companies version, probably going to be way better. HUmmmm Casio

  • 1His_Nibs1

    Samsung Galaxy Gear= FAIL!!!! Can anyone say FUGLY?!?!? I guess that’s what happens when you release your watch first and don’t have a good looking template to steal from i.e. Apple eh Samsung?

  • ward09

    They will get it right next year, once Apple’s is on the market.

  • If you look at other pictures at The Verge of the watch on the male reviewers wrist…it looks massive. Can’t imagine how large and bulky the watch would look on a female’s wrist.

  • Camera on the watchband is neat…it’s like James Bond in real life–for $300. Might as well buy a $199 Nexus 4 instead!

  • WatDah

    The idea of a smart watch just doesn’t really appeal to me, and it might never will. I really can’t justify paying extra money for things that I could reach to by simply pulling out my phone. Hack, most of the time my phone is not even in my pocket unless I’m walking.

  • WatDah

    On the other hand, Samsung has taken the term “creeper” to another level.

    Can’t agree more! But they’re all sold out according to their site. But hell, 16GB Nexus is only $249!

  • You’re right. Only $249 models left.

  • Chrome262

    Well if you have a huge Note 2 this would be great, then you wouldn’t have to take it out of your man purse.

  • WatDah

    Lol, true. Somehow I have the impression that people who use phablets wants to keep it out of their pockets so others know how superior they feel about themselves. I mean, what’s the point of getting a phablet if you’re not looking at the screen?

  • Chrome262

    They also showed the Note 3 at this conference. They shrunk the basel so the screen looks bigger. hummm S4 anyone. there is a point where its just to big. Sure there is a portion of us with large hands and all, but do you really want to sacrifice performance for a bigger screen. My friend is hoping for a larger iphone 6 screen. Not sure i am with him on that one.

  • WatDah

    I find it funny how fandroids complains/bad mouths about Apple not changing the general look of the iPhone, but not one of them says anything bad about Samsung using the exact same design on every single device.

  • Husein S.

    A key point missed in this article is that the phone is ONLY compatible with the newly launched Galaxy Note 3. As of now, you can’t use it with any Android phone including the S4 (although they may make that compatible down the road via a software update).

  • Chrome262

    Yeah bigger screen with the same look doesn’t really change much. Oh they have subtle performance upgrades. Maybe companies should wait a bit and actually have something new.

  • Fuzzyfish6

    Let’s see …
    – cost too much for what it does.
    – early release just to get to market.
    – no apps available at launch.
    – needs to use your phone in order to communicate with the rest of the world.
    Are we talking about a Samsung Galaxy Gear or a Blackberry Playbook?

  • Arcsvibe

    I’d rather get a Pebble!
    🙂

  • For what the Pebble is advertised as, it’s great. Notifications without having your iPhone on you at all times is pretty handy when you’re occupied.

  • TheRealFuzzyFish

    Impersonating me because I called you out for being a troll. What a sad sad little boy you are lol.

  • Arcsvibe

    It is also 150$ cheaper LOL!

  • Fuzzyfish6

    Who are you again?

  • TheRealFuzzyFish

    Check my post history, DickGozinya. Why do you like to impersonate other people?

    Are you that insecure?

  • Chrome262

    don’t forget battery life, this one is worse than some phones. What is it 1990, where you were lucky to get 8 hours on your phone

  • Fuzzyfish6

    You have issues girl. Now go play with your tampons.

  • TheFloppyBeaver

    Is this all you know how to say? “You have issues” and “get help”? Why don’t you tell me why you stole my username?

    I thought you were just a naive and ignorant troll before, but now I actually feel sorry for you. I sincerely hope how you act online in only an online thing, if you’re like this in real life you really should heed your own advise and seek help.

  • Ryan Ahrens

    I honestly don’t understand the market for a “smartwatch”. Perhaps it’s because I stopped wearing a watch when I owned a smartphone? The idea is kind of neat, but the product seems overpriced and redundant to me. Maybe others can help me understand the appeal, and is it something you would buy? Like most people, I already have a phone that does everything the watch can do so I just don’t see the appeal in such a product.