Yesterday Samsung announced and showed off the GALAXY Gear watch. The watch features pretty much all the expected features like push notifications, music controls, weather, but does have some decent new features. Fitness fans will enjoy a build-in pedometer, while those after some location help, you’ll get Find My (Android) Phone and proximity alarms. There’s also S-Voice support which allows you to give commands to your watch and control your Samsung smartphone.
The Gear has a 1.63” SuperAMOLED, 320×320 pixel display, that’s powered by a 800MHz processor, 512MB of RAM and has 4GB of storage. Probably the most interestingly disappointing feature is the camera. Sure it’s great that the gadget has a camera, it sets the Gear apart from other competitors like Sony, but at 1.9-megapixel camera. If you’ve ever used the front facing camera on a smart phone, you’ll be familiar with how bad the quality of those photos are.
This gets to the heart of why this product exists, Samsung say they are listening to their consumers, who want their daily lives to be easier and more enjoyable. Part of that ethos is to avoid the need to pull your phone out of your pocket to do basic operations. While that’s a great objective, the camera quality means that you will be pulling the phone out to take photos. There’s a fine balance that needs to be struck between offering enough pocket-free features at a low enough price point. Remember this device is on top of the phone you’re already paying for.
So do you really want the Galaxy Gear or is this wearable, something you’ll be skipping? Now for the PR talk.
Experience new mobile communications freedoms
Samsung GALAXY Gear lets users to live in the moment while staying connected to their Samsung GALAXY devices. It notifies users of incoming messages, such as calls, texts, emails and alerts, delivers a preview of those messages and creates the opportunity for users to accept or discreetly ignore those messages. When an incoming message requires more than a quick glance, users can simply pick up their Samsung GALAXY devices and the Smart Relay feature will instantly reveal the full content on the screen.
The built-in speaker allows users to conduct hands-free calls directly from the Gear, maintaining connections to their mobile communications without disrupting their daily routines. For example, a user leaving the grocery store, whose hands are full with shopping bags, could still make a call by speaking into the GALAXY Gear without touching the screen. Users can also draft messages, create new calendar entries, set alarms, and check the weather on the GALAXY Gear with S Voice.
Capture daily life from your wrist
In addition to enabling smart device controls, Samsung GALAXY Gear introduces several features that help users easily capture life’s meaningful moments which otherwise might be missed. With the Memographer feature, a 1.9 Megapixel camera, users who are on the move or participating in physical activities can record both photos and video to create quick, visual records of important information or events from their daily lives, as well as share them on their social networks. Extending the quick-record concept, Voice Memo lets users capture important thoughts or conversations from their wrists and save those voice recordings into texts on their Samsung GALAXY devices.
A growing list of controls for favorite features
With the GALAXY Gear, users gain a wide range of favorite features that further increase the benefits of this new accessory. New security enhancement Auto Lock automatically secures the companion smartphone screen any time that GALAXY Gear is more than 1.5 meters away from the smartphone, and then unlocks the smartphone when the companion devices are near each other again. Find My
Device helps users find the location of their smart devices when they have been misplaced by making them beep, illuminate and vibrate. With Samsung GALAXY Gear, users can also control the music played on their Samsung GALAXY devices. As with traditional music players, it helps users browse, play and pause songs even when their smart device is not within reach. Finally, the GALAXY Gear also works like a Pedometer to track physical activity via enhanced, built-in sensor technology. This feature systematically and automatically monitors users so they can track key personal data such as calories burned, steps taken and distance covered.
Standalone Watch and Iconic Fashion Accessory
Samsung GALAXY Gear embodies understated elegance. Its refined design, executed in, high-quality finishes, conjures images of luxury jewelry while still being understated enough to go well with any outfit. A rounded and simple flowing form wraps around the body, integrating with the user’s personal environment, and maintaining comfort at all times. The GALAXY Gear also serves as a wristwatch and includes several face options that create the opportunity for users to personalize their watch face. It will come preloaded with 10 different clock options and more choices will be downloadable via Samsung Apps. The GALAXY Gear experience can be further personalized by selecting from six colors that will be available at launch: Jet Black, Mocha Gray, Wild Orange, Oatmeal Beige, Rose Gold, and Lime Green.
Samsung GALAXY Gear will be launched with the GALAXY Note 3 in more than 140 countries around the world starting from September 25. For those attending IFA, the Samsung GALAXY Gear will be on display at the Samsung booth # 20, during September 6 through September 11, 2013.