Samsung unveiled its Galaxy Gear smartwatch at the IFA Show in Berlin. The watch will be available globally on 25 September and US and Japan in October.
You have to touch the watch to like it, and then there are still questions aplenty. But once you wear it on your wrist, it steals your heart! The watch talks to your phone, making the physical presence of your phone unnecessary. The watch can control your music, monitor your exercise, install your apps, take photos and yes it can make phone calls!!
This watch is the pioneer of the new generation of smartwatches and wearable gadgets. The only thing is the Gear will only be compatible with the Note 3 which was launched along with it.
It only weighs 73.8g, is “powered by an 800MHz processor and 512MB of RAM, the touch interface is sleekly responsive, and the 1.63-inch, 320×320-pixel super AMOLED screen enormously bright and clear.
This watch is similar to the Windows Phone, Microsoft’s operating system for mobile phones, and consists of simple icons. Unlike the Windows phone, the Galaxy Gear shows you one tile at a time. The watch has a metal face and a rubberized strap and charges on a dock which has a standard Micro-USB socket. The watch needs to be charged on the dock, which is a bit of a bummer.
The watch has a small 1.9-megapixel camera on the side of the strap, it takes videos lasting up to 10 seconds. The home screen can be customized to display whatever information you may require. It can show the weather, your appointments, when last the watch was updated. You can set home screen display either in the settings menu or in the companion app on your phone. Notifications alert you to new messages, you can record voice memos up to 5 minutes, command the watch by scrolling to the S Voice app, tapping it and giving your instructions. The touch screen is somewhat too responsive when paging through my photo-album.
The music player has basic controls that allow you to play, pause, skip backwards or forwards. You can swipe up from your home screen to get to your camera, swipe down for your dialer keypad. Swiping in from the top of the screen takes you back a step and there is a home button on the side for a quick return to home.
If you tap the Apps screen, you get to the list of apps installed on your Gear. There is about 70 apps optimized for the Gear’s small screen, basic apps such as weather, calendar, etc. Watch out for the big fellas like Evernote, Pininterst, eBay, Path, RunKeeper and MyFitnessPal, to name but a few.
The Galaxy Gear uses low-power Bluetooth to communicate with your smartphone which is for now, only the Galaxy Note 3. “When you pair the Galaxy Gear smartwatch with the Note 3, the watch talks to the phone to let you control music or view notifications without taking the phone out of your pocket. And it works the other way, too: the Gear Manager companion app installed on your phone lets you adjust the settings of your watch. Other options include the Find My Device feature: lose track of your phone, and you can use your watch to signal the errant blower, which will make a racket until you locate it. And vice versa: lose your watch, and use the companion app on your phone to set the watch ringing so you can return it to its rightful place on your wrist.”
The Gear should loosen the grip your mobile phone has on you as you would not have to pull out your mobile every 5 minutes! But maybe you will merely be replacing one gadget with another? You may not need it, but it’s fun. Pretty much like how the mobile phone industry persuaded people that they DO need their own phone! And besides the “Gear makes sense in the context of ballooning devices like the massive 5.7-inch Galaxy Note 3”. These phones are so big, and have huge capability. So how nice it is to pair it with a “dainty” smartwatch.