We got a quick glimpse of Samsung’s new smartwatch, the Galaxy Gear, back at IFA last month, and we finally have it here in our Irvine office. The wearable technology race is in full swing, and Samsung has beat a lot of big companies to the punch. But does first to market equal outright success?
At $299, users get plenty of technology stuffed into a small device; the Galaxy Gear can take pictures, answer calls, and more. For those obsessed with notifications and staying connected, the Gear is a device designed to keep the wearer aware of every call, email and text that comes streaming in. To that end, this is the first step toward spy-level technology, something out of science fiction. Like everything Samsung does, the Gear is like other competing devices—the Pebble, for example—on steroids. Unfortunately, that extra power just means battery isn’t so great; the Gear gets just one full day compared to a week for the Pebble.
The Gear itself sports a 1.6-inch Super AMOLED screen, an 800MHz Samsung Exynos chip, two noise canceling microphones, a sapphire glass display and a watered-down version of Android 4.3 Jelly Bean. It’s an attractive device, a little bulky, but otherwise feels pretty good on the wrist. Compared to more traditional wrist wear, it’ll definitely take some getting used to, but all new technology takes adjusting to.
We’re excited to put the Galaxy Gear through its paces. The unfortunate thing about it is that it only plays nice (right now) with the Galaxy Note 3, though that is set to change down the road. Are smartwatches the future of wearable technology? Samsung sure hustled to get one out to consumers. We’ll see if the Gear actually improves the everyday experience, or if it’s just merely an annoyance, so stay tuned for more content soon.