Samsung’s Galaxy Gear is a smartwatch, a wrist-worn touch-screen watch that can do almost everything you can do with your phone; it can pick up notifications, control music playback, and keep time with a rich variety of watch faces, tracks your exercise and even installs your favorite apps, but Samsung takes it a few steps further by integrating a 1.9-megapixel camera, a speaker, and two microphones — allowing you to shoot short 720p movies and even conduct phone calls with the Galaxy Gear. It also packs a bunch of remote features for your smartphone, like pushing notifications to your wrist from various apps and allowing you to start, stop and skip music tracks from your watch. Now you won't have to be forever fetching your phone from purse or pocket. It sits on your wrist and happily controls everything.
Unveiled at IFA 2013, this android powered smartwatch is just the first step that can lead to a new generation of smartwatches and wearable gadgets. The product was officially launched on 25 September worldwide with the Samsung Galaxy Note 3; customers in US and Japan have to wait till October.
The Galaxy Gear is not a phone in its own right — it relies on a Bluetooth connection to your Samsung Galaxy device in order to do most of its connected work.
This isn't about high-spec or high-def or high-anything else; so let's see what this device is actually providing on your wrist, powered by an 800MHz processor and 512MB of RAM, the touch interface is sleekly responsive, and the 1.63-inch, 320x320-pixel super AMOLED screen enormously bright and clear.
I was inspired by the simplicity with function: it's incredibly easy to control, yet does enough useful things to have this gadget fan convinced I need it. You control the watch by swiping left and right through a selection of screens. You can change the order they appear, but out of the box when you start scrolling to the right you go from the home screen to notifications, then voice memos, then S Voice commands, then your photo gallery, the music player, a pedometer, settings, and an apps shortcut. Scroll to the left and you see your contacts followed by a phone call log. The screens scroll continually, so when you get all the way to the end you come back round to the home screen and continue on out the other side.
On the side of the strap is a small 1.9-megapixel camera, bulging slightly from the strap. Samsung calls it a memographer, emphasizing the capture of moments with low-resolution snaps and bite-size videos rather than glorious crystal-clear pictures. The camera options are pretty basic: choose from auto or macro focus, and a couple of different sizes. Photos can be 1,392x1, 392 or 1,280x960 pixels. Videos last 10 seconds, with sound, and can be 720p, 640x640, 640x480, or 480x480 pixels. On the plus side, the camera built into the Galaxy Gear produces surprisingly decent pictures and there are 4GB of onboard storage to stash them on if you're away from your smartphone.
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The Gear also comes with an optimized Samsung Apps experience. Evernote, Path, Life360, Tripit and Glympse Maps are notable inclusions to the Galaxy Gear at launch. In total, Samsung has spent the last few months optimizing 70 different apps for launch day, with more still to come.
Finally, the Watch
Galaxy Gear has a metal face and flexible rubberized and adjustable wrist band. It comes in six colors: black, gray, orange, lime green, and beige all with a silver face and buckle; and a sixth version with a beige strap and champagne-toned gold metal accouterments.
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Also important will be the Galaxy Gear's battery life. It does use the Bluetooth 4.0 Low Energy standard to communicate, but at 315mAh its battery is decidedly small. Samsung promises "about a day" of endurance from the Gear.
If you ever feel you're a slave to your phone, the Gear will cut down on the palaver of pulling out your mobile every 5 minutes. Whether buying another gadget is the answer to reducing your dependence on an earlier gadget is a philosophical question for another time, but the Galaxy Gear has the potential to cut down on the amount your mobile shouts for your attention.
Sure, you don't need it need it, but it's also a lot of fun. That's the thing about the Galaxy Gear — if you think of it as a toy and a fun accessory, it can definitely be enjoyed; however priced at Rs. 22,990 Samsung just isn't pricing it like such a device.