It was no secret that Samsung were developing a smart watch, and so it proved yesterday. The Samsung Galaxy Gear was announced at last night’s Unpacked Episode 2 event in Berlin, alongside the Galaxy Note 3 phablet and Galaxy Note 10.1 2014 Edition.
What surprised many were how surprisingly different the Galaxy Gear turned out to be. With recent leaks as late as last week showing off what appears to be a very chunky device passing off as a smartwatch turned out to be, well, pretty decently well designed.
Hands on article continues after the jump.
The Samsung Galaxy Gear, without a doubt, caused just as much excitement as the Galaxy Note 3 phablet. With its range of six vibrant colours and IP67 rating, the Galaxy Gear looks like it was also built for the socially active – just the type of consumer who’d consider buying a smartwatch.
The Galaxy Gear, by the sounds of it, has almost the same internal hardware as a feature phone. There’s an 800MHz single core CPU with 512MB of RAM, 4GB of internal storage, and a 1.9MP BSI camera attached on the strap. Despite the hardware, the Galaxy Gear is surprisingly light and thin – though the security clips made them look thicker than they are.
Facing the user is a 1.63-inch Super AMOLED screen which, like the other Galaxy smartphones using the display tech, is more than decent. Blacks are pleasantly realistic, while the background colours can turn the watch into something less serious and more fun, with choices ranging from green all the way to orange. We can’t say how visibility would be like since we were indoors, but the Super AMOLED screen should work just fine under the sun.
What really blew me away was the incredibly deep integration the Gear has with a Galaxy smartphone. With the Gear Manager app, the Galaxy Gear can be set to sync all notifications, contacts and even calls to be pushed from a Galaxy Note 3 or Galaxy Note 10.1 2014 Edition to the Gear, with the idea that users do not need to take out their bulky devices all the time.
Besides that, the Gear can also record 720p videos as well as take pictures on the 1.9MP camera. Though we wouldn’t expect superior image or video quality, the option to snap a quick picture when the need arises does sound handy (and perhaps a little creepy). But, whatever the intentions are, all images and videos are automatically synced back to the phone or tablet. And, with a reported battery life of 25 hours – and charging times ranging between two to three hours – the Gear looks to have blown the Pebble smartwatch out of the water.
But of course, that’s not who Samsung is aiming for. The much-rumoured Apple iWatch is also coming soon, and may yet prove the better between the two. However, Samsung’s strategy of marketing the Galaxy Gear as a companion device to the new Galaxy Note 3 – seen by many as a sure hit – may be a masterstroke to really stimulate sales of the Gear.
Who’s excited for September 10, then?