Samsung Unveils $299 Galaxy Gear Smart Watch With One-Day Battery Life

Samsung today announced its Galaxy Gear Smartwatch, a wearable device that features a 1.63-inch 320 x 320 resolution AMOLED touchscreen, built-in speakers, and a 1.9-megapixel camera in the strap. It has an 800MHz processor, 4GB of storage, and 512MB of RAM.

Samsung’s watch will support voice control with S Voice and is able to make and receive calls and video memos. Designed as a companion for the newly introduced Galaxy Note 3 and new Note 10.1, the Galaxy Gear also notifies wearers of text messages and other updates. It does not function on its own, requiring a Bluetooth 4.0 connection to work.

galaxygear
The Galaxy Gear is not currently compatible with Samsung devices beyond the Note 3 and 10.1 as it runs Android 4.3, but it will support 70 third-party applications at launch, including popular offerings like Evernote and Path, along with many health oriented apps like RunKeeper and MyFitnessPal.

It includes a pedometer to measure fitness levels, an accelerometer, and a 315 mAh battery that provides up to one day of regular use, according to Samsung reps that spoke to Engadget.

Poor battery life is said to be one of the main factors that Apple is working to overcome with its own iWatch, which is currently in development. In March, a report suggested that Apple had yet to reach its target goal of four to five days of battery life for the device.

The Verge went hands-on with the Galaxy Gear, criticizing the battery life and finding it to be "bulkier than the Pebble" with a "tangible lag."

There are a couple of significant downsides that temper my enthusiasm for the new Gear. First and foremost is the speed and intuitiveness of the user interface — or rather, the lack thereof. There’s a tangible lag to anything you do with the Gear, while the swipe gestures are hard to figure out and do different things depending on where you are in the menus.

Samsung promises "about a day" of endurance from the Gear, but by the end of our briefing with the company, the cameras on most of its demo units were refusing to turn on due to the watches running low on power.

Samsung is offering the Galaxy Gear in six different colors, including Jet Black, Mocha Gray, Wild Orange, Oatmeal Beige, Rose Gold, and Lime Green. It will also come with 10 different clock options with more choices available for download.

"I believe it will become a new fashion icon around the world," said Samsung CEO JK Shin.

The Galaxy Gear will be launched alongside the Galaxy Note 3 in 140 countries beginning on September 25 and will be available worldwide in October. It will be priced at $299.

Top Rated Comments

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Avatar
90 months ago
Epic Fail.

This is exactly what everyone would say Samsung would come out with...basically an iPod Nano with limited features. And these features are pretty bad and horrible battery life and interface. Relying on 3rd party apps is also bad. Not shocking at all, this is what I expect from an 'engineering/tech spec' focused company and not a design/usability company like Apple.

They did this so they could beat Apple to market so they cannot be caught up in another lawsuit with Apple.

Whatever Apple comes out with will not be a smartphone on your wrist like this thing is.

It will be a new device that combines multiple things into something you won't want to leave home without. From NFC, health monitoring, connectivity and other features along with a design that doesn't look like a watch (I mean seriously, it was SOOOO obvious what Samsungs watch was going to look like).

In fact, Apple will probably not even use the term Watch. They will use something that relates to a wrist band/bracelet/or device always with you.

I also find it funny that people defending Samsung are saying things like "You don't know what Apple will come out with..they could have come out with something just like this" and I think the majority of us know that Apple would never come out with something like this epic fail of technology.

I was going to post the Joker meme "And here we gooooo..." to signal the start of the smart watch wars....but I mean seriously this thing is just so awful I think this is more appropriate of a look from the Joker.

Score: 167 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Avatar
90 months ago
All so they could shout "First!"

Gadget equivalent of a forum troll.
Score: 133 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Avatar
90 months ago
red herring

I wouldn't be surprised if apple leaked to the world that they were working on a watch (even had some people working on it) just to get other companies to make one, and apple won't ever release it. lol
Score: 91 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Avatar
90 months ago
Watch

P A S S I can think of many other things to do with $300!
Score: 78 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Avatar
90 months ago
Wow. This is actually worse than I expected. Can you innovate failing? Samsung seems to be doing just that.
Score: 73 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Avatar
90 months ago
1 day battery life, are they freaking serious? This is not a smart phone; it is a watch, and I don't want to be plugging it in every 24 hrs!

Massive fail, as usual wait for the real McCoy from Apple. This is a prime example of why Samsung copy, their original ideas suck!
Score: 58 Votes (Like | Disagree)

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