Talking tech since 2003

Samsung just revealed its Galaxy Gear at its Unpacked 2013 episode 2 event and boy does Samsung appear to have high hopes for this device.  JK Shin, head of Samsung Mobile Communications said that he believes that the Galaxy Gear will “become a new fashion icon around the world.”  Whether it will or not remains to be seen (and is something we’ll have to discuss in a later article), but let’s dive into what the device has to offer.

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JK Shin wearing the Galaxy Gear.

The Galaxy Gear is made out of stainless steel and comes in multiple colors: Jet Black, Mocha Gray, Wild Orange, Oatmeal Beige, Rose Gold, and Lime Green.

The device will ship with a 1.63-inch Super AMOLED panel with a resolution of 320 x 320. That strap-mounted camera is designed to capture low-res shots and 10-second 720p videos, and includes a 1.9-megapixel BSI sensor and an auto-focus lens.  The smartwatch also sports a 800MHz processor and a 315 mAh non-removable battery, which Samsung reps say should provide up to a day of “regular” use (though we’ll have to see about that in real life use). There are two built-in microphones (with noise cancellation support), a speaker, Bluetooth 4.0, an accelerometer and gyroscope, 4GB of storage and 512MB of RAM.

Not bad in terms of specs and functionality for a first-gen device.

In terms of compatibility, the Galaxy Gear will only work with the Galaxy Note 3, though some Galaxy S4, S3, and Note II owners may be able to take advantage soon, after those devices receive updates to Android 4.3 (which should happen in October).  If you have a Samsung device that is compatible with the Gear, it will serve as a companion device, enabling access to features like S Voice, Find My Device, and a pedometer.

Additional features include the ability for the Galaxy Gear to notify users of incoming messages, such as calls, texts, emails and alerts.  The notifications on the Gear will offer a preview of the messages and allow users to accept or ignore the messages.

The Galaxy Gear also will support third-party applications.  Samsung is launching the Gear with 70 partners at launch, including sharing apps like Evernote, Path, Pocket (which will read saved articles to you), fitness companions like RunKeeper and MyFitnessPal, and a handful of other offerings, such as TripIt, Line, Vivino, eBay, and even Snapchat (that should be interesting).

The Galaxy Gear will be available on September 25 (early October for the U.S.) alongside the Galaxy Note 3 and Note 10.1 in more than 149 countries and will retail for $299.  All of this begs the question, do you want one?


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