Samsung finally unpacks Galaxy Gear smartwatch: By the numbers

Samsung finally unpacks Galaxy Gear smartwatch: By the numbers

Summary: After images of the digital wristband leaked prior to the unveiling, it was immediately clear that not everyone was terribly enamored just yet.

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There has been enough talk and hot air about the pending smartwatch market -- it's time for the world's leading mobile tech makers to show what they've got.

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As promised last week, Samsung is stepping up to the plate first, finally unveiling its own high tech-infused entry at IFA 2013 in Berlin.

See also: CNET live blog: Samsung Unpacked at IFA 2013 | Wearable computing: Is there a real market? | Broadcom tapping into wearable tech market with new Wi-Fi framework

After images of the digital wristband leaked prior to the announcement, it was immediately clear that not everyone was terribly enamored just yet.

There's also a big caveat: The Gear will only work with the other two devices unveiled at IFA today: the Galaxy Note 3 and Note 10.1 tablet.

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Let's take a closer look anyway, by the numbers and features:

  • 800 MHz processor
  • 1.63-inch Super AMOLED display with 320 x 320 resolution
  • 1.9-megapixel built-in camera with an auto-focus lens; Can record 720p videos for up to 10 seconds
  • 4GB of internal memory
  • 512 MB of RAM
  • Bluetooth v 4.0 + BLE
  • Sensors: Accelerometer, Gyroscope
  • Dimensions: 36.8 x 56.6 x 11.1 mm
  • Weight: 73.8g
  • Li-ion 315mAh standard battery; Advertised to last approximately 25 hours before needing a charge
  • Designed to operate as a companion device (i.e. displays SMS notifications from paired smartphone, enables users to control music settings, etc.)
  • S Voice: Can make and receive calls, draft text messages, create new calendar entries, set alarms, check the weather, and write voice memos
  • Pedometer: Tracks physical activity thanks to a built-in sensor; Automatically monitors users and tracks personal data such as calories burned, steps taken and distance covered
  • Find My Device: Helps users find the location of their smart devices when lost (or stolen) by making them beep, illuminate and vibrate.
  • Auto Lock: Security feature that automatically secures the companion smartphone screen any time that the Gear is more than 1.5 meters away from the smartphone, and then unlocks the smartphone when the companion device is nearby again
  • Outfitted in a tasty assortment of colors: Jet Black, Mocha Gray, Wild Orange, Oatmeal Beige, Rose Gold, and Lime Green
  • 70 apps are promised to be ready at launch time; Third-party apps include Evernote, eBay, Path, TripIt and Pocket, among others
  • Pre-loaded with 10 different clock options; More choices will be downloadable via Samsung Apps
  • Ships on September 25 in 149 countries worldwide along with Galaxy Note 3
  • Will retail for $299 in the United States

For a closer look at the Samsung Galaxy Gear, check out the CNET hands-on review below:

Screenshots via Samsung

Topics: Mobility, Hardware, Samsung, Smartphones, Tablets

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114 comments
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  • Find my device and auto lock are cool.

    But the device is somewhat ugly.
    Bruizer
    • Therein lies the rub

      I love my digital watch, a Pulsar made in 1987 that I inherited. Like every digital watch I've ever seen, it's ugly. But definitely not as ugly as this. That colour! Are they out to blind us?
      Laraine Anne Barker
      • You still have a Pulsar?

        And it STILL works?

        GOOD for you! It was probably the best watch of its time. Great technology for the 1980's!
        bart001fr
        • Can you say "Boat Anchor" ?

          My interpretation of the new Samsung "wrist" watch... °͜°

          http://gyazo.com/8f70e744f4f4d70befdb3340be974847
          William Donelson
      • Orange is not the only color available

        If you were watching closely at the beginning of the video clip, you will see a lineup of more than half a dozen different styles, including a "silver"/black and "brass"/tan(?) and others. (The lineup was only on the screen for a few seconds and only from one position, so it's hard to see all the styles available.) They are all the same shape, however, with the boxy screen and the solid plastic strap. It looks like it is really meant to be a "junior" smartphone that is meant to be used with another cell phone that you normally keep in your pocket/purse/fanny pack/briefcase/whatever. It just provides access to a small number of smartphone functions that you can check quickly without digging out your main smartphone. Geeky? Yeah, well maybe, but so are Doc Maartens boots, and they were VERY fashionable for several years. Maybe the right niche market will keep the idea afloat until the "fashion over function" designers have created their competing "works of art."
        JDMArkansas
      • I'm not going to argue the colors; I for one LIKE orange.

        What I am going to argue is the necessity or even desire for one of these. I expect these to fail even faster than the Microsoft Kin.
        Vulpinemac
  • Definitely a step up from the Pebble

    Let's see what the other guys come up with, but this is pretty cool to me.
    Mac_PC_FenceSitter
    • Interesting

      The integrations with smartphone plus the sensors makes for lots of possibilities. They intimated at translation abilities of snapshots ... Read me that sign...

      More interesting than I expected.
      greywolf7
      • further integration questions

        I'm not certain why the storage of the Note (or Note Tablet) is not usable by the camera. Surely at about 2MB/sec, 720p video can be streamed over bluetooth and dropped into the storage on the phone/tablet. Why is the storage on the phone/tablet not available to give the user more than 10 seconds worth of video?
        Jasotastic
    • @Mac_PC_FenceSitter

      This is not cool to me. The only thing that I think cool about this is that this is the first of the kind(syncing with a phablet natively).

      Other than that, this doesn't thrill me any. I would say this is the first step up from the Pebble. This tech might do interesting things in the future. I guess.
      spicycheeks
  • How utterly pathetic.

    People are now so lazy that they can't even pull their phone out of their pocket to use it? Seriously?

    And it's annoying enough to have to listen to inconsiderate twits yacking on their cell phones in public places...now we get the added treat of having them talk to their wrists to USE the damn things? Great...just f''''''ing great.

    The dumbing-down of society continues.
    IT_Fella
    • Not society necessarily, but come on

      So. The reason for existence is to
      1) check texts on your wrists
      2) talk into your wrists for "hands free" calling.
      3) Unlock your phone when you are wearing this thing.
      dhmccoy
    • Not pathetic at all

      So, what you're saying is that a Bluetooth ear piece is also contributing to the 'dumbing-down' of society? A device like this would be useful to me, I work two jobs. One if which is I.T. support for 8 locations, including relocating computers, printers, servers, etc. I am required to answer my phone at all times, as are a lot of I.T. employees. If my phone is in my pocket, it is much easier to take a quick look at your watch to see if it's a call or text that warrants answering. Especially if you are in the process of moving an office. This would also be great for meetings, you don't have to be rude and pull your phone out of your pocket over and over to find out if a call is important enough to excuse yourself.

      The only things about this device (besides the hefty price tag) that turns me off is the bulging camera (that's one thing I'd rather use my phone for anyways) and it's secluded circle of friends (Note 3/Tablet 10.1). I have a Galaxy S3, and thinking about getting the S4. I'm sure both those phones would easily support a device like this.
      YngJoe_z
      • @YngJoe_z

        There is one big catch which will make all your use cases moot. Read this from the article:

        "There's also a big caveat: The Gear will only work with the other two devices unveiled at IFA today: the Galaxy Note 3 and Note 10.1 tablet."

        Seeing the nature of your job, I think you won't be carrying a tablet every where right?

        Besides, in all your use cases, I would think a bluetooth stereo headset can do the job. When you get calls, you can answer them. If you get a message, you will be told by the smart phone that you got a message and what you wish to do. In case you are in meetings, switch the damn thing off and contribute to the meetings. Or give the phone to some one you trust. Or put it in silent and keep it in front of you. Or divert the calls. Or if the smart phone supports, ask it to relay automated messages for the time being. Or(you get the point right...)
        spicycheeks
      • Re: you don't have to be rude and pull your phone out of your pocket

        People who are on call duty do not go to meetings.

        Longer explanation:
        When you are in a meeting, you are supposed to contribute to the meeting. If you have the luxury to leave the meeting any time when you so desire, then you are apparently excused to be rude and pull your phone out of your pocket as well.
        danbi
      • Yep. Just as lame.

        "So, what you're saying is that a Bluetooth ear piece is also contributing to the 'dumbing-down' of society?"

        People who use these ear pieces look like a bunch of Star Trek wannabes.

        Kid...I've been in IT since BEFORE there were PCs & cell phones. I managed to perform MY work just fine without a cell phone for many years.

        And as @spicycheeks says..."In case you are in meetings, switch the damn thing off and contribute to the meetings. Or give the phone to some one you trust. Or put it in silent and keep it in front of you. Or divert the calls. Or if the smart phone supports, ask it to relay automated messages for the time being. Or(you get the point right...)"

        If you are playing around with a cell phone during a meeting, and not paying attention, it is just plain rude, and probably would not amuse the person hosting the meeting. I know it really pi$$es me off.
        It'sNotMe
    • Talking on the phone while driving is a ticketable offense.

      The concept of using this as a hands-free telephony device is a valid one. However, I personally believe there are far more problems with this concept than advantages.
      Vulpinemac
    • Re: having them talk to their wrists

      "Talk to the hand!"

      Sounds familiar? :)
      danbi
  • Seriously?

    What's the point? What a worthless piece of junk.
    Tiggster79
    • Exactly!!

      And it gives junk a bad name.
      Arm A. Geddon