Why the Samsung Galaxy Gear smart watch specs don't matter

Why the Samsung Galaxy Gear smart watch specs don't matter

Summary: Samsung's smart watch is sure to turn heads on paper, but how will it perform in the real world? More importantly, how will Apple respond?

TOPICS: Apple, Samsung
Details emerge about the Samsung Galaxy Gear smart watch - Jason O'Grady

Details about Galaxy Gear smart watch are beginning to emerge ahead of the Samsung Unpacked 2013 event in Berlin on September 4. Giga Om has some posted new details about the upcoming wearable computer from Samsung, which many consider to be a preview of things to come from Apple, possibly as soon as September 10. 

Om notes that the September 4 date is "pretty certain" and that Samsung will hold Galaxy Gear launch events in both Berlin and New York. The new report also notes that Samsung might even have a pop-up store in Times Square to sell the new smart watches.

Rumored hardware specs include:

  • square, high-quality, color OLED display
  • 2.5 inches diagonally (and 3 inches diagonally including the case)
  • accelerometer
  • camera integrated in the strap
  • speakers in the clasp
  • built-in NFC
  • Bluetooth 4.0 LE

An anonymous tipster recently gave similar Galaxy Gear specs to SamMobile:

  • CPU: Samsung Exynos 4212 dual core 1.5GHz
  • GPU: ARM Mali-400 MP4
  • RAM: 1GB
  • Display: 320×320 (3cm×3cm – 1.67-inches) AMOLED
  • Camera: 2 Megapixel
  • Connectivity: Bluetooth, NFC

You can read the rest of the specs, include some interesting software features, over at GigaOm

The real question raised by the new smart watch rumors is, what will Apple do?

Samsung ran away with the specifications title years ago with its phone hardware. While Apple takes a slow and steady approach, releasing a new iPhone annually (and new iPhone industrial design only every two years), Samsung releases phone models every three to four months. Apple offers only two screen sizes in phones and tablets while Samsung makes over 26 different screen sizes (phones and tablets) including the new 6.3-inch screened Galaxy Mega "phablet" which is coming out on Friday

Apple got out of the specs rat race a while ago when coined the term "megahertz myth" (here's a video of former Apple VP Jon Rubinstein explaining it). The same is true for most hardware specs, Apple tends to downplay the numbers (by calling its iPhone cameras "iSight" and "FaceTime HD," for example) and focusing on the benefits to the user. 

Instead of going to war based solely on specs, Apple focuses on the overall user experience and the benefits of its iTunes content ecosystem (apps, music, movies, books, etc.). Apple differentiates its products as elegantly designed, fully integrated and drop-dead simple to use. 

While the Samsung smart watch is bound to have great-looking specs and look impressive on paper, the real test will be to see how it integrates with the rest of your digital lifestyle. An area that Apple still maintains a lead over Android. 

Topics: Apple, Samsung

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  • Android probably

    So I'll pass.
    Dreyer Smit
    • Right...what do you expect?

      Right, because it could've been iOS since they known to be so open?! And we all know how well WP8 is doing...
      • Either one would have doubled the cost.

        which would definitely make it uneconomical.
  • What a smart watch should be

    is a smart phone (obviously you'll need bluetooth to use it as a phone) for people who do not play Angry Birds or text or use social media 24/7.

    In other words, there's a lot a smart phone can do without a large screen. It can be a phone, a music hub, a storage device, a mobile hotspot for larger devices without 4G, a calendar, a weather forecaster, a camera, and many other things. For some people, this is all they need. For others, a tablet with WiFi and a smart watch with a voice and 4G plan is a better alternative than the tablet with WiFi and a smart phone they have now, or the phablet they have now.
    Michael Kelly
    • I doubt the first waves of smartwatches will have

      any cellular or WiFi. They'll require the wearer to have them paired to their smartphone for connectivity. For anyone who spends the vast majority of their time on their smartphone on the web, email, games, and sending txts they don't want to say aloud these devices will be pretty useless.
      Johnny Vegas
      • Actually there are few cheap Chinese junk

        that have Phone+Watch. And previously some of them ran on Windows Mobile when it was existing and currently most of them run on Java and have ability to run apps.

        Ram U
    • Texting can be done

      If we can get a virtual kbd displayed on the palm (no hair) where you can input data.
  • Dual core 1.5GHz processor?

    It is supposed to be a watch with little functionalities right? 1GB RAM and Dual core processor seems to be an overkill.

    Besides, this definitely won't require many apps. If Samsung introduces Tizen in this, THAT will have lots of effects. Since OS is not mentioned anywhere, we can make all guess until the end.
  • Apples decision to only make one phone a year

    is what took them out of the spec race and subsequently out of the market share race. They have foolishly repeated the same mistakes they made with pcs with their phones and tablets and given away markets where they had once dominated in the process.
    Johnny Vegas
    • @Johnny Vegas

      Apple might be out of spec race as well as market share race. Eventhough I hate them, I wouldn't call them foolish. They may not dominate the market with activation numbers but ironically they do dominate the market with maximum profit.

      They have an entire eco-system. They can lay low for even a year or two and still can bounce back.
      • You mean profit margin

        Samsung had a higher profit last quarter...I'm looking at phones here since that's seemingly what this comment is referring to as opposed to watches.
    • Apple caters to cash

      They are for the yuppy, who wants to be like everyone else and has disposable income. Its a brilliant strategy. If they change too often, people get frustrated. The two year contract only means missing one new phone and all the while they are spending money on apps that get them deeper into the Apple environment. I think everyone should learn from Apple on how to market an average, over-priced product with a good look to people who don't know what they are over-paying for. I wish I would have thought of it.
      A Gray
    • Where do you people pull these factoids from?

      Apple's iPhone owns 40+% of the US market. Samsung, around 23%. Thet may dominate elsewhere globally but that's a combination of pricing and availability.
    • Actually...well no...

      Two reality checks...
      Apple is 'now' by far the most profitable PC desktop/laptop maker...so who won the PC wars?
      ...and Apple 'never had a majority/dominant market share either in PCs.
      So really you are predicting Apple will win...in the end.
  • Battery life

    Does it come with built in hourly reminder to charge it?
    • No

      It comes with either a daily reminder to charge it or an hourly reminder to wind it. Your choice.
      Michael Kelly
  • I haven't

    worn a watch in year, but will seriously consider the Samsung once it comes out.
  • Do people still wear watches?

    except for few people, I am not seeing anyone these days especially those who are born and living in technology.
    Ram U
    • And the reason people don't wear watches?

      It's because they have their cell phones instead. Well what if you could wear your cell phone on your wrist like a watch instead of filling your pocket or needing a belt holster? Not everybody would do that, but a lot of people would. It's a lot easier to do simple stuff like tell the time or check the weather by pulling your wrist into view than it is to fish in your pocket or your holster for your phone.
      Michael Kelly