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

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?
Written by Jason D. O'Grady, Contributor
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. 

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