Samsung executive says the Galaxy Gear “lacks something special”, and I agree

Samsung Galaxy Gear 6 colors side

I have said it time and again: the smartwatch market is a sleeping giant, simply waiting for the manufacturer who will do it right. Naturally, we assume that a large manufacturer like Samsung (or Apple) would have the most chances – given their resources and expertise. This was simply not the case for Samsung’s Galaxy Gear, though, a smartwatch that failed to impress me one bit (see our hands-on for more).

I am not alone when it comes to this stance. In fact, a Samsung executive is said to agree with me! The executive decided to stay anonymous (of course), but the source is reliable.

“We’ve acknowledged that our Gear lacks something special. With more investment for user interface and user experience, Samsung devices will be better in terms of customer satisfaction.”

Samsung Galaxy Gear 2There are many issues with the Galaxy Gear, and this comes from a person who is “overly excited” about smartwatches (just ask other Phandroid bloggers). First and foremost, the device is only compatible with Samsung devices; Android 4.3 Samsung devices, at that.

This means that it is Only compatible with the Galaxy Note 3 and Galaxy Note 10.1 for now. This is simply ridiculous! We know Samsung holds most of the Android marketshare, but that continues to be one huge “if”.

One good thing about Samsung’s name is partnerships, though. The device is set to launch with 70 apps, a number you can’t ignore when it comes to smartwatch support. But that is about the only cool thing about the Galaxy Gear. The camera is not necessary, the 315 mAh battery will give you a full day of battery life at best and the 1.63 inch LED display is bad for daylight use.

Toq-8At this point, I am putting all my attention on the Qualcomm Toq. The company no one ever expected to make a smartwatch totally left Samsung in the dust… Samsung! The Toq will feature a Mirasol display, 2-3 days of battery life, wireless charging, bundled bluetooth headphones, and more. It simply seems to be much better planned for good everyday use.

What do you guys think? Which smartwatch are you putting your money on? How could Samsung improve the Galaxy Gear? You can see our comparison post to see how the smartwatch competition is going!

[Engadget]

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  • Tony Lai

    It’s known that the first generation of anything that Samsung puts out is gonna be disastrous… That’s why buy Galaxy Gear 2 smart watch from Samsung, not the Galaxy Gear 1.

  • Hrethgir

    Samsung limiting the gear to only Galaxy devices is just stupid. I have a GS3, which isn’t compatible, but even if it was, I’m not paying $300 for a smartwatch that only works with one certain brand when I have no idea if my next phone will be compatible with it. Make it open to work with everything if you want to take this market.

  • JRomeo

    Here’s what will happen…….. the same way Google releases Nexus phones to be an example to others who aren’t up to par. Google will release a smartwatch which will be a shining example to everybody else. And then Apple will make one, and they’ll claim innovation and that they were the first to come out with a smartwatch, and sue every other smartwatch creator because they’ve patented a display worn with a band around the wrist.

    • scoter man1

      Bro, don’t give them any ideas!

    • ari_free

      Problem for Apple is that they’ll need a big fat fingerprint scanner in order to unlock your watch

  • scoter man1

    Well, I have no interest in these watches personally, but if it’s going to get done right, I think it’s going to have to be an e-ink style screen. That’s the only way it’ll last a few days. It also has to be cheap.

  • oldtaku

    I’m sticking with the Pebble semismartwatch till I see anything better actually available to buy.

    • reznorfan0

      this. I love my pebble. The toq looks fine, but I don’t see what it is offering that the pebble doesn’t have. Multi-day charge, universal compatibility (even iphone), decent (not great) support community, waterproof, it actually looks like a (dorky) watch and not a gaudy mini-smart phone screen on your wrist. I don’t know why the pebble always get’s only an honorable mention in these articles. Right now at $150 it’s easily the best smart-watch available.

      Jeez, you can have bouncing boobies as your watch face, that alone….

      • simpleas

        you guys are blind if you think pebble is better. im sorry

        • oldtaku

          It absolutely IS better because it’s on my wrist and it works perfectly, and it has been doing that for over six months.

          As soon as you can say that about a Toq or a Galaxy Gear, then we’ll talk. And I might even switch. But you really need to consider the difference between ‘actually exists, has been out in the field, can be bought, and works great’ vs pre-launch hype. Your future watch is always going to be better.

          • simpleas

            so if something works over 6 months it’s perfect? rofl.. The gear is light years ahead of what the pebble can do with it’s ugly body and screen. the only thing the gear need is a better batteries but that’s not easy considering what it is capable of. Other than that, this is really an amazing product, that we could only dream of in the early 80s

          • oldtaku

            The Gear doesn’t exist as a product. I CAN’T BUY IT. When I can buy it maybe I will.

            The only ‘rofl’ thing here is how pathetically invested you are in some theoretical new hardware from a giant corporation as compared to an actual working, tested, debugged product. The Pebble isn’t perfect because it’s been working for six months (it has issues), but it is better than the Gear RIGHT NOW because it has been working great for six months and the Gear has been working for negative months. You guys who are always fixated on the next thing which will fix all your problems miss the tradeoffs.

  • zifnab

    I think they really need to work on how fashionable these are. Figure out the style of watch that sells most and make one that looks similar. A rubber band with a plastic face isn’t really going to attract the type of people who would throw money at one of these things, and they just don’t do enough for those who don’t have the money to bother.

  • ac

    I just wish Qualcomm would actually consider bringing the Toq to market. Totally agree with you Edgar. After your quick article about it, I was totally sold on that compared to the Gear. I’ll be getting my Note 3 without the Gear next week.

  • Chris McKeever

    I’ll stick with my Movado for my watch and my Samsung Note as my phone.I still don’t see the good in smart watches. Only time will tell I suppose.

  • Gideon Waxfarb

    Not really sure what the appeal of these watches are myself. If you’re glancing at your phone so many times during the day that wearing a smartwatch actually sounds convenient, you’re probably too distracted by your phone.

    • Wozn2

      Vibrating alert on my wrist would be much harder to miss that on my phone in my pocket. Beyond that, I agree there is limited appeal.

  • simpleas

    lets be honest here, these are some awesome watches

  • RoboCop

    Bought a Pebble…and returned it about 30 mins later. It feels cheap, barely does anything, notifications don’t let you respond, the music player auto plays without letting you shuffle through before selecting a song, the buttons force an awkward two finger weird angle to clear things off, there are no apps, etc. “only Samsung devices” isn’t like if it was “only HTC devices”, you’re talking about the biggest phone company in the world and the most Android devices out there. Waiting until November for the S3 to get compatibility also means time to get more apps and refinement. And hopefully a reduction to $200…cuz for $50 more than the pebble this wins hands down.

  • http://www.androidshqip.net/ #G.M.

    Remember guys, when the Apple will announce their iSmartwatch it will have more sales and advertisements even if its not better than Samsung Gear.

    • Diet Dr. Phat [17,000+ posts]

      I’m sure tech site will be swooning and hyping up the mediocre product

    • ari_free

      And nobody will complain that it only works with Apple. But if Samsung limits to Samsung ohmigosh what is the world coming to????

      • http://www.androidshqip.net/ #G.M.

        yes because no one dears to accuse Apple for stealing ideas or limited noob devices.

  • Alu Zeros

    It’s probably why Apple hasn’t come out with out, battery life for what they would like for user experience is just not there yet.

  • schlanz

    There won’t be a successful smartwatch until there is a manufacturer who understands it needs to look and feel like a watch first, and a smart device second.

    Just give us something traditional and classy looking/feeling that supports notifications. We don’t need to take pictures with it. We don’t need to be able to respond to emails with it.

    Watches are still merely an accessory used to quickly check the time even though we can get that information somewhere within reach in a flash. But really, it’s mostly just an accessory. We like how it looks on us.

    One of the best things about the new Moto phones is the active display. Seeing our notifications with just slightly easier access is quite nice. It’s in my humble opinion that is just about all we would need in a smartwatch to see it become a mainstream success in the wrist watch industry.

  • Charles Humphries

    The “source” was a engadget, who clarified it was quoting a Korean business newspaper – which declined to comment on its source. shady…