Samsung Galaxy Gear smartwatch officially announced


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Samsung Galaxy Gear 6 colors side

Today, at their Unpacked 2014 event in Berlin, Samsung has finally revealed the smart watch we’ve been hearing so much about — the Samsung Galaxy Gear. Touted as the “true companion for the Note”, the device works seamlessly with the Galaxy Note 3 and Note 3 only at the moment, although compatibility for other Galaxy devices (like the Galaxy S4) was mentioned as being offered in the future (we assume it’ll also act as a standard Bluetooth device for non-Galaxy devices as well).

Almost like Google Glass for your wrist, the Galaxy Gear features a simplified Android UI, 1.63-inch 320×320 SAMOLED display, voice actions via S Voice, a 1.9MP camera with 720p video recording, speaker and 2 microphones (1 for noise cancelling) built right into the wrist strap, 4GB internal storage, Bluetooth 4.0 LE, and its own tailored-made applications.

Samsung says the device will squeeze out 24+ hours of battery life and will be available in 6 different colors this October in US and Japan at around $300, with the rest of the world getting access to the device as early as September 25th. Full press release below.

Berlin, Germany – September 4, 2013 – Samsung Electronics Co., Ltd. today introduced the GALAXY Gear, a perfect companion device that further integrates the Samsung GALAXY experience into everyday life. Samsung GALAXY Gear combines smart device connectivity, tailored technological features, and stylish design as a single premium accessory.
“Samsung’s ongoing smart device innovation leadership reflects our commitment to listen to our consumers, who want their daily lives to be easier and more enjoyable. Samsung GALAXY Gear benefits consumers by integrating smart device technology even deeper into their everyday lives, and bridges the gap between the mobile device and fashion worlds to create truly wearable technology,” said JK Shin, CEO and President of IT & Mobile Division, Samsung Electronics. “Samsung GALAXY Gear frees users from the need to constantly check their smart devices while maintaining connections. It provides what we call ‘smart freedom,’ by allowing users to choose how, why, when and where they are connected.”
Experience new mobile communications freedoms
Samsung GALAXY Gear lets users to live in the moment while staying connected to their Samsung GALAXY devices. It notifies users of incoming messages, such as calls, texts, emails and alerts, delivers a preview of those messages and creates the opportunity for users to accept or discreetly ignore those messages. When an incoming message requires more than a quick glance, users can simply pick up their Samsung GALAXY devices and the Smart Relay feature will instantly reveal the full content on the screen.
Voice operation
The built-in speaker allows users to conduct hands-free calls directly from the Gear, maintaining connections to their mobile communications without disrupting their daily routines. For example, a user leaving the grocery store, whose hands are full with shopping bags, could still make a call by speaking into the GALAXY Gear without touching the screen. Users can also draft messages, create new calendar entries, set alarms, and check the weather on the GALAXY Gear with S Voice.
Capture daily life from your wrist
In addition to enabling smart device controls, Samsung GALAXY Gear introduces several features that help users easily capture life’s meaningful moments which otherwise might be missed. With the  Memographer feature, a 1.9 Megapixel camera, users who are on the move or participating in physical activities can record both photos and video to create quick, visual records of important information or events from their daily lives, as well as share them on their social networks. Extending the quick-record concept, Voice Memo lets users capture important thoughts or conversations from their wrists and save those voice recordings into texts on their Samsung GALAXY devices.
A growing list of controls for favorite features
With the GALAXY Gear, users gain a wide range of favorite features that further increase the benefits of this new accessory. New security enhancement Auto Lock automatically secures the companion smartphone screen any time that GALAXY Gear is more than 1.5 meters away from the smartphone, and then unlocks the smartphone when the companion devices are near each other again. Find My Device helps users find the location of their smart devices when they have been misplaced by making them beep, illuminate and vibrate. With Samsung GALAXY Gear, users can also control the music played on their Samsung GALAXY devices. As with traditional music players, it helps users browse, play and pause songs even when their smart device is not within reach. Finally, the GALAXY Gear also works like a Pedometer to track physical activity via enhanced, built-in sensor technology. This feature systematically and automatically monitors users so they can track key personal data such as calories burned, steps taken and distance covered.
Standalone Watch and Iconic Fashion Accessory
Samsung GALAXY Gear embodies understated elegance. Its refined design, executed in, high-quality finishes, conjures images of luxury jewelry while still being understated enough to go well with any outfit. A rounded and simple flowing form wraps around the body, integrating with the user’s personal environment, and maintaining comfort at all times. The GALAXY Gear also serves as a wristwatch and includes several face options that create the opportunity for users to personalize their watch face. It will come preloaded with 10 different clock options and more choices will be downloadable via Samsung Apps. The GALAXY Gear experience can be further personalized by selecting from six colors that will be available at launch: Jet Black, Mocha Gray, Wild Orange, Oatmeal Beige, Rose Gold, and Lime Green.
Samsung GALAXY Gear will be launched with the GALAXY Note 3 in more than 140 countries around the world starting from September 25.
Chris Chavez
I've been obsessed with consumer technology for about as long as I can remember, be it video games, photography, or mobile devices. If you can plug it in, I have to own it. Preparing for the day when Android finally becomes self-aware and I get to welcome our new robot overlords.

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  1. Little bit better look than the leak prototype, but still failure and ugly. I’ll hold off until the flexible display version. This one is a big NO for me.

  2. uglyyyyyyy!

  3. uglyyyyy!

  4. Why is Samsung holding out on the flexible display technology? This is what could make them untouchable by Apple yet nothing. If they are smart.this should work across all devices, even iOS, but I don’t think they are that smart. Google on the other hand is.

    1. Better release the tech when it’s ready than rush it out to beat folks.

      1. and this watch is freakin awesome the more they show us what it offers.

        1. It’s not a bad looking watch. I’ve worn this Casio Pathfinder watch for years so size doesn’t bother me.

          1. Size is not something to worry about if it functions properly. I can’t see myself parting ways with solar power for my watch though. This one has been with me literally all over the globe in some hostile environments.

    2. Don’t you think they are holding it out for Apple’s benefit? When Apple is ready, Sammy will be the first one to offer their manufacturing lines. Because despite their [Samsung’s] best efforts, Apple can design something like this better.
      And I’m not an Apple sympathizer either.

      1. They were having a hard time mass producing flexable displays

  5. If that is a metalic housing then it’s going to be a home run! Unisex is key here and then let the watch band make it feminine or masculine.

  6. Where is this dude, who yelled all the time, that the leaked image some days ago was a prototype and the final product will look awesome…well…fail…
    This thing looks horrible, especially these screws. And this grey bezel…no Samsung, just no!

    1. Screws are actually a feature of many expensive “sport” watches, to give them the rugged, strong look.

      I personally don’t buy into Steve Jobs “screws must be hidden” mantra – as it also makes things really hard to repair.

      1. I really dont care for bolts or not,Galaxy gear watch looks amazing. And these online bloggers agree. The verge calling it a smartwatch like no other etc.

        1. Yeah, simpleas, you are that guy! Are you sponsored by Samsung or something?

          Wozn2 – now compare these watches to the toy above. I don’t say “hide the screws” or follow a mantra, but they don’t work on this device. I don’t like any of Samsungs designs, but this is by far the most ulgy one of their portfolio.

      2. And all those watches look damn ugly as well.

  7. Looks like the best smartwatch to get atm. Too bad it’s not bendy. Looks much better than the prototype atleast lol.

  8. Oh crap, I just threw up after seeing this ugly watch. LOL

  9. Wonder how real that 25-hour life turns out to be.

    1. Even with half that, it’s leaps and bounds better than Google Glass’ 5 hours. Lol

      1. Oh snap, that’s right. Forgot about the battery on Glass.

  10. Fail…

  11. The real version looks better in the video and in the picture above. If the price is right, i’ll probably get one.

  12. Verge ” smart watch like no other” heuheuhue

  13. I can see a lot of uses for a watch that I can bring running, or to the pool and have a gps running app, spotify, is water proof, and can get important calls and texts, but what’s the point if I have to drag my phone with me. When is someone going to make one I can just slide my sim into when I need to leave my phone at home?

    1. Yeah, I’d even be happy if it had all the stand alone and sync’d once in range with my phone again, but it needs the 3d accelerometer/gps built in for sure. I’m also at this point all about the E-ink because in my experience the battery life is a lot better and the screens have been more durable. I currently use a Nike+GPS and fitbit for tracking. The Nike is water resistant, but not proof and it requires usb to sync (plus their format of tracking is proprietary, so it takes some hassle to get it to anything other than Nike’s site). It also doesn’t track multiple sports. TomTom branched off and made their MultiSport, which is of similar design and gives you more sports and waterproof with standard GPX type files, but there’s no “gadget-y” type features. I like the HOT watch for their features on that side, but they are missing the sport ones. I did buy into the Kickstarter with the hope they’ll have a decent amount of success and come out with a sport edition later and have the capital to do so. I also want the sensors I’ve got on my Basis B1, which I rarely wear, since the screen is atrocious to view when you’re used to E-Ink. Also, sadly…the HRM is not 100% of the time, which would be nice. Mio does that, but doesn’t have the other sensors. I haven’t found any wrist device that has been accurate on the pedometer front, but I hear Fitbit flex is decent. I just got my sister one for her bday today, so I am interested to see how she likes that. Anyway… I second the motion for a smart watch for sports that is independently functional. It’s long overdue and plenty of people that are sports/adventurists would drop some coin for that.

  14. make it water proof and it would be ideal …now let’s see what sony has and it will determine it for me

  15. Zero interest in any kind of watch (unless it gave free BJs).

    1. That would make for a really big hole on the watch itself, or small , depending on who we’re talking about. Hopefully body fluid proof, if you know what i mean, lol.

      1. I don’t get what you mean. Can you explain it, please?

        1. Really, you don’t get it. I hope you are only saying that hoping he would explain.

        2. Beautiful Jellybeans
          Bionic Jello
          Baby Jamboree

      2. Re-sizable holes.

  16. Another Android website said this is ONLY compatible with other Galaxy and Samsung devices. Why the discrepancy and what is the truth here. If it is ONLY compatible with other Samsung devices then it is truly a fail for Samsung.

    1. Hmm… It works the best with Samsung devices. I’m assuming the companion apps will have the most compatibility with Samsung devices. I’m assuming the same app will work on other phones, but if that app doesn’t work, then you can’t really use it for the watch.

      I’m also assuming the watch will come with standard SmartWatch functionality, but if you want to use the extended features without fail, you may need a Galaxy device. Just so you can use the companion apps without fail.

      Companion apps would be apps that integrate the functions of the watch with your phone.

  17. I think it looks great.

  18. With bluetooth on my phone will last about 6 hours. So I will have to charge it 4 times to keep the watch linked to it

    1. You must don’t know the power saving ability of bluetooth 4.0. And Android 4.3 adds bluetooth power saving functions. It was one of those features that people looked over. So unless you have an older phone, you shouldn’t worry about leaving bluetooth on.

  19. Lol you would have to have a huge wrist to make that look good

    1. Did you watch the unveiling? The guys that were wearing them were not large in stature and I was surprised by how good they actually looked.
      They definitely look chunky in the photos but they looked good on the stage today!

  20. Take my money!

  21. looks like junk honestly…

  22. Way too much money when you can likely buy the next Nexus smartphone for the same price. Sorry Samsung, your watch isn’t worth as much as a full on phone. Also reduce the price by even more for having to tolerate s voice

    1. damn cheapass… good luck strapping the nexus smartphones on your wrist. this is pretty much the best smartwatch one can purchase atm. did you even see the stuff it can do. I prolly won’t get it tho because I don’t really need it and I want a bendy one if any.

      1. okay so I am a cheapass for recognizing that this is horrendously overpriced for what it is?

        How about this, you go buy it and I will wait for the multitude of other likely better ones to come out in a few months for less money. Then I will check back. The intention wasn’t to strap the phone to your wrist, it was a comparison of value and this falls short. The only reason I am even looking at these is for running so I don’t need an armband for my phone anymore.

  23. What an amazing amalgamation of technology and beauty.

    1. Ooo!! I like that word. Let me go understand its meaning.

  24. I think it looks surprisingly good. I also like that I could answer calls without pulling my phone out. BUT $300 for this is definitely going to prevent me from getting one…

  25. It has a camera. Does this mean I could Skype from a watch? I live in the future!

    1. not when the camera is on the wrist strap

  26. This Gear should be priced 149-199. Now Samsung is no naive, next year with Apple joining the game this niche is gonna get much more interesting. Who will be the first to have the curved display?? Hmm….. I’m happy enough upgrading my Note II to a Note III this year. :D

  27. I like it! but not for $300.

    1. $300 does sound a bit much. New Smartwatch or down payment on new phone? Like I shouldn’t be making that decision. LoL!!

  28. Initial thoughts, this watch looks nice but I can’t see myself parting with solar power for my time piece. This Pathfinder has been serving me well for 7 years. Literally all over the globe in some very hostile environments.

    Edit: Couldn’t delete the first reply to myself earlier. Took this image just now.

    1. Why is your radio synchronization not working?

      1. It syncs at midnight and 2 am. The glass has held up very well too.

        1. I know, but it’s showing no bars! Mine is also holding up very well, even after snorkling with it on numerous occasions.

          1. Dunno, but I do see it syncing at night. Thing’s a tank isn’t it? You got the same model?

          2. Yes, identical. If you have no bars it’ll look as if it’s synching but won’t. I bought it for travelling because of the excellent time zone functions, but ended up wearing it all the time. Haven’t worn my piece of crap Breitling since. If every gadget worked as well as Casio watches, the world would be a much happier place!

          3. I’ll have to monitor it but so far it’s functioning properly as far as time keeping goes.

            I didn’t pay the full $400 price for it, got it on sale but I forget for how much.

          4. Me too. I paid about $130 I think. I’ve had it for about 3 years and it’s still pretty much unmarked. The radio sync function is supposed to work pretty much anywhere in the world, but I rarely get any bars when I’m in the UK.

          5. Here it is!

          6. Nice! Man, yours is in much better condition than mine. I’ve taken this bad boy to many, many trips to the Middle East, South America, bits of Europe and all over the states.

            If Samsung ever made a watch this tough I’d consider replacing the Pathfinder but I doubt that will ever happen. These things could survive in almost anything. You can tell from batt life I haven’t been spending much time in direct sunlight in a while. Hehe…

            Edit: My full signal bars are back by the way. Dunno why they disappeared when I was taking that first image.

    2. a true survivalist

      1. Nothing wrong with being prepared…

  29. for 300 bones it needs to have at least 1-year battery life and also cook rice

    1. Not to mention a 128 gb ssd.

  30. I hope Samsung didn’t give Apple the opportunity to patent curve flexible display watch. Otherwise, I smell copycat, and law suits, that would be lame.

    1. The world already knows Samsung is working on flexible display. Apple wouldn’t dream claiming that, or they’ll be seen as the ULTIMATE copiers.

  31. The only problem I have with Samsung is their lack of creating a platform. Google says check this out and then says you can do this to(or they have until Chromecast). Did they announce a Galaxy Gear App store? If the things they do don’t lead to open innovation then the excitement will die down pretty quick.

    1. They do have an app store. If the api and dev platform is well done then we will be hearing about the GG a lot in the future.

  32. An ugly miniature phone screen you strap to your wrist and have to charge every day. Major Fail!

  33. Lol lots of dislikes but come on it looks cheap … If you are a business professional you can’t wear that with a suit… Now kid on geek squad sure they may wear it… But $300 it looks like a $9.99 walmart special…. Samsung is starting to get fanboys where every turd is a diamond… Sounds familiar… Cough (Apple)

  34. I wouldn’t be surprised if it actually won’t last through a whole day even though they say it will that would be annoying having to charge this everyday when the note 3 will last 2-3 days between charges. The qualcomm smart watch looks better and lasts 3-5 days between charges.

  35. Next will headlines will be what widget should I wear today

  36. The next big flop! $300 for that?! no thank you. don’t look remotely fashionable either

  37. What a stupid idea. If the watch only works properly with specific models rather than all android devices then it doesn’t look promising for the future. When the Note 4 is released will there be a new companion watch that you will need to buy?

  38. just came back from the Apple ball-gargling website ZDNET where apparently the Gear looks just like an, and i quote, “an iPod nano with a strap”….where apparently Google is “trying to take Android mainstream” with the KitKat branding like Android isn’t ALREADY on 1 BILLION devices and on pace to be even more ubiquitous an OS than Windows in a few short years or less…where they are using the reaction to the fake leaked picture of a micro Galaxy S on a wrist to belittle the ACTUAL device…

    Oh…at least they did admit that the ACTUAL device is thinner than the fake leak…because, you know, you can definitely guage the thinness of a device from a top view picture…

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