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Samsung’s Galaxy Gear smartwatch seen ahead of launch

by Mark Tyson on 2 September 2013, 11:15

Tags: Samsung (005935.KS), Google (NASDAQ:GOOG), PC

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A prototype of the Samsung Galaxy Gear smartwatch was revealed, from several angles, in a video shown to reporters at VentureBeat this weekend. Samsung’s smartwatch is expected to be first seen officially on Wednesday, in a pre-IFA reveal event. VentureBeat says that the example it has seen will be purposely different from the final version due to Samsung secrecy policy, “But it won’t be far off”.

The images, like you can see above, were taken from a video showing the Galaxy Gear in action. The video was developed by an independent team working for Samsung. Apparently the smartwatch, which looks like a Samsung Galaxy smartphone slab has been put under a shrink-ray and then strapped on, will feature many functions of interest to health, activity and fitness fans.

Hardware specs of the watch include the following:

  • Square OLED display
  • 3-inch diagonal watch face
  • “not heavy”
  • Bluetooth, Wi-Fi
  • 4 megapixel camera
  • Sensors for heart rate, a pedometer, temperature and others
  • 10+ hour battery life
  • Side slide buttons

The hardware specs don’t give a lot away but VentureBeat also had a good look at the software and functionality of this prototype Galaxy Gear smartwatch. The Android based device features S Voice commands, various health monitor apps, Galaxy phone integration, swipe and press interface buttons on either side of the watch face and social media integration.

The always available voice and camera functionality are reminiscent of the Google Glass spectacles and the swipe/stroking of the sides to control it sound familiar too. The targeting of sports and health/activity type activities may or may not work out for Samsung with this device.

I hope the pre-IFA reveal of the finished Galaxy Gear smartwatch will be curved around the wrist like in the Samsung patents shown on VentureBeat, see below, rather than this slab on a strap. It’s not long until we find out.

HEXUS Forums :: 6 Comments

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I used to like the idea of a device fitted to the wrist, but now think the ergonomics of a full sized device will prove to be too prohibitive - maybe this smartwatch will have the answers?
Looks like someone from Samsung has taken an old Galaxy Ace or equivalent and just stuck it in a fancy strap (plus added some sensors). Not very impressive.
I wonder what people said when the pocket watch was shrunk to wrist proportions! How could something so large and ungainly ever be warn on ones wrist etc.

That said, no way in hell I'd buy one of these :D
Targeting health and fitness fans with this device seems logical, if the price is right I can see it sell ok.
Am I missing something? 10 hour+ battery life? So they expect you to charge your watch twice a day? I know its got plenty of gadgets and sensors going on but thats pointless if you can't get a days life out of it.