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Samsung Galaxy Gear

Samsung’s newest entry into the smartwatch market, the Galaxy Gear, is now available and is pretty unique from anything you’ve ever seen. Yes, the Galaxy Gear is a smartphone accessory that can receive notifications, manage music playback, and tell the time with a wide range of watch faces. However, Samsung goes a step further by integrating a 1.9-megapixel camera, a speaker, and two microphones, allowing you to record 720p videos and even make phone calls using the Galaxy Gear.

The Galaxy Gear needs on a Bluetooth connection to your Samsung Galaxy handset to do the majority of its linked tasks, making it important to note that it is not a phone in and of itself. The Gear will operate with the recently unveiled Galaxy Note 3 and Galaxy Note 10.1 2014 version when it goes on sale later this month, and software upgrades are being developed to add compatibility with the Galaxy S4, Galaxy S III, and Galaxy Note II as well. 

Depending on the local carriers, the updated software should start to roll out in October. Given that Android 4.3, which supports Bluetooth Low Energy, runs on Samsung’s new Galaxy slates, the company may have just given away when its older Galaxy handsets will receive the 4.3 update. The Korean maker also says the bands are more ergonomic, but when I tried them on, I discovered that they were less flexible and supple than the Pebble’s strap. The Galaxy Gear is also considerably bigger than the Pebble due to all of its additional incorporated technology, despite Samsung’s claim that the watch is lighter than it appears.

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The Galaxy Gear is a feature-rich device, as is customary for Samsung. The quantity of compatible apps is what’s most astounding, however basic onboard apps like a pedometer and the ability to find your Galaxy (or, conversely, an option to discover your Gear via your Galaxy handset) are also included. Samsung claims there are over 70 options available, and I found some well-known names like Pocket, Path, Evernote, RunKeeper, and Runtastic Pro. These can all be added using the Galaxy Gear Manager app on your phone. Although it is also accessible through the Gear, Samsung’s S Voice was not specifically mentioned in the company’s presentation. 

My enthusiasm for the new Gear is tempered by a few serious drawbacks. The user interface’s speed and intuitiveness, or rather lack thereof, are of the utmost importance. Everything you do with the Gear lags noticeably, and depending on where you are in the menus, the swipe gestures have varied functions. 

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Furthermore, the speaker incorporated into the buckle is excessively quiet, making the old sci-fi activity of making a phone call using your watch only possible in quiet settings. It also doesn’t play back any music; rather, it only regulates output on your linked device. But more than anything, I struggle to find a need for investing the $299 asking price on a gadget like the Galaxy Gear. Like all other smartwatches, it is overly reliant on its parent device for functionality, which adds to the cost. It also fails to live up to the “smart” portion of its moniker.

The Galaxy Gear’s battery life is also crucial. Although it communicates using Bluetooth 4.0 Low Energy, its battery, at 315mAh, is rather modest. Samsung advertises “about a day” of battery life for the Gear, but by the time we finished our briefing with the firm, most of its demo units’ cameras had stopped working because the watches were running low on juice.

ALSO READ  Samsung Galaxy Gear S: What you need to know.

On the other side, the Galaxy Gear’s camera takes surprisingly good photographs, and there is 4GB of internal storage for them if you aren’t near your smartphone. Although you won’t be able to take any unlawful spy photos because Samsung purposefully made it hard to turn off the shutter release sound, the camera is still a lot of fun to fiddle with. 

The Galaxy Gear may surely be enjoyed if you think of it as a toy and a humorous accessory, but Samsung isn’t pricing it as such a product. The Galaxy Gear will go on sale for $299 in the US in early October after launching globally in late September.

Kwesi Afful
Kwesi Affulhttps://fifty7tech.com
Jefferson Paa Kwesi Afful, known professionally as Kwesi Afful, is a Ghanaian celebrity / Tech blogger, freelance journalist and an inspirational writer. He holds a degree in B.A Communication Studies from the Ghana Institute of Journalism. Kwesi Afful is the 2019 C-Base Awards Blogger of the year.

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