Samsung has always been criticized for following and copying the ideas imagined by other companies. Be it the Samsung Galaxy S, which was considered as a blatant copy of Apple’s iPhone series or other devices, which seems to be mostly inspired by other companies. But, this IFA (International Funkausstellung Berlin) in Berlin, Samsung gave a pleasant surprise to its users and competitors with the unveiling of Galaxy Gear.
The device puts it at the forefront of the technology industry as smart watches are often thought of as future, but barring few companies; no one has dared to venture into this territory. Interestingly, Samsung is not calling the Gear as a smartwatch, but a lifestyle device is acting as a companion to the smartphones.
Galaxy Gear seems like a normal wristwatch with the metallic frame at the front and a metal clasp at the back. Due to various electronics, it’s certainly heavier at 73.8 g. It’s having a 1.63 inches AMOLED touchscreen with a resolution of 320 x 320 pixels and underneath has an 800 MHz processor. Regarding memory, it has 4 GB inbuilt storage and a 512 MB RAM. The battery of 315 mAh gives it a life of almost a day at 25 hours.
It also has a speaker and two microphones at its frame, while there’s a camera of 1.9 MP at the strap. The camera is capable of capturing images as well as 720p video. It also has accelerometer and gyroscope sensors, and Bluetooth 4.0 LE (Low Energy) for connectivity.
Galaxy Gear is capable of reading notifications like messages, emails, etc. which come to the mobile device. Thus, users can read them instantly without taking out the device from the pocket. If the message is long, then the Smart Relay feature opens the message in the device, as soon as the user removes it from the pocket. Interestingly, the Gear can also be used to make or receive calls with the help of speakers and mic.
For making a call, users can use the S Voice by speaking the name of the person. Memographer functionality allows users to take images/ videos with the help of 1.9 MP autofocus camera. It can also play music from the device remotely. Users can also install various productivity, fitness and social apps in the Gear such as Evernote, Path, MyFitnessPal, Pocket, RunKeeper, etc.
This is perhaps the most important question for anyone thinking of purchasing the Galaxy Gear. Currently, the Gear supports Galaxy Note 3 and Galaxy Note 10.1 (2014 edition), which were released along with it at IFA. Reason being, both of them runs on Android 4.3 and Bluetooth 4.0 LE.
Now you must be wondering what Bluetooth 4.0 LE is and what it has to do with Android 4.3. The Bluetooth as you know is a mechanism for communication between two devices for file transfer, song playing or calling on the headset, etc. The LE stands for Low Energy, which ensures that the Bluetooth drains less battery from the device to maintain the communication. This results in significant improvement in battery life. This is hardware part, and that’s where software comes into the role since Google added Bluetooth 4.0 LE support in Android 4.3 only.
According to Samsung, the Android 4.3 will be coming soon to Note 2, Galaxy S3 and Galaxy S4 soon and since they already have Bluetooth 4.0 LE support, so they will be compatible with Galaxy Gear. This means technically; the Gear can support another device with Android 4.3 and Bluetooth 4.0 LE support.
However, at the time of launch, Samsung did not comment about this possibility as it seems that it wants it, users, to stay within Samsung ecosystem.