33 Comments

Summary:

Hungry for more details about Samsung’s Galaxy Gear smartwatch? Don’t be surprised when the actual product introduced Wednesday looks different from images circulating on Sunday.

Venturebeat caused a holiday weekend stir with what appeared to be pictures of Samsung’s Galaxy Gear smartwatch, which will be formally unveiled this Wednesday. However, the model of the watch reported on VentureBeat is a prototype that many developers have been able to access. Our sources tell us that Samsung has a different, more finished product that will be announced this coming week in simultaneous events in New York and Berlin, which is playing host to the IFA technology trade show.

Samsung Smartwatch UIThe source adds that the soon to be launched Samsung SmartWatch has no built in browser and uses the latest 4.3 version of Android, with keyboard features turned off. The watch comes with Bluetooth LE and that means it can work with phones that support Bluetooth LE, including the iPhone 5 and other Android devices. The watch can be used for phone calls as well.

The battery life on the prototypes is said to be around 24 hours with modest use, but more regular usage leads to a drastic drop in battery life, roughly to about 10 hours. In addition, our source adds that notifications are full screen, with icons on the top and two line text at the bottom. At the moment, Facebook and Twitter notifications aren’t working on the prototype devices. Everything else we have already reported in our post from last week, where we shared the details of the device.

So to recap what we know about the Galaxy Gear:

  • High quality OLED displays will show the full spectrum of colors.
  • The display will be around 2.5 inches diagonally (and 3 inches diagonally including the case.)
  • It will be powered by a dual core processor, probably a Samsung Exynos 4212 dual core 1.5GHz with Mali-400 MP4 GPU.
  • It has a camera and a microphone integrated into the strap and even tiny speakers.
  • It has Built in NFC and Bluetooth 4.0 LE
  • The Gear is powered by Android 4.3, with keyboard featured turned off.
  • The device won’t have a browser and will need the phone to tether to the Internet.
  • It will need a Samsung device with a watch-focused app store to install apps on the watch.
  • It has a built-in accelerometer and other sensors that will allow it to act has a quantified self device.
  • Expect battery power to be 24 hours with modest use, but around 10 hours with more active usage.

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  1. Om, What is your take on these types of smarter watches? Can they compete with dedicated health devices? Any killer use cases beyond notification and health? -Edwin

  2. “regular usage leads to a drastic drop in battery life, roughly to about 10 hours”

    We need some breakthroughs in battery technology.

    1. This just shows you how bad android is with battery usage. Can’t blame it on the screen. And no browser as well. This is Androids weak point probably because Apple has been focusing on efficiency while Android phones just throw in huge batteries.

      Not saying these watches are the future or anything, but technology is definitely shrinking in size and Apple may be set to lead the way yet again.

  3. >that means it can work with phone with Bluetooth LE, including the iPhone 5 and other Android devices.

    >It will need a Samsung device with a watch-focused app store to install apps on the watch.

    So… it CAN work with other devices, but you’d be wasting your money?

  4. Its huge, needs a samsung device…doesn’t seem very smart or serious

  5. Smartwatch Infos Monday, September 2, 2013

    Looking forward for this device.

  6. This is what you get from Samsung when they haven’t got Apple to copy.

    1. This is the kind of nonsensical comment you get when you are a brain dead parrot ignoring the facts, like the iPhone early designs bearing a Sony logo… Ah childish fanbois…

      1. There would be no Samsung stupidwatch if it weren’t for the rumor of an Apple stupidwatch. The whole idea is one whose time has not yet come, for the obvious reasons of the insufficiency of current battery technology and the still not perfectly reliable speech recognition capabilities of so-called ‘smart’ devices. You are both ‘fanbois’ and both utterly clueless.

        BTW, there was no “iPhone early design bearing a Sony logo”, but thanks for the laugh. Sometimes I don’t know what I’d do without the plethora of morons intruding into my life each day to brighten my mood.

        1. Do a tad bit more research. A watch called the MotoActv. A sports watch that runs a custom version of Android. In fact, you can put a custom rom on it to work as functional as most phones…and It’s been around for around two years.

    2. Frickin idiot they are copying apple thats why it only works with Samsung.

  7. Charles Rovira Monday, September 2, 2013

    So basically you had nothing to report and chose to go for page hits anyway. (BTW, that is one UGLY prototype watch.)

  8. Battery life is quite decent if we picture this as a mobile phone – certainly because we charge our mobile atleast once a day.

    However it is a watch and not a mobile replacement. Who will want to charge watch daily.. 10 hours battery life is too less for a watch.

  9. It looks like one of those Casio watches with the front facing calculators.
    Damm, where is Apple when you need a good design to copy?????
    Well done Samsung. Another well thought out product to leave the user feeling like they just got stung again.

    1. No one know what the finished product looks like. It looks like Samsung is doing what Apple used to do when they introduced a new product — building up anticipation for the tech geeks. Hey, that’s capitalism you know??!!

      I’ve seen some tech data and the screen supposed to be a curvature as they are using new ways to form ultra fine resolution screens now, I wouldn’t be surprised if it’s flexible also. Regarding the functionality, well, if they were able to squeeze in some decent hardware into the thing, it’s up the developers introduce some cool apps, only the skies the limit I guess.

      Very exciting!

  10. What is the advantage of having this instead of of smart phone?

    1. Jeremy Hymes-Balsley Larry Gen Monday, September 2, 2013

      None at all. The smartwatch will not function without a smartphone (or if it does, it’ll be a dumb-watch — see Sony’s first Smartwatch for an idea of how this works.)

      Don’t think of this as its own stand-alone device. It’s not. Instead, think of it as a second, smaller screen for your phone. Incoming call? Instead of fishing out your phone, you can glance at your smartwatch. Text? Read it right on the watch. Same with facebook alerts and tweets. This is a slightly less ‘in your face’ version of Google Glass, but in the end it has the same purpose — moving data off your phone and to something that (some of) us will find more convenient.

      1. seems like a completely useless product. i mean how hard is it to look at your phone for a call? the only reason to get this i think is instead of a fitbit, Jawbone since if it does what those do plus the other things, if it’s comparably proced it would seem to be better to get that.

        i don’t find the smartphone to be inconvenient for calls etc… if you use it as a phone will it have to be on speaker?

        i guess we all wait and see, but there are others out there like that and they all seem pointless to me.

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