Momentum is building prior to the huge Berlin IFA event in less than two weeks with details leaking of expected new devices. Atop that list is an anticipated smartwatch from Samsung called the Galaxy Gear. It’s expected the watch introduction will take place on September 4, with GigaOM sources suggesting a joint debut event in Berlin and New York City.
It’s widely known at this point that Samsung requested a trademark for Galaxy Gear, with the filing showing a bendable display for the wrist. But the product that’s expected to launch won’t quite look like that. Instead, a standard display with 320 x 320 resolution will be the Galaxy Gear’s touchable face. A dual-core processor will power the smartwatch which is built upon a recent version of Android.
Like most other available smartwatches, the Galaxy Gear will pair to a smartphone over Bluetooth. Unlike most other smartwatches though, it won’t work with just any Android phone. Instead, Samsung’s software is expected to come directly from the company and not Google Play, meaning it will likely be a product that works only with Samsung phones. That’s disappointing and reminds me of the Motorola MotoACTV: Motorola kept that exclusive to its phones but realized that would stifle sales of the watch. It later provided its app for other Android phones.
Don’t expect to make calls on the Galaxy Gear: You’ll still need your smartphone for that. But you’ll likely be able to see incoming caller ID information as well as notifications from your phone. The watch could function as a Bluetooth speakerphone as sources say speakers will be included on the watch, as well as a camera.
While I’m looking forward to seeing if the Galaxy Gear can best my MotoACTV, I think Google itself has the best chance of a making a solid Android smartwatch. Why? Because context is king and Google Now could provide the basis for an outstanding contextual device on the wrist.
Context is also part of why the Moto X is an appealing device and after weeks of anticipation, the phone went on sale this week at AT&T stores. Not an AT&T customer or you want a contract-free, unlocked phone? You won’t be waiting long if Punit Soni, VP, Product Management at Motorola Mobility has anything to say about it. On his Google+ page Friday, Soni said the Moto X would be available on other carriers, as well as in developer editions, “in days”. No other details were provided, so stay tuned this week for additional announcements.
Customizing the Moto X colors is an appealing feature and it may be pushing other handset makers to get away from the traditional colors they often use with new phones. Take the Galaxy Note 3, for example, also expected to debut on September 4: Aside from black and white, the phone is rumored to come in pink not long after launch.