More details on Samsung’s Galaxy Gear smartwatch: those images are of a prototype

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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