Finally the curtain goes up on IFA 2013 in the beautiful city of Berlin, Germany. This is the city that host one of the biggest tech extravaganzas of the year where the latest in tech makes their appearance and Samsung, as the annual terms dictate, have done just so. Amongst the slew of goodies to come for the South Korean tech mogul was the highly anticipated Galaxy Gear Smartwatch that has been popping up around the technology grapevine frequently in the last month.
The Galaxy Gear comes off as a rather elegantly styled wrist watch and yet rather simplistic in its form. The Gear features a 1.63-inch AMOLED display under a Sapphire crystal glass (great for keeping scratches at bay) sporting a 320 x 320 pixel resolution. It comes loaded up with 1.9MP camera that’s neatly positioned facing forward, so just point and shoot. The camera is capable of both photos and videos (HD). And with 4GB of internal storage there’s plenty of room. The touchscreen UI functionality looks reasonably smooth (see video below) and the interface itself looks neatly organised. The display can also be used as a viewfinder for your handset’s camera as well as to dial numbers, check notifications like messages etc. and be used as a speakerphone (speaker placed under the clasp).
A few of Samsung’s ‘S’ features have made it onto the watch – S Voice for memos, setting calendar dates, dictating texts and more. Evernote has also designed a dedicated app (70 apps already being made available) for the Gear that gives you just as much functionality as the standard smartphone edition for taking voice and visual notes. While it might not be like Dick Tracy’s radio watch or the LG GD190, but thanks to the Gear’s dual microphones, you can at least be sure that all voice notes via the Gear will be clear and audible. Naturally the Galaxy Gear also functions as a remote control for your corresponding smartphone which includes controlling your media, adjusting the volume, etc. Samsung’s also thrown in a couple of security features like Auto Lock (locks the handset if it’s more than 1.5 meters away) and fitness options like an accelerometer and pedometer for the MyFitnessPal or RunKeeper apps.
All of this runs on an 800 MHz Exynos CPU with 512MB of RAM. It comes with a 315mAh battery that the company states should be good for about 24 hours, give or take. Now here’s the catch, at launch time the Galaxy Gear will only work with the newly announced Note III and Note 10.1 devices and will then make its way to other devices via updates. The chance of this being made a universally compliant device for other brands is quite slim, for now. It’s scheduled to launch at the same time as the Note III which will be on the 25th of September. The Galaxy Gear will be available in a range of colors that include Jet Black, Mocha Gray, Wild Orange, Oatmeal Beige, Rose Gold, and Lime Green. It should be out in the US sometime early October for a price of $299. by newlaunches