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Samsung has made the first move with their smart watch in 2013 with the Galaxy Gear

The rumors have been swirling around all year about companies like Samsung, Apple, Google and Microsoft releasing their smart watches as companions for their respective devices. Samsung being Samsung has rushed out their watch first and they’ve called it the ‘Samsung Galaxy Gear’. The Galaxy Gear leaked out, but the actual device was, surprisingly, different from the leaked details.

A Samsung executive revealed the Galaxy Gear in a very Apple way with a ‘one more thing’ remark as he pulled back his sleeve t reveal the Galaxy Gear he’s been wearing and it humbly reminded him to tell the crowd about Android (Probably because they’ve been forgetting to mention it in their past keynotes). This device will be forefront of the smart watch revolution. Let’s check it out!

Gear Wild Orange

The Galaxy Gear has a 1.63-inch display, smaller than the 3-inch one that leaked. The front of the watch is dominated by the display, but the device manages to maintain a decent profile on your wrist. The front of the device is metal, which is unusual for Samsung because they seem to be allergic to using metal in phone designs. The wrist is made of rubber and there’s a camera built into the strap which should allow you to take pictures like a you would with a smartphone, but with your, er, wrist. The watch is still a little thick and heavy at 11mm and 73.8g, but it’s not too bad considering most men wear big heavy watches. This might not be the best fashion accessory for the ladies to pick up though. The Gear only has a lower IP55 waterproof rating which means that it can also take splashes and sprays of water, so don’t go swimming with it.

Galaxy Gear specs

The Galaxy Gear has the aforementioned 1.63-inch Super AMOLED display with a 320 x 320 resolution. This gives us a nice sharp pixel density of 278 PPI, but it’s still a far cry from modern Android phones. The AMOLED display should help with the battery but it will have the same problems that AMOLEDs have always had. The Gear doesn’t exactly have all the crazy specs people were expecting and that’s probably to keep the price down, but this could come at the cost of serious lag. There’s an 800MHz single-core processor paired with 512MB of RAM. There’s also 4GB of non-expandable onboard storage but it can also store things in your smartphone’s storage. There’s Bluetooth 4.0 LE which should maximize battery life, but it also limits the smartphones supported. There’s are two microphones here for better noise cancellation and there’s speaker stealthily placed in the metal buckle on the strap. It’s got, the now pretty much mandatory, accelerometer and gyroscope. The battery is an absolutely tiny one at 315mAH, which Samsung promise will give a full day of use but don’t get your hopes up. The camera is like the ones you find on the front of phones these days at 1.9MP resolution. The camera can take 720p, 640×640 or VGA video. Don’t worry too much about being spied on with a Galaxy Gear because Samsung has kept the loud shutter noise on by default.

Galaxy Gear Apps

The Galaxy Gear, obviously, comes with/support for all of Samsung’s apps and services like ChatON and S Voice, which is activated by double pressing the button on the side of the device. The Gear can be managed using your supported Galaxy device, to download app, watch faces, etc with the Galaxy Gear Manager app. The big surprise for most people was that the Galaxy Gear already has 70 apps confirmed for it, 12 of which will be available at launch. These apps at launch are Atooma (IFTTT for phones), Banjo, Evernote, Glympse (location sharing app, like Foursqaure), eBay, Line, MyFitnessPal, Path, Pocket, RunKeeper, TripIt and Vivino. Sadly there are only a few big name apps available with apps like Facebook and Twitter still missing from the picture. The watches native features are Smart Relay, S Voice, Auto Lock (locks your phone when you walk away from it), Find My Device (Place a sound on your phone if you misplace it), Media Controller, Pedometer, Stopwatch, and Timer. It can also do phone calls and, of course, notifications.

Galaxy Gear Colors

The Galaxy Gear will only work with Galaxy devices with Android 4.3 and Bluetooth 4.0 LE, so this means that it will only work with the new Galaxy Note 10.1 (2014 Edition is a ridiculous name) and the Galaxy Note 3. Samsung has promised Android 4.3 updates for the GS4, Note II and GS3 in October so they will only work then. The device is going to launch globally in 140 countries at $299 which is pretty steep for a companion device. The US and Japan will only be getting the device in October. Expect there to be a lot of bundles with the Note 3. The watch bands come in various colors from Wild Orange to Rose Gold.

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