A watch is something that hasn’t really changed in a while. The same old movement of the hour and minute hands; granted, some digital watches have incorporated features that are quite useful, but the overall use and perception of a watch hasn’t changed since its inception into everyday life. Given its dominance in the mobile phone space, Samsung introduced a watch that can do a lot more than tell you the time.
The Samsung Galaxy Gear is a device that is made to work in Sync with two of Samsung’s best phones the S3 and the S4, with which we tried it.
The device can be worn like a general watch. It doesn’t feel cumbersome when worn and feels quite sturdy. The 1.6 inch AMOLED screen has a resolution of 320 X 320 and feels fit for use on this device. The strap as the 1.9 MP camera embedded in it. This means that you can’t change the tap when you buy it. The only physical button is the power button. You can customize it so that tapping or holding it down can perform other tasks.
The watch is quite different than we thought it’d be. We were initially annoyed that a double tap on the screen wouldn’t start up the device, but then we found that simply raising the watch up to your eye line will cause it to activate, which is pretty cool. It’s a little too erratic in use, which irritated us somewhat, and caused us to need to be too deliberate in our arm raising action to just see the time. The 800MHz processor aids in moving things along quickly and the response time is quite fast. Notifications are visible on the main display page, which is a clock. Samsung gives you the option of having various analog and digital clocks. There’s a step counter and a music player which we found easy to use.
The camera on the device is really interesting. It’s placed on the strap and moments like the ones seen in Holly wood spy movies can be recreated with you holding up your arm and capturing photos and videos. It’s actually really convenient and it works pretty quickly too. You can take Sound and Shot pictures with the Gear, activate macro mode for really close up images and even choose a 1:1 or 4:3 ratio. You can also shoot a video in 15 second bursts. The actual quality of photos is quite nice considering the camera is 1.9 MP.
The battery life of the Samsung Gear is quite good. We went around two days without charging the device and used it quite judiciously. The screen which boosts brightened when outdoors also eats a chunk of the battery. But the most important thing is that having no Wi-Fi and notifications off preserves the battery way beyond Samsung’s advertised claim of 25 hours.
Samsung Gear Manager
The Samsung Gear Manager is the control centre of the Gear. It’s actually a program that installs on your phone. You can basically control the working of your Gear and tailor it to your needs by using this. This is a full featured program and you can do everything in here from setting whether social networks pop up, to controlling third party apps, to entering the Galaxy Gear section of the Samsung Apps hub and more. It’s also pretty easy to use and we like the fact that Samsung has created something like this for ease of use.
The Samsung Galaxy Gear is a niche device. It’s not for every Tom, Dick and Harry; it has a certain appeal and a charm to it that may not reach out to all. However, for what it’s worth, it’s an interesting device and if do actually end up purchasing it; you might just bond with it. The only thing we didn’t like was the fact that its not waterproof.
Smartwatches have existed for some time now. Samsung takes the whole playing field to a new level with the launch of its Galaxy Gear. It’s an interesting add-on and is certainly stylish enough to go with any outfit. The device has some interesting features and has set the ball rolling in the new smartwatch segment with a bang.