A watch that could make James Bond jealous, but probably won't
James Bond was known for always having nifty gadgets to help him out of some tough situations. He was also a man of style. Samsung's latest watch, the Galaxy Gear, is a nifty little device, but would it make on to Bond's "must-have" list? Probably not. The Galaxy Gear offers a lot of cool features, but it's not quite cool enough to be worth the $300 you'll spend.
What is Galaxy Gear?
Galaxy Gear is a smartwatch from Samsung that features a 1.63-inch AMOLED touchscreen. The resolution is only 320 x 320 pixels, but it still has a 800 MHz processor and 315mAh battery. What helps separate the Gear from other devices is its built-in camera. It can capture 10-second video clips in 720p, but the camera sensor is only 1.9 megapixels so don't expect it to replace your current cameraphone or point-and-shoot.
What can it do
Think of Galaxy Gear as an extension of your phone. You can view the time, weather, notifications from email or text, and even make phone calls. Samsung has also opened the watch's software abilities up to other app makers, including apps like RunKeeper, MyFitnessPal, TripIt, Path, Evernote, and Pocket. By using Bluetooth, your phone will communicate with Gear to deliver data from these apps right to your wrist.
That sounds really cool, when can I buy it?
Gear goes on sale September 25th, but wont be coming to the US until October -- and you still shouldn't buy it. While the Gear may seem like a very intriguing piece of tech, there are some things holding it back.
First off it's going to set you back $300. That's $150 more than the currently-available Pebble; now, the Pebble isn't as feature rich, but the Gear isn't really offering $150 more worth of features.
Another issue is the specs, which come across as those of a very first generation product with not a lot of staying power. There is only 4GB of internal storage, 512MB of RAM, and a mere 800 MHz processor. In their hands-on with the Galaxy Gear, Engadget noted this is readily apparent when using the watch. Engadget says, "The Gear feels awfully sluggish, whether you're launching an app such as Evernote or Path, or swiping down from the home screen to activate the camera."
The Gear also only packs a 315mAh battery. What does that translate to in usage? Not a whole lot. Engadget says the battery is only good for "a day of 'regular' use." In other words, the Galaxy Gear will be yet another device that you will have to remember to plug in every night.
The real downer with the Gear is that it is currently only slated to work with two products that aren't even available yet -- the Galaxy Note 3 and Galaxy Note 10.1. Samsung says the Galaxy Gear will only work with devices running Android 4.3and up, and never elaborated on if it would work with third-party devices like the HTC One or iPhone.
Did we also mention it's not the sharpest looking device?