The Samsung Galaxy gear is a smart watch which is a cause of much debate amongst pundits. The question is one of if the watch actually does what it should do, or if it overcomplicated and misses the whole point of its existence. Many reviewers felt that the Galaxy Gear was a let down but I don’t believe that. I think the Galaxy gear is a huge success for a first generation device.
The Gear has an attractive watch design. The metal face and classy screw ends accentuate the deep silky AMOLED display and the wrist band is flexible and has multiple adjustment levels. It is light and classy in black and silver and looks smart enough that you could wear it at a business meeting. Of course if you want variety there are a multitude of colours ready to try out.
The display is easy to read in any light and on a sunny day or at night and that maybe a huge advantage over the competition. Is the Gear as stylish and comfortable as a real watch? Maybe not but as someone who doesn’t wear watch normally I have become quickly accustomed to it.
The Gear connects to your Samsung smartphone by Bluetooth and without a compatible smartphone it simply won’t work but one set up the base functionality doesn’t need the phone. The display turns on when you lift you wrist thanks to the built accelerometer and a built in pedometer lets you keep an eye on your daily activity. The 1.9-Megapixel camera on the side of the wrist band is great for quick snaps but not much else.
Where the Gear really excels is with notifications from your phone. Thanks to a recent update almost any application on your phone can show up on your Gear from your text messages and whatsapp to Facebook and Twitter updates. You can’t reply to all notifications but you can read them all and it works well.
Samsung is continually adding apps to the Gear section of its App Store and apps like eBay, Evernote, Snapchat, Lime, Path and Zite let you stay in touch using the S-voice functionality or photo/video recording.
If you really want to you can of course make and receive phone calls using the Gear but unless you are in a quiet place it will be hard to hear the conversation.
The Galaxy Gear isn’t perfect but it’s a fantastic first generation device. It lets you keep on top of notifications and tell the time. It’s smart functionality is useful and is improving all the time and battery life is around 2 days for my usage.
If you want to be at the cutting edge of smart watches then try it out and keep your eyes out for my review of the Pebble and Pebble Steel soon.