Samsung announces ‘Galaxy Gear’ watch accessory for Galaxy Android devices

“Samsung has unveiled a smartwatch with a colour screen that can show alerts, be used for voice calls and run apps,” BBC News reports. “Samsung called it a ‘fashion icon.'”

“However, analysts warned that a decision to limit the watch to working as an accessory to other Galaxy Android devices might limit its appeal… ‘Consumers might be a bit disappointed to find that the smartwatch is a partner device reliant on being paired with a Samsung Android smartphone or tablet, rather than being the completely autonomous device media and communications device many consumers were expecting and hoping for,’ said Chris Green, principal technology analyst at the consultancy Davies Murphy Group,” The Beeb reports. ‘It unveiled the the watch – which will go on sale from 25 September – at the Ifa consumer tech show in Berlin.’ … The Galaxy watch will cost about US$300.”

The Beeb reports, “The Galaxy Gear features a 1.6in (4cm) LED display, a 1.9 megapixel camera, a speaker and microphone, has four gigabytes of internal storage and a non-removable battery. Samsung said the watch could be used as a way to make voice calls without having to take the phone it was linked to out of the owner’s bag or pocket. It comes preloaded with 10 different clock options and there will be about 70 apps available at launch including Evernote’s note-taking software, auction service eBay, the social network Path and several fitness programs.”

Samsung's Galaxy Gear watch accessory
Samsung’s Galaxy Gear watch accessory

The Beeb reports, “‘Samsung is also claiming a day’s battery life with fair usage… it’s like going back to a time you had to wind your watch up every night before going to bed,’ said Carolina Milanesi, an analyst at tech advisors Gartner. ‘I don’t think consumers want to do that with a watch or a band. They want to have it on without having to worry about charging it every day.'”

Read more in the full article here.

“The big disappointment for Samsung gadget owners is that the Gear does not work with most of its phones and tablets,” Youkyung Lee reports for The Associated Press. “The Gear needs the Galaxy Note III, a smartphone with a giant 5.7-inch screen and a digital pen, and the Galaxy Tab 10.1, a tablet computer. Both will go on sale later this month. At a later date, it will be compatible with the Galaxy S4, released earlier this year, and the Galaxy Note II, which came out late last year.”

Full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: And now Samsung waits with the Sonys of the world to find out how smartwatches are really supposed to be done.

Related articles:
What Samsung will learn from Apple’s iWatch? – August 29, 2013
Apple hires Nike+ FuelBand developer Jay Blahnik – August 19, 2013
iWatch’s novelty emerges as Apple assembles team of sensor and fitness experts – July 18, 2013
Nike: We’re not working on a Nike+ FuelBand app for Android – February 11, 2013
Apple on aggressive hiring spree for smartwatch project, sources say – July 14, 2013
Apple may face obstacles with ‘iWatch’ trademark in US, UK, China – July 5, 2013
Apple’s iWatch nearly ready for the world; but is the world ready for iWatch? – July 2, 2013
Apple files for ‘iWatch’ trademark in Taiwan, Mexico, and Turkey – July 2, 2013
Apple files for ‘iWatch’ trademark in Japan – July 1, 2013
Analyst: Apple’s iWatch ‘increasingly likely’ for second-half 2013 launch – June 8, 2013
Apple reportedly files for ‘iWatch’ trademark in Russia – June 5, 2013
Why Apple is going to make and sell millions upon millions of iWatches – May 30, 2013
Apple’s iWatch could take out Swatch, others, even luxury watch makers – May 29, 2013
Apple CEO: Google Glass a ‘difficult’ product, hints at ‘iWatch’ – May 29, 2013
Analyst: Apple’s iWatch may not launch until late 2014, use biometrics and iPod nano tech – May 23, 2013
Apple’s iWatch imminent? – April 22, 2013
Survey shows exceptionally strong consumer interest in an Apple ‘iWatch’; iPhone dominates in customer satisfaction – April 19, 2013
iWatch? Apple’s Kevin Lynch heading former team of iPod engineers on new projects – April 12, 2013
Apple’s iWatch will measure far more than time – March 12, 2013
Disney ‘MagicBands’ showcases massive potential for Apple’s iWatch – March 6, 2013
Apple’s iOS-powered ‘iWatch’ facing battery life challenge, sources say – March 4, 2013
Apple seeks to introduce ‘iWatch’ as soon as this year, says source – March 4, 2013
Apple doesn’t need Corning for an iWatch, LG Display is ready to go with flexible OLED displays – March 3, 2013
Apple supplier Corning: It’ll be three years before companies start making ‘Willow’ flexible display products – February 28, 2013
Apple patent for flexible display slap bracelet ‘iWatch’ could fire up stock again – February 22, 2013
How to profit from Apple’s iWatch, Nike’s FuelBand and Google’s Glass – February 22, 2013
Apple’s iWatch concept is real – and here’s how it might work – February 22, 2013
ABI Research: Apple ‘iWatch’ could prove to be revelation in wearable tech – February 21, 2013
Apple patent application reveals slap bracelet ‘iWatch’ with flexible touchscreen display – February 21, 2013
Apple ‘iWatch’ leaks: Preemption or desperation? – February 19, 2013
Patents may point the way towards Apple iWatch – February 19, 2013
Samsung trying to beat Apple to market with ‘iWatch’ rival? – February 15, 2013
What if an Apple iWatch replaced most of the iPhone’s functions? – February 13, 2013
Apple ‘iWatch’ beyond ‘experimentation phase,’ sources say – February 13, 2013
Features that would make Apple’s iWatch a killer product – February 12, 2013
7 reasons why Apple’s unannounced ‘iWatch’ won’t fly – February 12, 2013
Patent application reveals Apple secretly developing wearable computing platform – February 12, 2013
Morgan Stanley: Apple iWatch, iTV could generate additional $80 billion annually – February 12, 2013
With ‘iWatch,’ Apple could turn wearable devices into next big thing – February 12, 2013
Why Apple is working on ‘iWatch,’ not ‘iGlasses’ – February 11, 2013
WSJ: Apple testing ‘iWatch’ device – February 11, 2013
iWatch: Apple developing curved-glass smart watch, sources say – February 11, 2013
Tog: The iWatch will fill a gaping hole in the Apple ecosystem – February 7, 2013
Why Apple should hang-up on the iPhone, iWear is next – January 6, 2013
Analyst sees wearable computers from Apple as future replacement for iPhone – January 2, 2013
Apple and Intel secretly building Bluetooth smartwatch that connects to your iOS devices, say sources – December 27, 2012
Apple patent application details display-integrated cellular antennas – May 6, 2012
Apple patent app details next-gen microstrip cellular antenna for future MacBooks, iWatch and beyond – October 25, 2011


      1. What are they thinking? Picture a bunch of them sitting around a room during testing and prototyping and going over these limitations… How could they possibly take it to market!? Really pathetic. A useless piece of tech that will go nowhere fast…

    1. I have no idea why these companies forget that asthetics are just as important (sometimes more than) the actual use of the device…

      Apple can take their time building a better watch.

      yes… another UGH-LEE Gear vote…

  1. “‘Samsung is also claiming a day’s battery life with fair usage… it’s like going back to a time you had to wind your watch up every night before going to bed,’ said Carolina Milanesi, an analyst at tech advisors Gartner. ‘I don’t think consumers want to do that with a watch or a band. They want to have it on without having to worry about charging it every day.’”

    Early adopters won’t be too put off by this. After all, we are well-accustomed to charging our phones daily. And Apple will be in the same boat – the form factor and size necessarily limits battery life. The surprising thing is that it requires a charging dock. That makes it harder to charge in the car, or at any convenient location. If Apple goes this route, I hope they’ll be smart enough to either a) give it lightning or b) some type of USB Mag-safe-style connection (since it still needs to be waterproof). Then it could charge on your arm while at your computer.

    1. I suppose Samsung’s idea of “fair usage” only covers telling time. Samsung thought that one through well. Who wants a watch that won’t last a day? Stupid. Maybe consumers will start to see Samsung for who they really are – cheap knockoff artists like their cheap knockoff rapper Psy.

    2. And just what do they mean buy “a DAY”?
      You know it’s not 24 hours. Why do they not just say XX hours?
      Because it’s crap.
      On one of the sites that had people at the event, after getting some hands on time, they said that the devices were already refusing to take a picture because there was not enough power.
      THAT”S a day… 😎

  2. A watch is a fashion accessory. Putting functionality aside, the question is will the watch look good on your wrist? From what I can tell from the Samsung watch, the answer for me is a resounding no. It looks clunky like those calculator watches we had in elementary school. This is what happens when Samsung doesn’t have Apple to follow. When their idea of innovation on the phone side is to make the screens bigger, that’s all you need to know about their ability to innovate.

  3. Yup, Samsung needs Apple, or any other company to show them an idea, to lead the way and to properly address the issue of battery like and function. Samsung has some really brain dead engineers!

  4. We will not see an iWatch from Apple until this time next year, at the earliest. These Samsung watches are ugly and limited but at least they’re available now. I keep getting the sinking feeling that Apple has been moving way too slow with new and updated products. Why did we have to wait an entire year for an iPhone upgrade that could easily have been introduced 6 months ago? Does anybody else feel like Apple is moving too slow on almost everything? This Samsung announcement is really nothing but it’s also a mild wakeup call saying one day these companies might actually pull a product off worth considering and Apple’s promises of things to come and asking us to “just wait” won’t cut it any longer. My product patience is wearing thin. I hope we don’t look back on this past year as the year Apple lost its fire. The specs being touted here on MDN and other sites for the upgraded iPhone 5 are nice but they’re not so compelling that you can say “they’ve still got it”. I don’t know. It all just feels like they’ve hit a plateau since Steve died.

    1. For now, phones are bought on a two year contract. Why would you update your phone every 6 months. Talk about upsetting your customers. Imagine watching your phone go through 3 complete update cycles before you are eligible to upgrade. Once a year seems about right. Besides, Most every Apple product I can think of has been on an annual update cycle for many years.

    2. I’ll give you this much: if Apple doesn’t release their wrist device this year, it does indeed raise the possibility that they will perform an iPod-style revolution next year. Recall that when the iPod came out, there were several years of mp3 players already on the market, and Apple showed how to do it right. Same with smartphones and tablets.

      Apple’s magic is in leap-frogging everyone else’s fail and creating the market-defining icon. As all of these also-rans break the ice without catching the imagination, it leaves Apple an opportunity to shine again.

Reader Feedback

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.