The Galaxy Gear stupidwatch: Without Apple to copy, Samsung is clueless

“The Galaxy Gear is here. For those who haven’t been following this very closely, let me break this down: It’s a smartwatch from Samsung with a bright, clear touchscreen, built-in microphones, a speaker, and a camera. It can do certain things on its own, and when connected via Bluetooth with a Samsung smartphone it can also send and receive calls. The watch can display texts and e-mails from your phone and launch a selection of specially-designed apps from Pocket, Evernote, and RunKeeper,” Sam Grobart writes for Businessweek.

“There is one thing that the Gear doesn’t seem to have: a purpose. This is true for all smartwatches, which tend to be liked more in theory than practice,” Grobart writes. “Samsung’s latest attempt is part of a larger effort the company calls ‘Smart Freedom,’ which means very little… But the Gear doesn’t necessarily provide a larger answer to the watch-of-the-future puzzle, either. The $299 device provides ‘a day’s’ worth of battery life, says Samsung, but dumb wristwatches already offer infinite levels of power due to the cunning use of springs. This seems like a step backward. Recharging the Gear also requires a dock, so you have to take that with you if you do any traveling.”

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

Grobart writes, “The Galaxy S3 and S4 smartphones were launched with an everything-but-the-kitchen-sink assortment of features and capabilities. The Gear is another chapter in the Do Everything, Show Everything book that Samsung is writing. With the Gear’s significant limitations and lacking a clear reason for existing, it remains to be seen if customers want to read that book.”

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: As we wrote earlier:

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

[Thanks to MacDailyNews Reader “The Roving Skeptic” for the heads up.]

Related articles:
Apple’s iWatch cleared for takeoff – September 4, 2013
Samsung announces ‘Galaxy Gear’ watch accessory for Galaxy Android devices – September 4, 2013


    1. Derek, please describe for us all what wrist device was it that Apple released in 2010? Oh, yeah, a brick.

      …and since the 3GS, iPhones have also apparently been designed by industrial masons, not by human ergonomic experts. Formerly a derogatory term, now the term “brick phone” is popularly applied to Apple’s iPhone.

      I recommend we reserve our criticisms for function and performance rather than external design. Apple isn’t the pinnacle of all great design on the planet, you know. There will no doubt be adequate MEANINGFUL things to say about Samsung after the device is objectively assessed in person.

            1. Did you just call all the other posters here stupid? Apple didn’t come up with the idea for the straps, 3rd party vendors did. The link shows that.

              You’re a paid shill for Assmung.

      1. “human ergonomic experts?” And what human ergonomic expert designed the Galaxy S4 and Galaxy Note? Andre the Giant? There’s nothing wrong with judging a device by its cover, especially one that’s considered a fashion accessory. The design is hideous. Steve Jobs once fired an engineer for not covering up screws on a Mac prototype. The screws are front and center on the Galaxy Gear. This was clearly a rushed product. DOA! $299? I can’t contain my laughter. I’m sure Cupertino’s shaking in its boots.

        1. Nice one Billjack! I had an iPhone 3G, and the 4. When the 5 was announced, I was like, ah crap, I’m bored. So I got an Android. I do not like it. First, the phone size isn’t good for me -awkward in the hand, and hard to use just one hand. Second, the OS just doesn’t feel smooth either. I really do like Google’s ecosystem with all their different apps, but the phone itself sucked (my opinion of it). So, after a year, I will be buying the new iPhone full price so I can dump Android. It makes me laugh so hard when people say Apple lacks innovation because of screen size. THAT is a matter of personal preference, and many many people prefer to be able to put a phone in their pocket rather than carry it around like a Zach Morris phone. As far as the watch? Definitely a craptastic “lets get it out and be the innovator before Apple does” kind of product. If Apple does have their own, I surely won’t want it anyway, but I don’t doubt it’ll be a more thought out and planned product.

          1. MJ: Every time I see someone fiddle with their ‘android’ phone I smile. The sheer kludge and lack of polish is remarkable.

            Personally, I’m not convinced of the merits of a ‘smart watch’ – even IF Apple were to try it.

      2. If you want to be a Samsung apologist why don’t you go to one of their fan sights? I highly doubt anyone here, other than other trolls, really want to hear your repetitive bullshit.

      3. You are on the wrong site troll.

        1. Apple has not released a watch or a “smart watch.”
        2. Apple has consistently created mobile devices that are lauded for their design. They even get shit for it. The seams on the iPhone 5 are tighter than a Samsung Marketer’s Ass on an Apple news site. *cough*
        3. I’ll reserve judgement when I can’t see anymore and therefore will have to go to the store to touch Assmung’s new “Smart watch.” Right now it looks like a bulky PoS that offers nothing I need that my phone doesn’t already do.
        4. Aside from looking like shit, the author of the article already outlined why it’s useless functionally.
        Pick up your teeth as you leave.

      4. I believe it will become a new fashion icon around the world,” said Samsung CEO JK Shin. 

        Enjoy ur cheap fashion.. I know.. $300 is not cheap.. but even they tag it as $1000 watch… Samsung is still heap…

        1. @ mejsric and the far less civil critics:

          If you re-read what I wrote at the top of the page, I was chastising Derek for (as usual) judging a book by the cover.

          Where do you in any way read into it that I admire anything about this thing or about Samsung? All I wrote is that it’s better to objectively assess the competition rather than dismiss it as trash based on first appearance. Grow up and learn how to display a hint of circumspection.

          We all assume that this is just another useless craptastic Android device. But why not wait until actually fiddling with one before arrogantly — and ignorantly — prejudging?

          After all, the 6th Gen iPod Nano was trashed by the mass public based on appearance and poor battery life, and Apple had to quickly redesign it. Yes, it’s true.

      5. A rather desperate attempt to flame Apple gear and defend Samsung gear.

        I’m going to let the sales numbers speak for themselves as well as the user feedback.

        It’s still just a Brick-On-A-Wrist to me. FAIL-job deluxe. A future example of how to crap out a product just for the sake of beating others to the ‘market’, whatever that is for POS technology. 😛

        1. in this echo chamber, any measured or objective assessment that doesn’t worship one particular brand is considered a “flame”.

          however, if you actually read what i write, you will never find me rating Samsung imitations above Apple products. The only thing I have to say about the watch is that it’s no worse than any Apple product that people have put on their wrists. If and when Apple chooses to respond, it may very well be insanely great. Or it may be a brick. The intelligent person would have to do a real comparison to know. All the peanut gallery here wants to do is trash all things without an Apple label, which is highly immature.

          1. Then there are the issues of:

            Functionality: Oops, the Samsung Galaxy Gear requires tethering to the Galaxy Note (or maybe an updated Galaxy phone) for full functionality. And darn, the camera is in exactly the wrong place for video chatting, but oh yeah it doesn’t do video chatting, and the camera quality is so low who cares anyway.

            Good Taste: Oops, the Samsung Galaxy Gear is big, clunky and ugly.

            I personally don’t care if Apple design a smartwatch because I don’t wear watches on my arms. I keep one in my trousers pocket. When Apple comes out with a flexible display, flexible battery seriously smart watch, I’ll reconsider.

  1. Sounds like an iWatch to me: no purpose. I thought the iPad was dumb and I think the iWatch is dumber. I may be wrong twice but I just don’t see the iWatch from Apple having any purpose. Do people still wear watches?

    1. iPad was obviously NOT dumb so iWatch is “dumber” than something that’s is eminently useful and popular? Yeah, I think the iWatch may be “dumber” than an iPad… 🙂

      Whatever iWatch is, Apple is not going to release it unless it is going to be a runaway success. If doesn’t have that potential, Apple will not release it.

      Samsung, on the other hand, will release just about anything…

  2. I think that I would not be selected for the jury in a criminal court case if Samsmug was the defendant. My reaction to the Gear is much like the author’s. I wonder what my reaction would be had it been released by Apple. Impossible you say, and I agree, but still….

    1. Exactly, a “smart watch” done well or at least more similarly priced to a normal watch could be great because a watch is convenient which is why people don’t use pocket watches.

  3. I’m waiting for Ballmer to deliver his crowning masterpiece – the surface wristwatch with bundled MS Office Professional. Finally you can edit Powerpoint presentations while taking a dump.

  4. I’m also a watch lover who doesn’t see the market for smartwatches. This “thing” in the article above, let’s just say it doesn’t have Stark Industries written all over it. It’s ugly.

    Perhaps Tim Cook and the guys at Apple have their fingers on the pulses of technology consumers and know there’s pent up demand for an additional gadget that needs your smartphone to be of any use, but I just don’t feel it.

    Sit me in front of a Breitling Super Avenger, or a nice Tag Grand Carrera, or an Omega DeVille and I’ll salivate. Even Seiko has figured out the classic beauty of old 1940s chronographs and made it available in affordable watches.

    And yet they’ve just become the most beautifully useless things.

    A square brick? No thanks.

    Someday though. Someday when your smartwatch completely takes the place of your wallet, maybe.

  5. Primary function of a watch is to tell the time. Does this perform that task anywhere near as well as the present mechanical/electronic ones? NO. Therefore, whatever it is, it isnt a watch.

    The pebble has a reasonable charge life , performs well as a watch and offers a platform for other things. They have set the bar so far and this ‘Gear’ is nowhere near.

    Now we have a couple of years maybe before Apple produce the blueprint for the next Samsung attempt.

      1. No.
        If you have to recharge a watch every 24hrs or it no longer works – and you therefore dont know what time it is, the device must be crap. It could well be very accurate crap – when it has a charge.

        So you go out for a party – get bladdered and stay over, in the morning you dont know what time it is because you didn’t bring the charger thingy to the party. That is a shit watch.

        So, what Samsung have produced is a wrist thingy, that does all sorts of things for a few hours and then needs a re-charge.

    1. Yikes! I hope they don’t see that comment. I have to work at Samdung, and they’re already bringing those watches through the building in wood crates, like I don’t have enough crap to keep track of.

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