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Galaxy gear: the unexpected Samsung watch hits the markets

Galaxy gear: the unexpected Samsung watch hits the markets
Special to The Prospector

It all started with the Pebble smart watch, which brought notification to your wrist for things like new text messages or phone calls. This gave you the ability to filter notifications and determine importance without taking your smart phone out of your pocket. This is very intriguing, and of course everybody wants to act like James Bond, using their watches for sneaky activities.

Samsung has created some excitement in the area of smart watches with their Galaxy Gear. This is the most impressive smart watch that is on the market yet. The Gear can sync to your phone via Bluetooth and then can be used not only as a watch, but also as a notification hub for your smart phone. The Gear comes with a variety of features including sending text messages, using your voice, a pedometer to count your steps, controls for music, easy swiping gestures to take quick video or pictures from the built-in camera and varying features to view weather information.

The Good

The Galaxy Gear has a 1.36-inch display, which doesn’t sound like much, but is plenty big enough for sending or reading quick texts and answering phone calls. The notification support for text messages and phone calls is rather good. You can even make a phone call with the built in microphone and speakers right from the watch, provided you are in a quiet enough environment. You can easily reply to texts with Samsung’s S Voice.

It comes in six different colors, which complement the slick look of the device. When it comes to reading the time, you have a variety of watch faces to choose from that fit your personality or mood.

The Bad

The Galaxy Gear, as of now, only works with the Galaxy Note 3. Hopefully, this will change as time passes. Lack of support for other phones makes it very hard for anyone to be interested in the Gear, who don’t own the Note 3.

The price point on this device is very high, starting at $300, and the Gear has very small third-party application support at this time. Most likely that will change, but with a price of $300, you would expect there to be more App support.

While the Gear does have notification support for text messages and phone calls, the notification for anything else is very limited. It will inform you that you have received an email, but not who it’s from or any of the contents of the message. The same goes for any social media notifications such as from Facebook or Twitter.

The feature that is least impressive is the watch’s 25-hour battery life, which in reality means you will be charging it every night. Instead of charging it through a traditional micro USB like most Android phones, you have to charge the Gear on a funky little dock that is both annoying and inconvenient.

Overall, the Samsung Galaxy Gear has the greatest number of features compared to other smart watches. However, Samsung has decided to limit the watch by withholding compatibility for phones other than the Note 3. The main purpose of the watch is to allow us to review notifications and the overall support for this gizmo is very limited. Samsung wants us to spend $300 on this new piece of technology, which is equivalent to a mid-range smart phone, yet it doesn’t include $300 worth of features. I suggest waiting for Samsung to fix these problems or for them to release a new version of the Gear in the coming months.

Marcus Seegers may be reached at [email protected]
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Galaxy gear: the unexpected Samsung watch hits the markets