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Hands-on: Samsung Galaxy Gear Smartwatch (Updated: Video Added)


We were able to get hands-on time with the new Galaxy Gear smartwatch that was announced by Samsung this morning. The device syncs seamlessly with the Galaxy Note 3 and other Galaxy devices, adding a extension to your already-existing smartphone experience. With the Gear, you can take calls, view messages, emails and even snap pictures with its 1.9MP camera. The camera is built right into the watch’s strap, allowing you to easily (and even sneakily) snap pictures of whatever you would like. 

Stay tuned for a full hands-on video and Kellen’s reactions to the device.

Also, ignore the giant metal contraption on the bottom. That was put in place for security, so us silly bloggers didn’t try to walk out with one.

The Galaxy Gear goes on sale for $299 starting in October. Interested?







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  • Tom

    meh, a watch I have to charge everyday. Nah, nevermind.

  • Derek Tweedie

    Really??? 4 Giga bits of Storage….????? DUH

  • Dana Chilton

    Awful product. It only really works if it’s connected to your phone via bluetooth. What’s the benefit of having a wearable smartphone if you need to be carrying your regular phone to make it really work? This also isn’t the first video where the tester has to swipe several times before the watch responds.

  • Taglogical

    ahhmahgahd that thing is bigger than Dick Tracy’s! I’ll check this out again in 3rd gen…

  • BiG_Weasel

    For half the price of the Galaxy Gear, you get equal functionality, better battery life, greater device compatibility, user-created content, etc. with a Pebble. Just seems gaudy, overly-expensive, and not very well-designed. And what is up with the camera on the band? Geez.

  • fernando

    i prefer my MotoActv

  • ojd514

    Why the camera, its hideous! If your gonna use the watch along side your phone you don’t need to carry two cameras on your person

  • Godzilla

    $300 is too much and it won’t work with my phone. Ridiculous

  • TheAwesomessMan

    This isn’t what I’m looking for in a smartwatch. I want a smartwatch that has an all black screen front display, always tells time, it syncs with Google now so with Google now it will tell you the weather under the time. Has Google search onboard so all you have to say is ‘OK Google’ and a mic will appear giving the opportunity to say what you want and it syncs to your phone so if you say add reminder it add such reminder and will appear on your phone. Also you can reject/receive phone calls and there will be a speaker and mic on the smartwatch for you to communicate. And that whole pedometer thing presented on Google now will tract you through your smartwatch when its connected via Bluetooth. It will have to be an update to Google app in order to sync to your smartwatch.

  • nosedive94

    Gizmodo trashed this thing in their initial hands on. Well they can screw themselves. It looks badass. It isn’t chunky, slow, or ill featured. Samsung has a home run here if the smartwatch thirst is real.

    • Taglogical

      imo, it is supermassively chunky. Baffling bad.


    It’s hideous

  • Daeshaun Griffiths

    sammie really pulled an apple making this limited to galaxy devices. But i guess they sell enough product to do that.

  • Primus01

    not going to pay 300 for any watch

  • Josh Shaw

    Awesome a Samsung smartwatch….. with an AMOLED screen so I can’t see the time outside.

  • Reasons this will not sell well:

    1 – It is way overpriced for what it is
    2 – It only connects with a few devices
    3 – No iPhone connectivity (I know I know, but it will hurt sales)
    4 – Fugly as hell

  • jerryallenrose

    No thanks, I’m gonna strap an old Samsung flip phone to a Timex weekender band and be set to go. What a waste of product, can’t even use it with out a phone?

  • mcdonsco

    would need to be a LOT smaller for me to consider it. …Unless of course the pics with the watch being warn are of someone with dwarf’ish wrists/hands…?

  • ron fowler

    Too damn BIG

  • aBabyPenguin

    Who’s bright idea was it to make the watch face change orientation with the gyroscope? What a stupid concept, if you are wearing the device on your wrist you will only look at it in one orientation, why would it ever switch?

    • LionStone

      Probably the same folks that decided a camera was necessary as well…

  • GoogleXWatch_NEXT

    it’s 5% of WHAT SAMSUNG IS ABLE TO CREATE. Sadly.
    Lame as hell. Disappointed.

  • Nathaniel Newman

    I like it, but I sure a hell am not paying $300 for a WATCH!

  • Smellynachos

    Im def getting one, not sure why everyone is hating on it.

  • imnotmikal

    Is it restricted to Samsung devices? Or can you use it with any android device?

  • vincent scala

    not impressed at all I think I’ll wait for whatever Google brings or maybe take a look at the Sony SmartWatch 2 doesn’t matter anyway I don’t have a galaxy phone

  • Screws… On the front… 4 of them…….

    Why Samsung, just why??

  • TeeJay1100

    My Question: Will this thing work with my Nexus 4 & Nexus 7? If not, Samsung this is DOA

  • Jaxon Wright

    No thanks

  • jpippo4

    People pay hundreds of dollars for watches that only tell time…. This watch can snapchat nudes and can remind me daily that I’m a degenerate. I’m fine with the price.

  • jpippo4

    Do any of you guys even own a nice watch? 300 dollars for a good watch is nowhere near being absurd.

    • Higher_Ground

      yeah but I have a hard time calling this a good watch. the price does not reflect the features. Granted most 300 watches just tell time, but at least my ecodrive doesn’t need to be charged every night.

      • jpippo4

        While I agree with what you’re saying, I own 4 watches and if I bought this watch, it would be my second least expensive watch. My point is, this is around the same size and looks similar to a G-Watch which people shell out 190 for in a heart beat. Another 100 for all that extra isn’t absurd to me. I also own a S4, so I think a lot of people are upset it’s only Samsung compatible.

    • zurginator

      The big thing with this ‘watch’ is it’s ugly as…

      For $300, I expect an all-metal watch, with at least a reasonable design. My $20 watch is all-metal and looks better for crying out loud!

  • Daniel

    WAY too huge, would be better if it was smaller, thinner, lighter, and used e-ink or something to improve on battery life as well

    • zurginator

      Problem is e-ink sucks for anything outside of reading a book in good light.

      It can’t get smaller, thinner, or lighter without sacrificing battery either – that’s really the only thing that can be shrunk.

      • hfoster52

        e-ink is horrible. That tech can’t even come close to a good color display.

  • zurginator

    If these manufactures want to break into the watch industry they need to realize one thing very fast: Watches first and foremost are a fashion statement.

    Metal is a requirement. Leather is a reasonably acceptable substitute. Plastic is out. Ruber is out. No negotiation.

    I do agree there are some design issues – I’ve never seen a good looking rectangular watch that wasn’t rather blingy… but what we’ve seen so far is just unacceptable.

    • n900mixalot

      This is a metal watch with metal in the folding clasp. This is probably the best we’ve seen, so far, in terms of design.

  • Ryan N

    They are attempting to make a smart phone into a watch. Not a smart phone compatible watch.

    Up vote this post if you are waiting for Hot Watch!

  • This may be a stupid question, but you can only have one bluetooth device connected to your phone at once, correct? So if I have it paired to my watch, do I have to unpair it to use my phone with my car or bluetooth headset?

    • RicoDelicioso

      I know, huh?!? Anyone…. Bueller, Bueller….

      • Frettfreak

        pretty positive you can have more than 1 BT device connected at once to most phones.

    • LionStone

      I connect my DNA to my truck’s BT to make/receive calls thru my speaker system & I have an HTC Stereo Clip that I pair to as well to stream music from my phone wirelessly. Call comes in, music pauses… call ends, music continues, rock on! 🙂 So yes, 2 at once is A-ok 🙂

  • Travis Keany

    Can’t anyone put it on their wrist? All of the hands-on I’ve seen so far are just that, I want an on-wrist preview so I can gauge the size and fit of the thing.

  • PPC

    Somebody has some dirty a$$ fingernails, lol.

  • 213ninja

    really no GPS? what happened to all the fitness features? S.Health? No HRM?

    Very disappointing at $300 bucks…

    • Justtyn Hutcheson

      Yeah, the Moto ACTV from 2011 is more advanced than this watch is. I think they missed an opportunity there, and others won’t make that mistake.

      • Tod Cox

        I still use my MotoACTV and like it a lot. It’s not perfect, but damn handy. My fitness friends are still impressed that it does all the GPS stuff and has music in one nice device.

        • OrangeAttack

          Plus it has FM Radio, Bluetooth, Wifi, and if you wanted you could slap a ROM on it and boom. Angry Birds!
          I still use it on my Runs just wish it wasn’t so bulky, had better battery life and maybe water resistant. One can only wish right?

    • The watch is basically just a second display for your phone, your phone can do all that fitness stuff.

      • 213ninja

        the phone won’t be able to monitor my heart rate, like some high end fitness watches (with or without a chest strap). also, not having to carry a phone as massive as the note on runs/workouts would be awesome. today i use a note 2 and a fitbit and it’s working okay, but fitbit doesn’t give me as much peformance stats as other android apps that work with phone GPS like tracks or endomondo. i was really hoping this watch brought it all together…

    • philnolan3d

      Doesn’t your phone have GPS?

      • 213ninja

        yes, but how does that help me not carry my massive phone on runs?

        • philnolan3d

          It doesn’t, that’s not what this device is for.

          • 213ninja

            clearly. but it was previously speculated on this blog that this watch could be the ultimate S.health companion…which it has turned out not to be. i was merely expressing my uber disappointment. that is all.

          • 213ninja

            JOC, since you mention it, what exactly do you think this device IS for?

  • Erik Cho

    I hate to be the pessimist of this group, but I can already picture all of the privacy concern crap that camera will probably get. People will be “expressing concern” that some punk will set it so that the camera is constantly taking pictures or video even with the watch at his side. Just like with the Google Glass camera.

    • Justtyn Hutcheson

      Like Glass, the shutter sound is hard-encoded and can’t be turned off. Then again, the speaker supposedly isn’t that loud, so it probably won’t be audible in a crowd where said concerns would be viable.

      • KleenDroid

        Until it gets customized just like my S4 roms that allow turning off of shutter sound.

        • Justtyn Hutcheson

          Anything can be used for nefarious purposes, from teddy bears to coloring books to wearable devices. The device is agnostic, it is merely an extension of the intent of the user. To suggest otherwise is to at least partially absolve the user of guilt, which is never okay.

          As for this device, if you notice it does not have a USB interface, and I’m certain that is to thwart all but the most determined of hackers. I doubt you will be able to pop over to XDA anytime soon to find a ROM to flash.

          • Higher_Ground

            You are probably right wrt to rooting/flashing, but with a camera on the wristband, it almost lends itself more to nefarious uses than legitimate uses. Every single phone (aside from those specifically designed for people with security sensative jobs) comes with a camera. This is pretty much useless without a phone. Don’t get me wrong, I defended cameras on tablets as maybe having some small uses, but I see even fewer for this (given the quality of image it will take).

          • Justtyn Hutcheson

            I absolutely agree that use cases are few and far between here, probably on par with the tablet cameras you mentioned. However, I simply can’t view it as any more or less nefarious than any other recording device. At the end of the day, the impetus is squarely on the user to exercise self control. I don’t expect everyone to do so, but to not put out a product because of its potential for being misused is the wrong way to go about it in my opinion.

            And, the watch and camera will function perfectly without a phone present. It has 4GB of internal memory, which even after space for the OS and apps is a fairly large number of 1.9MP pictures.

          • Higher_Ground


          • KleenDroid

            I have not looked at it. I just assumed since it only had a 25 hour battery life that we would have to plug it in. snd I was hoping it was a micro usb just like all my other Android devices.

            If not this could thwart a wave of new upskirt shots.

          • Justtyn Hutcheson

            It charges via pogo pins on the backside that interface with a charging cradle. I haven’t found a good shot of it yet, but I doubt it has a USB interface. While I’m sure you can hack a USB to the pogo pins to gain access in some way shape or form, that is way more work than simply buying a $25 pen cam and using that to creep, and much less conspicuous besides.

          • KleenDroid


            I actually have a friend that had a guy in her office that was leaving a video pen in the girls bathroom. He got caught and is now a sex offender. They also just settled a civil suit.

            Some may think of this as funny stuff. But it is an easy way to screw up the rest of your life.

            I shouldn’t have even made light of it above.

          • Justtyn Hutcheson

            Yeah, stuff like that is bad bad news. However, luckily the exceptionally vast majority of people do not act upon all of their impulses towards less socially acceptable behavior, through whatever mechanism (be it societal pressure, internal morals, fear of consequence, etc.).
            As for making light, context is key as with any discussion. Lord knows I’ve made plenty of conversational gaffes in my short 27 years, and I’m certain I will make many more in the years to come, so I have no right to belittle anyone who is just as human as myself, and obviously meant no harm.

            Cheers 🙂

    • n900mixalot

      South Korea has extremely strict camera laws so … I’d be willing to assume that to take a picture on the Gear is to make a big “to do”! (lots of sound effect going on)

  • bluemon

    Check out the Omate TrueSmart. Looks very interesting.

  • Justtyn Hutcheson

    Way too expensive, restricted to Samsung phones, and the battery life is less than I’m willing to accept in a watch, smart or not.

    So, pass. Nice concept, but poor execution.

    • Curtis

      True – Would you be one to buy a smart watch in principle? These things don’t appeal to me very much.

      • Justtyn Hutcheson

        If it offered a compelling alternative to my current Seiko kinetic watch and a really useful feature set beyond what can be accomplished with my devices alone, then yes. I understand the uses for it, but considering I’m currently carrying my Razr and Nexus 7 with me at almost all times, I struggle to find a need for an accessory that more-or-less adds another screen but little extension of substance. Now, if it was attractive and included the kind of quantified self data you can get from a FuelBand or Fit, in addition to hooks into Google Now that could surface data or react to my activity, that would be pretty hard to resist.

        Simply put, until something truly groundbreaking arrives, I’m going to be a watcher not a user.

        • Curtis

          Well said.

        • Andrew

          This could be something that Emergency Services (EMT’s, Paramedics, Police Officer’s) good take advantage of. IF google doesn’t come up with a google phone that connects to google glass…

      • Higher_Ground

        I’m gonna go ahead and say it. With Google Glass on the distant horizon, why even bother to design a smartwatch? You aren’t going to need a smartphone, smartwatch, AND smart glasses all at once!

        • 1TallTXn

          Cause he with the most toys wins?

        • Jordan

          Watches are already socially accepted. I think it’ll be awhile before you don’t get strange stares with ‘smartglasses’

      • mustbepbs

        Why would I need a gadget to interface with my phone that is in my pocket? I just don’t get it. The phones are expensive enough, why do we need to throw more money at a problem that doesn’t exist? Just because we’re lazy?

        • Joshua P.

          Im having trouble figuring this out too, its not useful for driving or while cycling without taking a risk, maybe walking, but you can pull your phone out in that scenario… Its too much, something like a pebble offers a nice balance and price for a person who just wants to glance at things.

          • mustbepbs

            Definitely. I can get on board with Pebble for its “cool” factor. But that’s $150, HALF the price of this thing.

        • Maybe I’m weird, but when I’ve got my phone in my pocket while driving, or in a meeting, it’s much easier to glance at my watch to see who a txt was from, or who is calling. That way if I don’t need to deal with it ASAP, I can just ignore it.

          • mustbepbs

            They do have options to set different tones for different people. And you shouldn’t be bothered at all about what your phone is doing in the car anyway. It’s dangerous.

  • Foli311

    Def. a lot of money but i think i might just pick one up

  • Inspector Butters

    I think maybe $99 with the purchase of a new phone and then the $299 as an “off contract” purchase would be a little more fair

    • tomn1ce

      Better free with the purchase of a new Galaxy device.

  • moelsen8


  • Stewie

    F*ck no … If it’s $299 then they should have made it look like this:

    Pass ….

    • Frettfreak

      thats what i am saying!! Instead you get a brick that realistcally wont last a day on a charge and ONLY if you have a new Galaxy device….

      Lets pu this into prospective, before they even went on sale you could get a fully unlocked nexus 4 8gb for $299 right?? Just let that sit in for a minute..

      • Dane Carpenter

        (As of last week) you mean $199 and $249 for the 16gb

  • Curtis

    Dat fingernail!

    • tomn1ce

      I was thinking the same thing… and what’s up with the black substance on it…..doesn’t look kosher…

      • Curtis

        It’s nasty.

        • michael arazan

          Think they need someone to wipe down the devices after each person handles them, ewww

    • KleenDroid

      Kellen has had a long standing issue with fingernail maintenance… 🙂

      This goes way back to the OG. His fingernails are just a big a part of DL as the color pink.

  • Dan Churco

    Does it have Wifi or GPS?

    • Justtyn Hutcheson

      No to both. It is an accessory for larger Samsung devices, nothing more.

      • Dan Churco

        Then there is no reason for me to replace my MotoACTV… It was the same price with more features (that I use anyways) and this is like 2 years after that was released. Disappointing

        • Justtyn Hutcheson

          Agreed. This device seems like less “push the envelope” and more “first to market”.

        • n900mixalot

          I was thinking of picking up a MotoACTV to root it, because rooted it looks great but … when this thing gets rooted it’ll likely be a bit more interesting.

          • Franklin Ramsey

            I don’t know what kind of developer support this is going to have. It uses a Pogo pin interface to charge, so who knows if it even syncs via USB or anything easy to interface with.

  • Shawn

    Not for $300. Make it $100-$150 maybe.

  • Thomas

    The guys over at Pebble just s**t a brick. This thing looks awesome !!

    • blackjaguar25

      Except you can use a Pebble with ANYTHING. Not just new Samsung Galaxy devices running 4.3+.

      • Charlie R.

        Plus, Pebble is half the price. If anything, the “guys at Pebble” are laughing at this.

        • blackjaguar25

          Plus, Pebble has insane battery life.

          • zurginator

            benefit of a black and white e-paper display.

        • Frettfreak

          If anything samsung just showed everyone that the pebble is a pretty awesome deal!

          This is not gonna be the smart watch that takes the world by storm. I am abosultly not even close to interested in it from the look alone. Then throw on the horrible battery life, samsung only bs and this thing is pretty much a flop imo

    • Justtyn Hutcheson

      The guys at Pebble released a quiet “meh”, and went back to work on Pebble 2. They may both be called “smartwatches” but they are definitely not the same kind of product.

  • dan0matic

    Just too much money.