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Samsung Galaxy Gear Hands-on and Overview

samsung galaxy gear

The Galaxy Gear smartwatch from Samsung, along with the Galaxy Note 3 (review here), were the two biggest announcements the company made during September’s Unpacked event in Berlin (and New York City). It was already known that Samsung would more than likely be unveiling a smartwatch at the event, but it was very uncertain as to what it would look like or what it would be capable of. Without getting into all of the leaked images and phony rumors, it’s safe to say that we weren’t expecting anything this good looking. 

The Galaxy Gear sports a 1.63″ Super AMOLED display (320 x 320 resolution), an Exynos CPU clocked at 800MHz, 512MB of RAM, 4GB of onboard storage, two microphones, a speaker, a variety of sensors, a 315mAh battery, and even a 1.9MP camera built into the strap. It’s an amazing little machine, one that pairs quite well to the Galaxy Note 3, and soon some other Galaxy devices once they get updated software.

We will be doing a full review this week of the Galaxy Gear, but for now the below hands-on video will have to hold you over. We promise to have the full review up soon, but those impatient types, I can go over a few points right now that will basically sum up what the full review will be.

samsung galaxy gear

The display is quite lovely, offering up some great colors and viewing angles, although we wish its built-in wake sensor was more sensitive for when we want the device to turn on with a simple wrist lift. As of right now, you have to over exaggerate your wrist-up motion if you expect the display to come on automatically. It’s not bad, but you just look goofy when performing the motion.

The battery is okay, lasting about a full day of good usage. While that may sound disappointing, this is exactly what I expected from just a 315mAh battery. I mean really, that’s pretty tiny for something with a full color display that you are supposed to utilize dozens of times throughout a day. The camera is okay, but just okay. It’s decent for snapping quick pictures of meals or anything not in need of a full-blown camera, but the photos are not worthy of writing home about. It is only a 1.9MP sensor after all.

On the other hand, the Snapchat app works incredibly well in a pinch. Taking calls is a lot of fun on Gear, but please don’t do it in public; you will look silly. The speaker is loud and the mic works quite well. So far, I have had a fantastic time using the watch, and get compliments quite often when I take it out on the town.

For more Galaxy Gear action, check out the full gallery and hands-on video below. That should tide you over until our full review later this week. If you have questions or want us to touch on something specific, shoot it down below in the comments section.

Video

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Gallery

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  • karim

    The Samsung Galaxy Gear is an Android-based smartwatch produced by Samsung Electronics. Unveiled during a Samsung Unpacked event in Berlin on September 4, 2013, the device serves as a companion for all Samsung Galaxy smartphones and tablets which run Android 4.3; on launch, this included the Galaxy Note 3 and Galaxy Note 10.1 2014 Edition.
    The Galaxy Gear was released to generally poor reception; it was criticized for the overall design of its interface, the implementation of some of its software, the few apps available, its poor battery life, and its dependency on Samsung Galaxy phones and tablets.ترجمه انگلیسی به فارسی

  • sadra

    Galaxy Gear is the first smartwatch release from a major smartphone manufacturer, but does this first step into a growing mobile market deliver?دستگاه حضور و غیاب

  • rthvk

    Was that USB debug I saw under Gear Info?

    Anyone thinking what I’m thinking?

    BOOTLOADER UNLOCK TIME! :D

  • Guest

    Hey Tim (@ DL) please let us know if the Galaxy Gear has infrared capabilities. I need to know if this device has any chance of controlling my televisions! Also it really needs a much better battery and lots of apps. Please respond to these items in your upcoming review. Thanks.

  • SkylaC90

    hey Tim, i’d really like to know if you can video chat on it like Dick Tracey and James Bond

  • http://www.ashevilletechnologyservices.com Dan Brown

    I’m guessing the clock doesn’t stay on all the time… it goes to sleep. Are there timeout settings? How do you wake it up? That’s my only complaint so far…

    I want to look at my watch and see what the damn time is without pressing any buttons!

    I think it looks super cool though, not sure why all the criticism! It’ll especially go well with my new Verizon Glitch ordered Note3!!! Thanks DL

  • yummy

    What does it look like on a dinosaur?
    If you can sneak into a nathist museum,
    and snap some pictures with it
    attached to a dinosaur wrist, that
    would be cool, thanks.

  • Daeshaun Griffiths

    Tatt + watch is kind creepy. I just don’t like the SOME interface. The price is up there too. I know it’s not android but will DL cover the pebble 2?

  • Justin Halcomb

    I think it’s too much in a watch.

  • Pierito

    Reasons why I wont be buying one.

    1. Its 300 bucks

    2. If I’m looking at it reading texts or something people are going to think I’m an idiot and it takes me several minutes to read the time.

  • TeeTinz11

    Is that a hand near your hand?

  • Droid Ronin

    Would like to see CM installed on this eventually.

  • B!

    I’ve seen it in person. It’s a convenient device, I just can’t see paying $300 for it.

  • fauxshizzl

    Pros:
    Looks neat
    Viewable in sunlight

    Cons:
    Very few available apps.
    Only a few hand selected companies have access to the current (not final) SDK to build more apps.
    Only supports two devices at launch, and only one is even a phone. Not sure who would pair this with a tablet.
    Even the S voice commands require using both hands.
    You have to turn the screen on manually.
    Leaving the screen on at all times would turn this from a watch to a bracelet in just a few hours.
    Many apps still only give you a notification, but to see the actual message you must pull out your phone.
    To make many of the notifications go away on your watch you must first pull out your phone.
    The camera is an eye sore and doesn’t perform well enough to make it practical to have on there to begin with.

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  • epps720

    I was actually pleasantly surprised by the look of the watch but they killed themselves by only allowing it to work my Samsung devices and limited devices at that. Really excited to see what the Nexus Watch has in store.

  • ToddAwesome

    Don’t be a Dick, Tracy.

  • Ray Gray

    I hope you guys can do a review on the Sony smartwatch 2. I’m not sure which device I want at this point.

    • Hoffman

      Also the Omate TrueSmart Watch. It looks amazing.

  • Dan

    I don’t see text in the watch.. if you cant send and read text, i’m not interested

    • B!

      You can read texts from it.

  • Good_Ole_Pinocchio

    We should start doing Score reviews for devices, so when the Verge gives a score we can just go 1 point lower. 4/10 by Vlad

    • Downtoearth2

      Bad idea. We all know the verge is paid by Apple that only Apple products get positive reviews.

      • Good_Ole_Pinocchio

        …..Please stop that nonsense.

      • JBartcaps

        Have you been to that website at all? Josh(The Creator) and Nilay have been the most critical of Apple, to the point that I actually think Josh prefers the Moto X to the iPhone

        • decidedtochangename

          Josh also stated he thinks Android has surpassed iOS.

          The thing is different writers have different bias, its impossible not to. Just like Kellen I have to imagine is going to give Android phone more leniency than someone not running an Android blog.

          • JBartcaps

            Absolutely true, but he said The Verge is being paid by Apple, so I was just trying to debunk that

    • JBartcaps

      I see you over there making waves Mr. Pinocchio

  • T S

    this seems like the ultimate creep tool with a camera in it.

  • MichaelFranz

    I feel like this is truly the Dick Tracy watch…6-2 and even over and out