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Galaxy Gear Gets Custom ROM Treatment, Features Custom Launcher and Web Browsing Support

Galaxy Gear

The Galaxy Gear smartwatch, a device hindered by its maker to only work on phones running TouchWiz, is becoming a bit more interesting this week. As reported today by several sources, the watch has sold only about 50,000 units, a number that is remarkably low considering how much marketing effort Samsung put into the device. Regardless of how many people are rocking one, you should know that there is in fact a group of developers working on the device on forums, and there are even some custom ROMs floating around. Who’d have thunk it? 

The ROM featured below in the screenshots is Null, a completely deodexed and rooted custom ROM, which allows the watch to run a tweaked version of stock Android, with a custom launcher (Nova Launcher) and live wallpaper support to boot. Thanks to plenty of hard work, the ROM is also able to allow the Gear to perform full web searching, as well as install third party applications as you would any other device.

It’s definitely an interesting development for the smartwatch, but since we assume it is still only compatible with TouchWiz devices, we are still stuck at square one. The issue is, hardly anyone owns this thing. So until you see this watch on a lot more wrists, you can continue to expect a low number of developers offering any of their time to work on it.

If you do happen to own one, go check out Null and bring some much-needed functionality to your smartwatch.

Galaxy GearGear GearGear

Via: XDA  | MacRumors

Cheers Rithvik and Will!

  • Jhiggz Kharique Merritt

    Got mine for 234.00 …not mad at all …best buy sale

  • judith

    I love mine ! Best buy ever.

  • Jon

    So I finally went out and bought a Galaxy Gear on craigslist this morning. I’m shocked at how tiny it is. I really had the impression that it was a huge and bulky watch. It’s not…like at all. It looks like a normal man watch size pretty much. Very classy looking honestly.

    I love it. I have crazy skinny wrist (like smaller than my wife’s wrist and she’s tiny)! It fits me fine and I was surprised that it can be adjusted to a wrist way smaller than mine. That was my huge concern and now I know it’s not a problem at all with fit and sizing.

    I’m stoked. Love it so far.

  • hfoster52

    Firesale yet??

  • So you say only 50,000 units have been sold, but I’ve seen it reported that 800,000 Galaxy Gear smart watches have been sold.

  • BS

    Make it work with non Touchwiz roms!!!

  • asdrfasfas

    that is only for south korea, they sold 800k worldwide, impressive! http://uk.reuters.com/article/2013/11/19/business-us-samsung-gear-idUKBRE9AI0AU20131119

  • sfasljkas

    If they sell 50k in one month what is the barometer of high sales for smart watches of this price range? If they manage to sell 500 k in a year which company had higher sales?

  • iNfAMOUS70702

    I won a galaxy gear over a bet a few weeks ago and despite owning a note 3 I’ve still yet to use the damn thing..definitely gonna check this out

    • Ian

      You guys are high stakes over there.

  • ki11ak3nn

    Samsung if you’re listening (which I’m sure you’re not) GIVE ME THIS WATCH FOR $200 AND I WILL PUT IT ON MY WRIST!!

    • IanKellogg


      • JoshGroff


      • ki11ak3nn

        $200 and free are totally different. Obviously their marketing campaign has failed. So lower the price of the watch and let the users be the advertising. If it’s truly a great watch I’m going to let my friends and others know.

    • JoshGroff

      This^ $300 for a smart watch is pretty ridiculous, especially when the competition is sub $200 with greater device compatibility.

    • PacoBell

      Umm…have you checked eBay lately?

  • b00sted

    If this thing drops to around 150ish I will find a way to nab one.. till then it will be a cool gadget that is way overpriced for me to justify.

    • Ian

      Agreed, below $150 and it finds a way to look less like a piece of poop, then I will have to pick one up.

  • Jon

    I decided a week ago that I was buying one of these. Now I’m trying to get my hands on one as soon as possible. If I weren’t getting the Xbox One this week, I would already have this in my possession.

    • crazed_z06

      I read on Appleinsider that that the sales have been terrible.. hopefully they’ll drop the price of liquidate soon..

      • Jon

        Yeah they have apparently sold 50,000 watches. But think about it, it still doesn’t even work with most phones. It works with the Note 3, but even those with the fairly new Galaxy S4 have to wait for an update from their carrier to support the watch.

        So that being said, 50,000 units sold to just Note 3 users, maybe that’s a good thing?

        If there’s a price drop coming, I wonder if it will be before or after Christmas season.

        • S3owner

          You are exactly correct. It is as simple as that. Samsung could not have been more foolish thinking this would boost Note 3 sales or cause people to upgrade to one to get this. Colossal fail in that regard.

          • Jon

            And the crazy thing is, they could easily have released an app to the app store that anyone with a Galaxy device could download and immediately get the watch up and running. They must know how easy it then would have been for someone to modify the .apk file and then allow for the gear to work with pretty much any phone. So they instead tied the functionality to TouchWiz thereby locking the Gear to a Samsung device experience only. A hugely shortsighted fail.

          • IanKellogg

            as far as I know the notification system is very much tied to touchwiz framework. It doesn’t use the standard security settings to read notifications. They probably should have just done it the right way the first time…

        • droidftw

          I wonder how many of those came free with a Note 3 on Verizon Edge.

          • IanKellogg

            none, the 50k metric is for south korea only. worldwide sales is somewhere south of 800k.

  • JaizukeD
  • Rand Paul 2016

    Can they put the play store on it?

    • aBabyPenguin

      If the rom is stock android, you should be able to install Gapps or sideload the market, no?

    • IanKellogg

      Since droid life is just copy/paste from the other articles on the net (this update reported is two days old) the current update has the playstore.

  • Chris

    Who the hell would use the web on such a tiny screen?

    • Josh Shaw

      iPhone users.

      • ki11ak3nn

        SHOTS FIRED!!!

      • La2da

        Ay yo! You are correct sir!

      • Phillip Bee

        bahahaha .. this guy ^^^^^^ .. this guy deserves +100000

        • Josh Shaw

          Thank you!

  • Droid Ronin

    Reminds me of when the MOTOACTV first got root and full web browsing. I wonder who is still rocking one of those.

    • Jeremy Gross

      really was underrated, with root and rom that thing could do so much

    • JoshGroff

      I was considering picking one up, looks like they can be grabbed fairly cheap on eBay.

  • Manicfof

    Hey guys I really enjoyed your nexus 5 review. Oh wait….

    • Fozzybare

      babies come first yo.

      • MK17

        Cool, can’t wait for the baby review!

    • JMonkeYJ

      anandtech is also taking their sweet time with their N5 review…

      • Good_Ole_Pinocchio

        I mean… They always take their sweet time, a lot goes into those reviews at anan.

        • michael arazan

          If you really need a review right now Android central has one. And a review of how it stacks up against the moto x. They are reporting not great battery life but decent enough. Pretty much everything DL has reported about the Nexus 5 is pretty accurate and should be reflected in their review I would assume.

  • rthvk

    How does the keyboard work on this thing?

    • lesprince

      The keyboard works fairly well considering the size, I use the Google keyboard and the swipe feature is fairly accurate. A lot of these features are cool to show off but seeing how your big phone is nearby I would just as soon use the big screen. I have watch a part of a movie on mine, listen to music on it and searched the web and all works surprisingly well considering the size. The main thing I use mine for is phone calls where privacy is not an issue, a lot easier than talking on the Note 3. Also the latest update definitely makes it more useful by allowing all notification to be received in full on the Gear, which was one of the biggest problems upon release and now is a non-issue. This watch isn’t for everyone but I have become really attached to mine, but almost returned it in the beginning but glad I didn’t with all the latest developments it has become a very functional device. Also a lot of people complain about the price but for the quality of the watch and it’s functional abilities it has available now I believe it’s worth it and would defiantly buy it again. The only downside is that it is only compatible with Samsung phones on 4.3.

      • Jon

        how does running all of the apps affect battery life? Can you still make it through a solid day (like wake up till bed time)?

        • lesprince

          As long as you switch the Bluetooth tethering off when you are not using it,but if you leave the Bluetooth on it will kill it in about 7 hours and of course the more screen on time you have the more of a hit your battery will take. But outside of that you can easily get through the day with battery to spare with normal use. I have had mine for almost a month and battery life keeps getting better with more tweaks becoming available, along with the latest system update was a great help. Feel free to ask me any questions I have put mine through a lot with no regrets.

    • Cathy

      how does running all of the apps affect battery life? Can you still make it through a solid day

      • Colin Sevier

        NO, you can’t.. I had to come home early today to charge it.. My battery life sucks now.. very bad.. i’M PUTTING the stock rom back on now

        • Andy C

          You actually went home early just to charge your watch? How odd.