Part of a new SmartWatch generation, Galaxy Gear is proposed as an extension to the Samsung tablet or pocket, able to take over the flow of notifications and run custom Android applications.
Beyond similarities with various futuristic gadgets captured in Hollywood productions many years ago, we could say that Galaxy Gear is an inevitable consequence in the evolved market of mobile devices from recent years: the proliferation of tablets since 2010 and the reorientation producers launching smartphones with big screens. Now, at the end of 2013, the border between tablets and smartphones is more confused than ever. Here comes as a help Samsung Galaxy Gear - an accessory that allows us to keep your Galaxy Note 3, or Galaxy Note 10.1 tablet phone function, well hidden in the pouch for transport.
Slightly more bulky than we expect to be a wristwatch and hard enough, Galaxy Gear has no chance to draw too many fans among hobbyists of expensive watches and fashion in general. However, before criticizing Samsung for lack of vision designers have studied the presented obstacles: the inclusion of a screen large enough to be useful for the purpose, hardware fast enough to play Android apps, camera shooting function, sensors (gyroscope, accelerometer), Bluetooth module to communicate with mobile, enough internal memory and a set of microphone and external speaker performance. Finally, it must remain room for a battery strong enough to lead to a close level of autonomy as on the mobile phone or tablet.
Housed in a housing made of plastic and polished metal to which it applied a Gorilla Glass shield, Samsung Galaxy Gear is presented with a final weight of 73.8 grams, respectively 11.1mm thick. Its front is greeted with a 1.6 inch Super AMOLED screen that plays 320x320 pixels resolution images corresponding on a density of 277 ppi.
Inside lies a 800MHz processor platform and 512MB of RAM, powered by a 315mAh battery. Collection of photos and videos are stored on the 4GB internal memory, where it can be passed on to the phone.
Overall, the Galaxy Gear gives the impression of a solid gadget, made of good quality materials. In a less inspired decision, Samsung engineers have chosen not to include a micro-USB connector in Galaxy Gear. Instead, for charging it is offered a sort of exo - skeleton were the watch is secured by a hinge mechanism. Only after this uncomfortable maneuver we can get to the micro connector -USB port on the provided adapter.
Samsung Galaxy Gear - main specifications
- Processor - 800MHz single-core
- Screen - Super AMOLED 1.63 iinch, resolution 320x320 pixels
- Camera - 1.9MP BSI technology and autofocus, video at 720p resolution
- Memory - 512MB RAM, 4GB storage
- Battery - 315mAh
- Other features - Accelerometer, gyroscope, Bluetooth 4.0 + LE mode, vibration function, built-in speaker, two microphones
Designed as an accessory for tablets and phones Samsung Galaxy Gear requires the presence of a permanent connection to a compatible device, used for synchronizing applications and retrieving notifications.
As for the compatibility list, it is limited and exclusive to Samsung products and now includes just two models: the Galaxy Note 3 phone and Note Galaxy 10.1 tablet generation for 2014. Adventurous users and willing to sacrifice any warranty provided by the manufacturer may install a custom ROM, which allows connection to any Android phone, and adds new applications that can operate without a direct connection to another device.
Galaxy Gear Applications
With more than 60 selections, some of which are duplicates, Galaxy Gear collection applications focus on fitness, receiving notifications from social networks or triggered by mobile phone.
Played on a 1.6 inch diagonal surface, SMS text play too little to contain whole sentences, requiring repeated conduct swipe gestures. As taken from the phone notifications, they can be announced with a ringtone or vibration, and not to be bombarded with useless information and junk we can exclude from the application menu Gear Manager. Currently, the list of applications compatible with the Galaxy Gear includes Gmail, Google Now, Google+, Hangouts, Evernote, Calendar events, and Twitter. Unfortunately not all of them are useful as sources of information. For example, when receiving a message in the Gmail app we are only informed of its arrival and asked if we wish to read it further on the phone display.
Pleasant surprise for Galaxy Gear, 1.9MP camera with autofocus lens and BSI technology provides acceptable picture quality, well exposed and without excessive background noise. The only complaint is the resolution of 1392x1392 pixels, which makes the images not easily classified as desktop wallpaper.
Used to answer calls, Galaxy Gear behaves like a mobile phone used in speaker mode. To speak is enough to approach the wrists, and if the environment is noisy the listening can be improved approaching to the ear the speaker installed in the buckle.
Unfortunately, in environments without much privacy as means of transportation, talking on the phone with Galaxy Gear is even more ridiculous than using an oversized smartphone screen.
Aided by a miniature 315mAh battery, Galaxy Gear resist at least one day of use with most options for enabled notifications, and if used less intensive we can count on 2-3 days of autonomy.
Considering that this product is found on the first generation, Galaxy Gear is a good example of creativity from Samsung, which shows a lot of potential left to explore in future editions.