The original Galaxy Gear, despite a few good features and functionality, never caught on as Samsung had hoped, causing the company to hurriedly bring out the Gear 2. However, the original Gear has certainly become a better device through updates, with the most recent update switching its OS from Android to Tizen, which makes the $99 price attached to it on Daily Steals today the sweetest deal you will likely see. (more…)
Samsung Galaxy Gear
Much like they did with Android 4.4 KitKat last fall, Google basically caught everyone off guard on Tuesday, rolling out a wearable-exclusive platform we had no idea existed. Actually, scratch that, because we knew full well a Jelly Bean sequel was coming months ago, we just didn’t expect the Nestle branding, while Android Wear is an absolute bombshell.
It really came out of nowhere, as until a few days back, we weren’t even sure Google had one single smartwatch in the pipeline. Now, it’s almost game over for wearables running anything else but Android Wear. Tizen? Don’t make me laugh. The proprietary Samsung-built OS inside the Gear Fit? It’s DOA.
Apple might still have a shot at challenging Wear-based smartwatches, though their oft-rumored, highly anticipated iWatch should probably see daylight soon to keep Cupertino’s hopes alive. That is, as long as Google’s hardware partners price their gizmos sensibly, and deliver a better turnaround time than, say, Google Glass.
Will they? Exactly how soon can we expect gadgets like the Moto 360 or LG G Watch to go up on store shelves? And when it comes down to it, what’s Android Wear’s deal? Here’s everything we know about the OS at the moment, after piecing together info from Google, Motorola, LG and various people with all the right connections:
Interface, features and functions
Google insisted from the get-go Android Wear is designed specifically with wearable devices in mind, but it’s not quite a brand new build of the operating system. It’s more like an extension of existent versions.
It combines plenty of features you may be familiar with from either Jelly Bean or KitKat, also adding a few innovative things in the mix. At its core, Wear is hugely reliant on Google Now, and I guess you could say it’s a very simple, uncluttered, almost rudimentary platform. Which, if you think about it, is perfect.
There’s great emphasis on health and fitness monitoring, as well as multiscreen functionality and notifications. In fact, if anyone plays a word association game with you and asks to convey the first phrase that comes to mind when thinking Android Wear, it should be “notification”.
While still very much viewed as accessories, smartwatches become a little more independent with Wear, showing their “masters” all sorts of useful information on their wrists, from weather to text messages, meetings, travel guides, sports scores, etc., etc. It’s not exactly a smartphone for your wrist, but close enough.
The pièce de résistance software-wise is probably voice interaction, as in many ways you won’t need to touch the devices to get them to listen to you, obey and deliver. Neat, huh?
Quick, what’s Samsung Galaxy Gear’s biggest flaw? Pricing? Maybe, though it’s getting better. How about compatibility? Sounds right, since the watch can only be used in association with certain Samsung Galaxy phones and tablets.
Meanwhile, Motorola has already confirmed the Moto 360 will work with all handhelds and slates running Android 4.3 Jelly Bean or above, and rumor has it each and every upcoming Wear accessory is to follow suit in that sense.
Sure, it’d have been nice to see some real standalone wearables announced, however it’s not like we don’t all own JB or KitKat-powered phones.
As for developers keen to jump on the Android Wear bandwagon, a special preview is available for tests and optimization of various apps on both round and square screens. In fact, the sole reason Google announced the platform so early was to give devs enough time to enrich it. Go on, do your thing, make us proud.
By far the coolest thing about Wear, just like with the Android ecosystem in general, is it abounds with choice, diversity, variety. The Moto 360 and LG G Watch are only the beginning, as Samsung, HTC, Asus and even Fossil Group have all committed to come up with their own takes on hardware built around Google’s newest piece of software.
The roster of processor-making partners is impressive too, with Qualcomm, Intel and MediaTek leading the pack.
Back to the 360/G Watch duo, it’s great to see the former going the circular design route, and the latter the rectangular path. I won’t tell you which I prefer, but I very much appreciate the choice.
Set to start selling the first, in early summer, the G Watch is a thick cloud of smoke right now, though unofficially, we do “know” its display measures 1.65 inches in diagonal and boasts 280 x 280 pixels resolution. The CPU’s make and model remains a question mark, as does the battery size and expected autonomy.
512 MB RAM and 4 GB storage are found inside the hood, suggesting LG’s freshman smartwatch effort may cost about as much as Samsung’s Galaxy Gear. No deal? Take a look at the exquisite design again, think about the smoother, more convenient software, and maybe you’ll reconsider.
Motorola’s Moto 360? It’s poised to break cover during the summer too (probably in July and August), and it might well be pricier than both the G Watch and Galaxy Gear. Blame it on the fancier design, which apparently could hinder the manufacturing process and prevent Moto from ever staging a large-scale global release.
Offered with your choice of metal and plastic straps, the wearable will reportedly be water-resistant (not fully waterproof), feature wireless charging, an orientation-free frame, a display measuring 46 mm (roughly 1.8 inches) in diameter, and no camera.
Oh, so maybe it won’t be so costly after all. Fingers crossed for solid battery life though, and a solution to the producing pickle. After all, it’d be such a shame for a splendid product like this to end up as vaporware.
How about it, are you more excited about the Moto 360 or LG G Watch? Do you see a bright future for Android Wear, despite no independently operable wearables being in the works? You have the floor.
The Galaxy Gear is a somewhat impressive smartwatch for a first attempt, but if there’s one thing that has made people steer clear of Samsung’s debut smartwatch product, it’s been the rather insane asking price of $299. The Gear doesn’t exactly do any particular thing in a special way, and when you factor in its incompatibility with all but a few Samsung phones and tablets (that too after a firmware update), the smartwatch is one device that doesn’t really make sense for many.
Well, Samsung seems to have understood that the price of the Gear was too high, and as a result, the Korean manufacturer has given the smartwatch a $120 price cut in India. According to DailyTech, this price reduction is permanent, and is expected to go into effect globally in all markets, with the U.S. price to down to as low as $210. At the new price, the Galaxy Gear becomes instantly a lot more attractive than before, and the expected launch of the Galaxy Gear 2 in the next couple of months (most likely alongside the Galaxy S5) might have had something to do with Samsung’s move to make the first-generation Gear a more affordable product.
Would you buy the Galaxy Gear at the new price?
Year-end rundowns and recaps would be nothing without previews and rumor roundups, and so, after compiling lists with the Android best of the best and also the worst of worst in 2013, it’s time to look ahead at what’s coming in 2014.
Hopefully, less flops, more home-runs. As we’ve learned, the leading candidate for both is Samsung, simply because the Koreans have more guts and money than possibly all other big (and small) fishes in the Android business combined.
If there’s one thing we know about Sammy, it’s they’re going to roll out dozens of new products over the course of the next 12 months, intending to conquer each and every niche of the mobile market, even those that we had no idea existed.
Be that as it may, guessing what the Galaxy architects have planned for a full year is downright impossible, so instead let’s see what we can make of the recent speculation bonanza in regards to devices expected out between January 1 and June 30. In other words, H1 2014.
Q1 or Q2? Before, during or after MWC? Metal or plastic? Hard to say. But the S5 is coming in H1, and it’s going to be outstanding. Plenty of things have changed since the last time we summarized S5 gossip, yet no believable render is out.
So maybe the “next big thing” is a little ways down the road. Or, and this is much easier to buy, Samsung has put a stop to the wild leakfests of 2012 and 2013 and aims to keep a tighter lid on the future big guy’s design.
Hiding the specs is a much more difficult feat, as an SM-G900S has already surfaced online with a list of features that puts it in pole-position as a GS5 candidate. The theory is corroborated by notorious Twitter tipster @evleaks and now AnTuTu, so it’s not set in stone, but it’s close enough.
As a quick refresher, the S5 is tipped to sport a 2K 5 or 5.2-inch display, 2.5 GHz quad-core Snapdragon 800 and/or 64-bit Exynos CPU, 3 or 4 GB RAM and 16 MP rear-facing camera. The exterior is likely made of plastic, however…
Super-premium F Series
However, the “standard” GS5 will not necessarily be the top stallion in Samsung’s stable. Instead, an ultra high-end member of the Galaxy family could see daylight with aluminum and curved display versions, probably a Snapdragon 805 SoC running the hardware show and the best Sammy has to offer in the imaging and battery departments.
The “when” part of the equation is the most difficult to untangle, albeit my guesstimate is the Galaxy F (or however it’ll end up being called) will break cover a good month or two after the S5. Ergo, April or May.
Other Galaxy phones
Just because Samsung has two top-shelf handhelds in the pipeline, it doesn’t mean they’ll neglect the low-end, low-cost class. No sir, as they draw profits almost equally as hefty from there. And thereabouts, as mid-range slabs are too worthy of a separate mention.
While we’re a little light on specifics in this section, it doesn’t take a rocket scientist to predict some sort of Galaxy Fame and Young follow-ups are in the cards, as well as washed-out Lite variants of the Note 3 and Grand. Maybe a Galaxy Xcover 3, upgraded Megas and a few “Plus”, “Advance” and “Pro” flavors of existing devices.
Bottom line, nothing fancy, but cool and cheap enough to keep Nokia and Motorola at bay.
Tablets: Galaxy Tab 3 Lite, Note 12.2, GTab 4 and more
The slate department is actually the one Samsung wants to tweak the most in 2014, if we are to believe, well, everyone. And not a day too soon, as, in all honesty, Galaxy tablets, be they part of the Tab series or Note family, have never made big waves or sizable profits.
Can the GTab 3 Lite turn things around? Not dramatically, despite its unbeatable $100 price point. What about the Note 12.2? Now you’re talking. As far-fetched as it may sound, pundits forecast an immense growth for large slates, including those north of 10 inches.
Combine that with the functionality of the GNote line, massive marketing and advertising investments, top-of-the-line specs and a touch of extra productivity with keyboard docks and other accessories, and you get a smash hit. Just don’t forget the docking station, Sammy, or else Apple will beat you to the punch with the oft-rumored iPad Pro.
What else? Oh, yeah, a pair of Super AMOLED display-toting tabs is also reportedly in the works, one a compact 8-incher and the other boasting 10.5 inches of sweetness. And a mystery 13.3-incher, and some sort of hybrid with both Windows and Android on-board. Too much to take in all at once?
Well, we’re not done. Aside from the $100 Lite thing and AMOLED players, the Tab series is due for a couple of additional refreshments (under the Tab 4 moniker), to follow on the footsteps of the 8 and 10-inch Tab 3. Also, it’s safe to assume the Galaxy Note 8.0 will itself get a sequel. I lost count, how many are there? Ten, twenty, a hundred?
Wearables: Galaxy Gear 2? Gear Glass?
Forget what they say, the first-gen Galaxy Gear is nowhere near a slam dunk. But you’d have been crazy to think the first stab at such a delicate concept would hit the jackpot. Since there’s nothing wrong with the actual concept, Samsung should try again and a more basic, functional, sleeker and elegant Galaxy Gear 2 is probably due sometime in May or June. Maybe sooner.
A Gear Glass to take on the Google Glass? Don’t count on it… yet. It’s another intriguing concept, don’t get me wrong, however it needs work. A lot of work. And time.
Right, this is it, and now you have the floor. What are you dear readers most excited about? Least excited? I have the F and Note 12.2 in the former and the Gear 2 in the latter.
I’m a glass half full kind of guy. Which is why I’ve insisted on the best of the Android landscape of late, giving you the ecosystem’s top picks this Christmas, the cream of the crop in the sub-$100 tablet niche, a list of outstanding low-cost smartphones, the superlative five 10-inch slates and the handhelds most likely to keep up with you while on the move.
But that’s enough. No more Mr. Nice Guy for me. Everything is not peachy in Android world and it’s high time we wagged our fingers at some of the year’s biggest losers. Without further adieu therefore, here’s who disappointed, deceived, disillusioned and disenchanted us in 2013. The Google-powered flops, duds, bombs and lemons:
7. Motorola Moto X
As if odds weren’t already against me, with the article bound to be a hate magnet regardless of the flop selection, the list begins with what’s destined to be an extremely controversial choice. Was the Moto X a failure or not?
Well, I’ll tell you what it wasn’t: a revolutionary, groundbreaking, game-changing device, as the hype preceding its launch may have suggested. And yes, sales probably picked up recently, thanks to Moto Maker’s spread, discounts and more discounts, yet with 500,000 units shipped in August and September, you can’t possibly call the thing a box-office hit.
But why did it fail? In a nutshell, it was overpriced when it first went on sale, the US exclusivity was also a mistake, not to mention the highly anticipated customization options were simply not that great. And those that were, landed too late or didn’t land at all.
6. HTC One and One max
Another controversial choice? Believe it, as the HTC One, though stunning on paper, did… not… sell. More importantly, what was supposed to be the OEM’s saving grace failed to turn around its financial woes, causing – though not single-handedly – additional losses.
As for the One max, there’s nothing controversial here. It’s too focused on gimmicks, late to the phablet party, modest performance-wise and, oh, pricey like a “limited edition” 50-dollar Gucci t-shirt.
5. Samsung Galaxy S3 mini, S4 mini, S4 zoom
Everyone makes mistakes, and that applies to the Samsung money-making machine based in Seoul. Their GS4 sold like hotcakes, the Note 3 is hands down the best Android out there, however the S3 mini, S4 mini and S4 zoom are… pointless.
And they’re not worth separate attention, as together, they serve a sole purpose, signaling what could be Sammy’s demise. Stop with the brand dilution, stop with the sub-par, diminutive, far-too-expensive variants of flagships, just stop. Unless you want to become the next HTC.
4. Google Glass
Alright, so the wearable computer is not technically a 2013 flop, as it debuted back in 2012. But the hope was Big G would improve the concept this year, make it more than a nifty futuristic idea with no real-life use today or at least, you know, finish it and roll it out in a consumer, as-affordable-as-possible version.
None of it actually happened and for that, the smart glasses that everyone loves to hate are well deserving of a spot on our list. Who knows, maybe next year Google will hustle up and propel the gizmo on the “top 7 Android hits of 2014” poll. The potential is definitely there.
3. Nvidia Shield
It may not have been as buzzed-about as, say, the Moto X or HTC One, so its ruin possibly didn’t sting as much, but make no mistake, the Shield was a colossal bomb. Too bad there’ve been literally no sales figures announced, because we’d have used a big laugh this time of the year, when money are as fleeting as the morning dew.
The sad thing is you can’t fault Nvidia for trying. There was a legitimate chance a “handheld game console” was going to make it and the pricing was not preposterous (after one or two discounts). Then again, the delays, meager hardware, weak gaming support and limited streaming capabilities led to a painfully unavoidable fall.
Oh, and it also “helped” that Nvidia made virtually no investment in marketing and advertising. Remember a single Shield commercial? Maybe a billboard promoting it? Exactly.
2. Samsung Galaxy Gear
Two strikeouts in one year? That’s certainly unexpected from the undisputed Android kings, yet there’s no reason to pity Samsung. Have you seen Galaxy S4 and Note 3’s sales numbers? Safe to assume they have a comfortable enough cushion to afford several mishaps.
Now, just like with the Moto X, some of you are bound to look at the Gear as a triumph. Or at least not a dud. After all, it sold 800,000 units in two months. No, it didn’t. It shipped them to retailers (totally different thing), whereas actual sales supposedly circled the 50,000 figure last month.
Let’s assume they’ve hit in the meantime 100k. That’s downright pitiful, considering how much wad Samsung poured into the smartwatch’s advertising budget. For crying out loud, they got LeBron James to promote it.
How about you keep things simple, neat and cheap next time you roll out a wearable piece of technology, eh, Samsung? Also, work on your device support, as not everyone can afford a $600-$700 S4 or Note 3, plus a $300 Galaxy Gear.
1. HTC First
Such fatidic branding, so many errors of judgment. Alex Roth of TechRadar described the phone’s custom Facebook Home user interface better than anyone, saying it’s a “glorified screensaver”. And even if it wasn’t, no one wants FB to control everything on their handhelds.
And those that want, don’t care for mid-range slabs of silicon. They want something their “friends” can’t afford. Like an iPhone. There, that’s your Facebook phone, the iPhone 5C. It’s overpriced, “cute”, has a “personality” (read flimsy and plasticky) and can upload selfies on the world’s number one social network in a jiffy.
But I digress and I wouldn’t want to forget about HTC First’s “stellar” box-office performance: 15,000 units sold the first month, probably about as much so far. Alright, maybe 20,000. So when’s the HTC Second supposed to see daylight again? Right, never.
If you’re planning to get the Samsung Galaxy Gear then you might want get it from the T-Mobile website. This wearable device that works with the Galaxy Note 3 has an original price of $299.99 however if you add the promo code “FALLFUN30” on checkout you’ll get $90 off the price tag dropping it to $209.99. That’s already a huge savings on your end which you can use to purchase other accessories.
It appears that this deal is only available at the T-mobile website and there’s no information as to when it will end. We’ve tried applying the promo code on checkout and it has been proven to work.
The Samsung Galaxy Gear is a smartwatch that needs to be paired to a smartphone in order to use its full capabilities. The only problem with this expensive device is that it only works with the Samsung Galaxy Note 3 as of now. Samsung however promised that this smartwatch will soon be able to work with the Galaxy S4 and other Galaxy devices.
Early reviews of this device have been mixed with some users satisfied with it while others disdaining it.
Samsung Galaxy Gear Technical Specifications
- 800MHz Exynos CPU
- 1.63-inch Super AMOLED display at 320×320 resolution
- 1.9MP camera with BSI sensor
- 720p video recording and playback
- Featured apps from Atooma, Banjo, Evernote, Glympse, eBay, Line, MyFitnessPal, Path, Pocket, RunKeeper, TripIt and Vivino
- Samsung Apps and ChatON messaging service
- 2 microphones, 1 speaker
- Bluetooth 4.0 and LE
- Accelerometer, Gyroscope
- 4GB on-board storage
- 512MB RAM
- 315mAh battery
- Additional features – Smart Relay, S Voice, Auto Lock, Find My Device, Media Controller, Pedometer, Stopwatch, Timer
- Safety assistance
A number of carriers in the US have already launched Samsung’s latest addition to the Galaxy family, the Galaxy Note 3 phablet and Galaxy Gear smartwatch that accompanies the Note 3 (for now). AT&T has announced that they will be physically launching both devices on October 4th, so if you have been anticipating this date it is just 3 days away.
Early last month, Samsung UK revealed the prices that it would be selling these two newest Galaxy devices – and they’re quite steep – a £649 (about $1,051) tag for the phablet and £299 (about $484) for the watch and a bundled price of £848 ($1,325) for those that want both the phablet and the watch. In the same post, we learnt that AT&T would be selling Galaxy Note 3 for $724 off-contract (which is a lot lower than Verizon’s $699.99 for the phablet and a phablet smartwatch bundled price of $999.98) and $299.99 on a 2 year contract. Alternatively, you can join AT&T’s Next program for $35 monthly. The Samsung Galaxy Smartwatch sells for $299 since there is no contract.
Users have been placing their pre-orders for the device(s) on AT&T’s Galaxy Note page and the carrier promises that shipping for pre-order will being on October 1st (today). Starting Friday, AT&T customers will have the option of buying either or both Android devices online or at AT&T stores and accredited outlets at the same price as the current pre-order price.
As a reminder, the Galaxy Note 3 is a 5.7 inch monster smartphone (or small tablet) with a full HD 1080p display, a 2.3 GHz quad-core Snapdragon 800 SoC, 3 GB RAM, a 13 megapixels camera, a 3,200mAh battery and an S-Pen active stylus. The gear is an Android-powered wristwatch with a 1.63 inch 320×320 pixels Super AMOLED display, an 800 MHz processor, 512 MB RAM, 1.9 megapixels camera, 4 GB internal storage and a 315 mAh battery. If you are unsure if the Samsung Galaxy Note 3 and Gear are right for you, read more about them here.
AT&T leads the way but other carriers including Sprint and T-Mobile will be selling these devices starting ‘early this month’.
Source: Android and Me
The Samsung Galaxy Gear 2 may already be in the works, according to a Korean publication. The same source speculates that the follow-up to the recently-unveiled Samsung smartwatch may be unveiled during the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) or Mobile World Congress (MWC) next year. CES 2014 is scheduled in January whereas MWC will happen the month after.
It is suggested that Samsung may be developing its next smartwatch following the lukewarm reception that it had gotten over the Samsung Galaxy Gear.
Purportedly, the less-than-enthusiastic response was due to several reasons. One, the smartwatch is only compatible with the Samsung Galaxy Note 3; two, the device does not come with a long-lasting battery; and three, the smartwatch is deemed pricey given that it depends much on another device.
The publication reveals, however, that the original Samsung Galaxy Gear was released to give the manufacturer insights on the market. Samsung, it claims, will use such information to develop the next smartwatch, which will allegedly have more features and better compatibility. The source says that the Samsung Galaxy Gear 2 could, for one, sport a GPS chip.
Others, however, believe that Samsung released the smartwatch early to beat its fierce rival, Apple. The Cupertino company is also expected to release a smartwatch sometime around the middle part of 2014. Meanwhile, other manufacturers have released smartwatches into the market. These include Sony, Pebble, I’mWatch, and Fossil, to name a few.
To review, the Samsung Galaxy Gear smartwatch revealed earlier this month offers an 800 MHz processor, 1.63-inch Super AMOLED display, 4GB of internal memory, 512 MB of RAM, Bluetooth v 4.0 + BLE, an accelerometer, gyroscope, 315mAh Li-ion battery, 10 preloaded clock options, and features such as S Voice, Pedometer, Find My Device, and Auto Lock.
The information published by the Korean media supports the statement that Samsung gave following the Galaxy Gear launch regarding its plans to continue working on the product line. It had been speculated that Samsung could introduce a bigger display and more powerful hardware on future iterations of the Galaxy Gear.
IFA 2013 may have just ended a few days ago, but many devices announced can already be pre-ordered. The Samsung Galaxy Gear has been added to the list of devices that can be pre-ordered.
If you live in the UK, you can now order the Galaxy Gear (all colors included) from Clove Technology. The price listed from Clove is £282 plus the delivery cost. That’s a high asking price, especially when you consider that you also need a new Galaxy Note 3 or Galaxy Tab 10.1 2014 Edition to use the watch (at first launch).
If you want to purchase the Galaxy Gear smartwatch, click on the source link below.
Source: Clove Technology
There have been so many leaks of Samsung’s first Android Smartwatch dubbed Galaxy Gear, but none of the leaks has been as comprehensive and detailed as what we have come across today. We learnt earlier today that the leaked images of the Samsung Galaxy Gear may not be images of the final watch – and we do hope so because the watches on those images were not as gorgeous as I would want my smartwatch to be.
Thanks to the folks at Venturebeat got their hands on some solid information regarding the smartwatch expected to be unveiled in Berlin later this week. The new leak brings to light some surprising features and specs of the watch, including a camera, speakers on the straps and impressive memory.
As you can see on the image above, a very rough draft of the design of Samsung’s Smartwatch, the camera is positioned on the strap and the watch will have hardware buttons for power ON and OFF and possibly one for camera and Home. Here are the specs of the Galaxy Gear.
Device Name: Samsung Galaxy Gear
Processor: Dual core processor 1.5GHz
Operating System: Android Jelly Bean (Possibly 4.2)
Display: 320 x 320 2.5 inch OLED touchscreen
Memory: 1 GB RAM, Choice of 8GB and 16GB
Camera: 4 megapixels 720p camera
Other specs: Speakers (on device Strap), Accelerometer, Bluetooth 4.0 and a 10 hr Battery.
You may have had a look at the watch’s leaked images, if you have then you will agree with me that the watch is both oversized and not the most attractive on the market. Based on the patent drawings below, we can deduce that even if the published images of the watch are not the images of the final watch, the final design will look very close. Other than these specs, Samsung Galaxy Gear also comes with a ton of features including Samsung’s S Voice for voice commands, an easy to use swipe function to make it easy and fast to access apps, photo gallery or built-in camera, call logs transferable from the phone, web access capabilities and integration with social media accounts like Facebook and Twitter and a dedicated power button. The watch also comes pre-loaded with tons of apps optimized to run on the watch.
Do you think the Gear stands a chance in the smartwatch market? Would you buy one? Let us know what you think in the comments section below.
IFA 2013 is only a few days away, so more leaks of products have been coming in day after day. Today, it seems that VentureBeat has received images of Samsung’s rumored Galaxy Gear smar****ch. These images are coming from screen captures from a marketing video.
If the images are true (which they most likely are), then the smartwatch will have an 3-inch OLED touchscreen, fitness apps, and a few other features. One of the apps looks like a heart rate monitoring app, further lending to the rumors that this will be a fitness watch.
Samsung’s IFA event is scheduled for September 4th (this Wednesday), where they are expected to show off this watch as well as the rumored Galaxy Note 3. This should make for an interesting week indeed, with all these companies like Sony, Samsung, etc making many announcements in the coming days.
Samsung made the Galaxy Gear smartwatch running on Android official just the other day and official launching is expected to take place on September 4th during Samsung’s unpacked event in Berlin. We already know a lot about this smartwatch including the expected memory size variants it will be available in, the color variants it will be available in upon launch and details of sensors and in-built speakers. Until September 4th when the device is launched, we may not know exactly what the watch is capable of – especially when it comes to its software environment – but today, we get an insight courtesy of leaked screenshot images published by @evleaks.
Leaked screenshots of Samsung Galaxy Gear’s Manager application installed on a connected device reveal a number of things about this new smartwatch entrant in the market. For one, the screenshot shows how the watch is connected to your smartphone or tablet the first time. The screenshot reads “Connect to your watch via NFC” then a text caption explains “Turn on NFC in Settings and bring the mobile device and the charger together, back to back. Your mobile device will connect to your watch automatically via Bluetooth”. What is unclear is whether the charger will play a role in connecting the two devices or could there be just bad wording in the instructions? There is a possibility the watch will support wireless charging as this will make waterproofing easier than when it has a normal charging port.
Now we know that connecting the smartwatch to another Android device (or Samsung device) is so easy with the Gear manager. Another screenshot, still on the Gear Manager, shows the personal watch settings page showing paired watch and Apps and settings which include Clocks, My apps and Settings (check image above).
Once a connection between the watch and the phone or tablet, it appears the user can then transfer data between the two devices – even install applications on the watch from as far as 30 feet away. There is also a cool ‘Find my watch’ feature which I can assume works only within the Bluetooth range.
We don’t know much about all the features, specs and capabilities of the Samsung Galaxy Gear, but this new leak is a revelation that there might be a deep integration capability that will make the watch an extension of another device or vice versa. Will Samsung take the smartwatch market by storm with Galaxy Gear or is it too late and the market is dominated by Nike, Pebble and Sony among others? What features would you love to see on the smartwatch when it is unveiled next week on Wednesday?
Who said there’s no more room for innovation in the mobile technology arena? The hell there isn’t! You just wait and see what’s coming at this year’s IFA.
First held way back in 1924 (!), the Consumer Electronics trade fair will officially debut its newest edition on September 6 and wrap up five days later. Over 200, 000 visitors and exhibitors are to take Berlin, Germany by storm this year and the spotlight should be, as usual, on the big Android kahunas, including Samsung, Sony, HTC and LG.
And boy, do those four have their share of aces up their sleeves, most of which have been making the rumor rounds for weeks or even months. Many surprises are to be expected as well and, while technically we’re still ten days away from the event’s official kick-off, most exhibitors will look to jump the gun and unveil their fall-winter bombs earlier.
How early? Let’s just say we expect the Android world to look very differently come September 4. But enough with the jibber-jabber and let’s get down to the facts. These are the rumored scene-stealers of IFA 2013:
The Koreans are notorious for using IFA’s pre-show dates to hold glamorous “Unpacked” events in Berlin and this year won’t be an exception to the rule. Quite on the contrary, as Sammy is tipped to introduce several new gadgets to the world on September 4.
The Galaxy Note 3 is the definite number one on the list, but with a familiar plastic design, less than stellar camera and a 5.7-inch display that some consider small (we live in a crazy world, eh?), the Note 3 will have its work cut out for him (her?) in fending off Sony and HTC’s threats.
Meanwhile, the Samsung Galaxy Gear, the company’s first smartwatch, is anticipated with much excitement by self-proclaimed visionaries, who seem to think wearable technology is the future. I for one don’t agree, but I’ll certainly be keeping an eye on the Gear, tipped to come with a 2.5-inch touchscreen, dual-core CPU, Bluetooth 4.0 and gesture support.
As far as slates are concerned, a Galaxy Note 10.1 follow-up could be due, even if no tipster or leaker has mentioned anything like that of late, plus a kid-friendly 7-inch Galaxy Tab and maybe even a GTab 10.1 Plus with a Full HD screen and octa-core processor.
If Samsung disappoints, Sony could rise to the occasion and deliver, with the Xperia Z1 (aka Honami) phone and a SmartWatch 2 (that’s right, the Japanese already have an Android-compatible wristwatch, albeit one that no one knows exists).
The Xperia Z1 is expected to become official on September 4 (Note 3, beware) and Sony has so much trust in this thing that they are putting everything they have into it. Snapdragon 800 CPU, 2 GB of RAM, Full HD Triluminos display, 20 MP camera with G Lens, water protection, you name it, the Z1 will sport it.
But wait, there’s more, as we could also be seeing a “Mini” version of the Z1 presented during or before IFA. This little guy will sport a 4 or 4.5-inch display, but other than that it’s expected to be just as groundbreaking as big brother, unlike Samsung’s GS4 Mini or HTC’s One Mini.
It’s not like the Taiwanese to conduct a subtle, almost shy hype-boosting campaign on the eve of a big launch, but sadly for them the One Max looks like it has nothing against Sony’s Xperia Z1. And Samsung is Samsung, so you know people will expect greatness from them.
But I’m here to tell you that the One Max is not to be overlooked, at least if you dig jumbo-sized phones. After all, what could be cooler than an HTC One with the same breathtakingly solid aluminum build, plus a speed boost and screen size upgrade?
Unlike the competition, LG has chosen to showcase the G2 ages before IFA, at the risk of losing the spotlight once the Berlin event will be underway. Then again, the Koreans look like they have one secret (well, not so secret anymore) weapon saved for September too – the G Pad 8.3.
Confirmed already courtesy of a video teaser, the slate is tipped to sport a 1,920 x 1,200 pixels resolution panel, plus pack quad-core Snapdragon 600 heat under the hood. The price tag? Unknown, which is why it’s still hard to say if this will be a Nexus 7 killer or a DOA slate like many others before it.
The others – Asus, Acer, Alcatel, Lenovo, HP, Huawei, ZTE
One swallow does not a summer make and four exhibitors do not a spectacular tech expo make. But fret not, as any of the seven above mentioned names could steal the thunder or at least part of it from the top dogs.
Asus is waiting for the perfect moment to intro the PadFone Mini, MemoFone HD 5 phones and MemoPad HD 8 tablet, while Acer has a Tegra 4-powered slate and a brilliant flagship phone called Liquid S2 in the pipeline.
Alcatel will likely look to uncover the already leaked One Touch Scribe Pro and One Touch Idol Mini, Lenovo is almost certainly working on a sort of K900 rehash with Snapdragon 800 power, HP is hunting for tablet glory with the Slate 8 Pro, Huawei has recently introduced an octa-core processor that could find its way inside smartphones this year and finally ZTE has to build some buzz around the U988S, which is the world’s first Tegra 4 phone, but also an incredibly cheap handheld.
I think we can all agree there are a lot of exciting things on this list and beware, these are only the devices that we know are coming. Who knows what other shockers might be in store.
Samsung is expected to unveil their smartwatch, the Samsung Galaxy Gear, during the 2013 IFA in Berlin, Germany. Rumors of the specs of this new wearable gadget have been doing rounds on the internet for weeks now, including the most recent rumors that it will sport an AMOLED display and a dual-core processor and its launch date. Bloomberg has confirmed that Samsung will be unveiling the smartwatch on 4th September but before then, new details of the device are emerging.
According to GigaOM https://gigaom.com/2013/08/19/whats-inside-samsungs-galaxy-gear-smartwatch-here-are-some-key-details/, the details of the Samsung Galaxy Gear from a very reliable source are confirmed to bring one of the most powerful wearable devices that pushes the limits of smart watches a little further. The phone will come with a 1.5GHz dual-core Samsung Exynos processor with Mali-400 MP4 GPU and 1 GB of RAM to complement it and either a 2.5 or 1.6 inch 320 x 320 pixels AMOLED display but other sources point at a 1.1 inch display to be wrapped around the wrist.
Samsung, it is rumored, worked on the Gear not to make it a smartphone-like watch but an extension of the galaxy devices already in the market. This means that the Gear will not replace your phone but will enable you use your phone, tablet, speakers or smart TV better and easily. A new twist hints at the Galaxy Gear having in-built speakers, meaning that it could be a stand-alone entertainment gadget.
Besides the speakers, the Samsung Galaxy Gear is also rumored to have a 2 megapixels integrated camera, NFC and other sharing tools, an accelerometer, Bluetooth 4.0 LE proximity sensor and GPS sensors. Besides these, we also expect the Gear to have other sensors including heart rate sensor, sensors to track calories and other sensors that should take on smart watches currently in the market including Nike’s Fuel band, Sony’s Smartwatch and Pebble.
What features do you expect the Samsung Galaxy Gear to have to make it more appealing?