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Samsung Galaxy Gear Hands-on and Initial Impressions

Samsung Galaxy Gear!
Samsung Galaxy Gear!

Hands-on and Initial Impressions: Samsung Galaxy Gear

The Samsung Galaxy Note 3 and Galaxy Gear were announced at the same time during Samsung’s big media event held during IFA in Berlin, Germany. We’ve already unboxed and reviewed the Samsung Galaxy Note 3 and now we’d like to share with you guys our initial impressions and hands-on of the Samsung Galaxy Gear smartwatch. We were actually able to play around with it during the local launch of both devices here in the Philippines.

The Samsung Galaxy Gear is a smartwatch companion for the Samsung Galaxy Note 3. Yes, we specifically just said the Galaxy Note 3 because it’s only compatible with that unit for now. Eventually though it will be able to connect with the Galaxy S4 (October) and the Galaxy S3 and Note 2 before the end of the year. That said, the Galaxy Gear smartwatch has a very limited and niche market. Non-Samsung Android users won’t be able to take full advantage of its capabilities and features.

>>> SEE ALSO: Samsung Galaxy Note 3 Review — Is it the Best Phablet in the Market?

Why get a Galaxy Gear? Apparently the main reason why other than for it to be a fashion accessory is to use the Galaxy Gear more for basic phone tasks like making or receiving calls, control music, taking snapshots, and checking the weather so that you don’t have to pull your phone out of your pocket or bag. All these tasks will only work if the device is connected to your smartphone via Bluetooth.

Hardware

Striking orange strap
Striking orange strap

The Galaxy Gear has a simple, sporty, and colorful design. The watch itself is quite big but it does look pretty awesome. The 1.6-inch display has 320×320 pixel resolution which delivers crisp and readable text. Colors come out nice too. It has a brushed metal design with a buttonless front. The strap is made from rubber and it comes in different colors as well. It’s comfortable to wear and every time you look at it you’ll get that tingly “James Bond Gadget” feeling, lol.

Software

gear 3

Powered by an 800MHz processor and 512MB RAM, the Galaxy Gear offers basic functionalities. It runs Android and the main way to navigate through it is by swiping across the display. Swiping to the right reveals the menu. Swiping from the top takes you to the home screen. The hard button on the right side functions as a power lock (sleep/wake). Unfortunately we weren’t able to try out the camera or make any calls since it was just on the display floor, hehe.

Initial Verdict

At this point it’s hard for us to give a solid reco for the Galaxy Gear. It has too many limitations (obvious one being compatibility to the Note 3 only) and we were only able to play around with it for a few minutes. On paper it kinda looks good especially if you’re hell bent on getting a Galaxy Note 3 but the reviews from international tech sites haven’t been encouraging (it got scathing reviews on The Verge and even CNET). The price is also a major concern since the SRP is Php13,990. That puts in in direct competition with the entry level watches of TW Steel. Yeah it’s not a smartwatch but their watches just look so friggin’ amazing.

We’ll try our best to secure a review unit so we can give you guys a more comprehensive take on it. For now though we recommend you just wait for bloggers and tech enthusiasts to give it a try. Don’t rush in on this one.

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