Samsung's Galaxy Gear smartwatch reviewed
3.5Overall Score

Price (RRP): $369
Manufacturer: Samsung

The next big area for must have devices is being talked up as companion devices, because while we all have mobile devices, we don’t always want to get them out and look at them, and that’s where the smartwatch comes into play, offering calls, notifications, and more on your wrist.

Features

The first of what will no doubt be a long line of smartwatches, the Gear is a new product in Samung’s Galaxy line-up of products, designed to bring mobile access to another part of your body, so you don’t have to take the phone out.

This part of your body is your wrist, and in the Galaxy Gear, Samsung is basically throwing a small computer on that limb to work in tandem with that other computer that you leave in your pants or in a bag.

The top of the Galaxy Gear has a 1.63 inch 320×320 Super AMOLED display to help you see what’s happening, with similar technology to a smartphone under the hood.

With that in mind, there’s a single-core Samsung-made Exynos processor inside clocked at 800MHz working alongside a dedicated graphics processor, 512MB RAM, and 4GB storage, which might not sound like enough, but because of this being a companion device to a smartphone, sends much of the baggage — images and videos — back to the phone, so as not to weight the watch down.

There is no 3G or 4G here, relying on the smartphone for that through the use of Bluetooth 4.0.

A camera is also present, available on the wrist band and capable of shooting images just under two megapixels (1.9, to be exact), as well as short 720p HD videos.

An accelerometer is also present, capable of tracking movement for the pedometer, and switching itself on from standby when you bring the watch close to you when it’s off.

There is some degree of ruggedisation of the device, rated for IP-55, which means a bit of water can enter, as well as some dust, just don’t go swimming with it.

Only one button can be found of the Galaxy Gear, a power button on the right side, and it comes with a proprietary charge cradle which requires you to take the watch off, rest it against magnetic connectors inside its case, and plug that into a microUSB connector.

The battery is rated for 315mAh.

Performance

As our smartphones get bigger, our desire to pull them out and use them on the go seems to lessen, even just a little. That seems to be the philosophy behind a new drive for companion devices, accessories which communicate with smartphones and tablets, displaying your mobile life on a smaller screen that is more easily accessible.

Samsung isn’t the first to enter this space, and there is a lot of activity in the accessory market, with companies like Google and Sony all joining with devices in the past year.