Wednesday, September 4, 2013
The time for a smarter timepiece has come.
Samsung unveiled its Galaxy Gear smart watch on Wednesday at an event at the IFA technology tradeshow. The device has a 3-inch display that runs Android 4.3 (Jellybean) and works with your phone.
Much of the hoopla before the event was what the smart watch would look like and what it would be capable of. It was clear that the Galaxy Gear wasn't just an extension of the company's line of smart phones, but that the smart watch would be its own separate beast.
The watch face itself is a rigid 1.63-inch Super AMOLED panel display embedded in an unobtrusive bezel. This current look of the Galaxy Gear is smaller and sleeker compared to the photos leaked earlier this week. The watch is only 11.1 mm thick and weighs a mere 73.8 grams, or just over 2.6 ounces.
n addition to the display is a 1.9-megapixel camera capable of capturing 720p video. Though the camera itself isn't as high quality as several other Samsung products, the emphasis seems to be the ability to take pictures quickly. Rather than fumble around with a smart phone's menus and camera settings, the Galaxy Gear allows users to snap photos with a quick gesture.
Gear will also have access to an app store. Two of the many apps available are Path and Highlight. Path is a journal-like app that keeps simplicity and portability in mind, similar to the Galaxy Gear itself. Highlight is a location sensing app that detects friends and other users, so a quick look to your watch will see who's in the immediate area.
The smart watch wasn't the only device at Samsung's event. The company also showed off its Galaxy Note 3 and Galaxy Note 10.1 (2014 Edition). Menno van den Berg, the Vice President of IT and Mobile at Samsung, said the Note 3 has a 5.7-inch display, bigger than the Note 2's 5.5-inch screen, but is still dwarfed by the Galaxy Mega, at 6.3 inches. The phone itself is 8.3 mm thick and weighs 168 grams, a little over two Galaxy Gears.
While the technical specs are one of the Galaxy Note's biggest draws, it's clear that design and aesthetics are also important for the large smart phone. The back of the Note 3 appears to have a slightly thickened padding and stitching to mimic an actual notebook. It also comes in a variety colors and finishes, similar to the level of customization available with Moto X.
As for the interface, Samsung has improved upon its S Pen design and how it operates with the note. The Note 3 is able to recognize specific gestures both when the pen is on its surface and when it's hovering slightly above the surface. A quick tap opens up an array of options ready to go for the user.
Both the Galaxy Gear and the Galaxy Note 3 will start rolling out on Sept. 25. However, there was no specific date mentioned for the U.S. release.