x PhoneArena is hiring! Reviewer in the USA
  • Hidden picShow menu
  • Home
  • News
  • Samsung announces the Galaxy Gear smartwatch: a companion to your Note 3 for $299

Samsung announces the Galaxy Gear smartwatch: a companion to your Note 3 for $299

Posted: , by Michael H.

Tags :

Samsung announces the Galaxy Gear smartwatch: a companion to your Note 3 for $299
Samsung has finally announced the Samsung Galaxy Gear smartwatch, and we're happy to report that it does not look exactly like the leak we saw last week. The design of the Gear is similar to what we saw, but the bezels are tapered, so it doesn't look quite as big, and what had been a matte plastic, now looks to be a polished chrome finish. There are still the odd screws on the bezel though. The Gear also isn't nearly as big as rumors had said. The Gear has just a 1.63-inch square Super AMOLED display at 320x320 pixels. 

Galaxy Companion

Samsung is marketing the Gear as "the perfect companion to your Note 3". As we have heard before, the Galaxy Gear will be able to work with your Samsung smartphone for easy access to notifications, and other features, but the Gear will only be compatible with Galaxy smartphones. It will be compatible with the Note 3 out of the box, and there will be software updates for other Galaxy smartphones to add compatibility. The Gear will show you incoming messages, such as calls, texts, emails and alerts, delivers a preview of those messages, and then allow you to dig deeper or get rid of the message. But, the real power comes from Samsung's Smart Relay feature.

Smart Relay basically takes whatever is on the screen of your Galaxy Gear and automatically transfers it to your Galaxy smartphone when you unlock your device. So, if you're looking at a notification on your Gear, and you unlock your Note 3, that notification will automatically expand on your smartphone. Or whatever contact you are viewing on your Gear will automatically appear when you unlock your phone, so you can choose to call or message that contact. 

Galaxy Gear will feature a number of S Voice commands for you to easily initiate different functions. As you would expect, you can use the voice commands to initiate a call, and you will be able to have the entire call run through the Gear using its built in speakers and microphone, so you can feel like a super-spy, speaking to your wrist, and you can answer a call simply by raising your Gear to your head. The speakers and microphone are placed on the bottom of the strap, rather than near the watch itself.

Additionally, you can create a Voice Memo, draft messages, create new calendar entries, set alarms, and check the weather using voice commands. There are extra features to connect the Gear to your smartphone as well. One of our favorites is that anytime your Gear moves more than 1.5 meters from your phone, it will automatically lock your smartphone. 

Standalone functionality

Before we forget, the Galaxy Gear is a smartwatch, so obviously you'll be able to tell the time. Additionally, there are options to help you find your device, and control music from the Gear screen. Also as we heard before, Samsung is positioning the Galaxy Gear as a health-tracking companion device. It comes preloaded with an S Health app, and will act as a pedometer, though not a heart-rate monitor as we had heard before. 

There is also a 1.9MP camera on the Gear with auto-focus and Smart Shot options. The camera is located on the outside part of the wrist strap below your pinky, so it's very easy to get a picture. Just a simple swipe will open the camera, and a tap takes a picture. Photos can then be shared through social networks or messaging. You will also be able to take short 720p video. 

As we expected, Samsung has also set up a Gear app store, which comes with a number of apps right out of the box. Samsung says there will be about 70 apps eventually and about 12 at launch. Some of the featured apps are:

  • Banjo: which aggregates social updates to bring you trending stories
  • Evernote note taking app
  • Glympse for location sharing
  • eBay
  • Line messaging
  • MyFitnessPal nutrition and exercise tracking
  • Path social network
  • Pocket read-it-later app
  • RunKeeper exercise tracking
  • TripIt for travel plan organization
  • Vivino Wine Scanner which lets you take a picture of a bottle of wine to get info on it

That's a lot of functionality in a very small package, and Samsung says that you should expect "about a day" of battery life, but it's unclear if that means a calendar day or a work day, which are very different things. The spec sheet says the battery is just 315mAh, but it's hard to say what to expect from that. The Gear also has 4GB of storage, 512MB of RAM and an 800MHz processor.

Samsung Galaxy Gear will launch "later this month" in most regions, and in early October in the U.S. and Japan. The Galaxy Gear will cost $299 in the U.S..

  • Options

posted on 04 Sep 2013, 12:46 10

1. PunyPoop (Posts: 752; Member since: 18 Jan 2013)

Is that the Final Design? or are they just showing the Prototype?

posted on 04 Sep 2013, 12:54 25

9. LetsBeHonest (Posts: 1489; Member since: 04 Jun 2013)

Design kinda look nice.. At least it looks like a watch..

posted on 04 Sep 2013, 13:11 16

18. giani (Posts: 269; Member since: 13 Nov 2012)

yeah i love the screws ! let's be serious...it's a joke..

p.s. $299 for that ? only in US..

posted on 04 Sep 2013, 13:25 8

26. indianapple89 (Posts: 47; Member since: 28 Feb 2013)

Yeah. Considering that the Nexus 4 16GB is now $249 it seems like a big ripoff..

posted on 04 Sep 2013, 13:32 7

32. rd_nest (Posts: 1656; Member since: 06 Jun 2010)

Try getting that much of tech inside that small watch. How much did google glass cost?? Do you realize how difficult it is to put all that camera, sensors, radios, battery, screen inside such a small device? Think properly before you say something.

posted on 04 Sep 2013, 14:02 3

49. SuperAndroidEvo (Posts: 4888; Member since: 15 Apr 2011)

You can't wear the Google Nexus 4. lol

I can't wait to get this & root it. The developers on XDA are going to have a field day with this device.

It's going to be CRAZY. I can't wait!!!!!!!

posted on 04 Sep 2013, 17:36

70. rd_nest (Posts: 1656; Member since: 06 Jun 2010)

Thoughts on Samsung Gear — I like to think about it in terms of advancements we made in technology and engineering over past few years. This is basically original iPhone specs inside a watch. That’s how much the tech improved over the years.

Infact this has faster SOC, better GPU, 4x more RAM, a higher PPI and a much better display with full colour gamut, a camera that records at 720p. Even iPhone 3GS didn’t support 720p video recording, and same storage, sensors, BLE (Bluetooth 4)..All inside a watch..

Amazing to see how tech is improving so fast!

posted on 04 Sep 2013, 13:48

44. PunyPoop (Posts: 752; Member since: 18 Jan 2013)


posted on 04 Sep 2013, 13:44 1

41. daniel_bargs (Posts: 325; Member since: 27 Nov 2010)

To be honest, I remembered my grandma's hearing aid after seeing the Samsung Galaxy Gear.


posted on 04 Sep 2013, 13:48

43. PunyPoop (Posts: 752; Member since: 18 Jan 2013)

This is a perfect bundle!


posted on 04 Sep 2013, 21:34

71. iushnt (Posts: 2210; Member since: 06 Feb 2013)

first of all z1 is wanna be lumia 1020. sony smartwatch 2 and galaxy gear is not same. Sony watch has no mics, speakers, camera, and health tracking ability. Thus, it serves different purpose and cannot be compared with galaxy gear

posted on 04 Sep 2013, 13:09 8

16. AnTuTu (Posts: 1580; Member since: 14 Oct 2012)

Great device :)

posted on 04 Sep 2013, 13:33 3

34. ardent1 (Posts: 2000; Member since: 16 Apr 2011)

Q: Do you know why the Sony PSP Go and Game Boy Micro failed?

A: Screen was too small.

On top of that, now you need to charge two devices each day.

posted on 04 Sep 2013, 15:16

61. Googler (Posts: 813; Member since: 10 Jun 2013)

It's a watch, how big of a screen do you want? Seriously off comment comparing a smart watch to the PSP Go and Game Boy, especially when everyone knows they were phased out because better technology came along. One day these will be obsolete also as technology develops.

posted on 04 Sep 2013, 16:26

66. quesoesgrande (Posts: 217; Member since: 03 Aug 2011)

I already charge my nexus, iPad, Vita, and 3DS nearly every day. What would one more be?

posted on 04 Sep 2013, 13:36

36. darkkjedii (Posts: 24446; Member since: 05 Feb 2011)

Mmmm hmmmm

posted on 04 Sep 2013, 14:06 1

51. rihel_95 (Posts: 301; Member since: 21 Mar 2012)

Google should quickly release a smartwatch of theirs as so many smartwatches are coming up, with their own set of app standards and SDK. Its getting harder for developers. Google should release it, and standardize the set of SDK for the apps. More help to developers!

posted on 04 Sep 2013, 14:21

54. ardent1 (Posts: 2000; Member since: 16 Apr 2011)

One more thing about the "great device."

Q: Do you know why the Sony memory stick lost out to SD card?

A: Sony's product was proprietary vs the universal SD card. That is to say, had the Samsung Gear been designed to interact with any android smartphone, the Gear would be more successful.

I am reading about Qualcom's Toq that uses e-ink and their smartphone appears to be device agnostic, e.g. it works with several android OEM.

posted on 04 Sep 2013, 17:08

68. Evil_SaNz (Posts: 259; Member since: 20 Oct 2011)

Qualcomm Toq seems a better piece of technology: battery lasts days, wireless charging and always-on display visible with the sun. Don't think any of the smartwatches would do better

posted on 04 Sep 2013, 14:12

52. HansGoneInsane (unregistered)

I think that the design looks much better than the leaked prototype design but I need to see it in real life before I can make my final judgement. I'd like to know the dimensions of the device and its weight. I am really curious how long the battery lasts. Still, $299 is really overpriced. You can buy a good smartphone for that amount of money which offers you a lot of functionality. In comparison, the watch itself is useless without a smartphone. I consider a price of $150 - $200 fair.

posted on 04 Sep 2013, 15:36 2

64. androiphone20 (Posts: 1654; Member since: 10 Jul 2013)

The guys at Apple must be laughing
there asses off saying "Our iPod
Nano's looked more appealing as a
watch than this thing here ... "

posted on 04 Sep 2013, 21:36

72. iushnt (Posts: 2210; Member since: 06 Feb 2013)

haha, but i think they must be worrying. "We have tons of cash but we have no idea how to innovate and utilize the cash. Lets try to purchase few companies and see how we can use them."

posted on 05 Sep 2013, 00:22 1

76. schinnak (Posts: 102; Member since: 26 Oct 2011)

PA - Samsung clearly said the battery will last 25+ hours.

posted on 05 Sep 2013, 01:45

77. gaby1451 (Posts: 114; Member since: 30 Mar 2011)

I saw the video, it did say that didn't it?

posted on 04 Sep 2013, 12:47 5

2. SlimSoulja86 (Posts: 660; Member since: 03 Nov 2011)

Haters in 3, 2, 1...

posted on 04 Sep 2013, 12:49 13

4. PunyPoop (Posts: 752; Member since: 18 Jan 2013)

Failed countdown :|

posted on 04 Sep 2013, 12:55 5

10. SlimSoulja86 (Posts: 660; Member since: 03 Nov 2011)

LOL! OK. If u say so......

posted on 04 Sep 2013, 13:15 1

21. cncrim (Posts: 900; Member since: 15 Aug 2011)

That's exactly what was thinking. Why do we need spend a lot of money that don't even have it own phone radio capable? the still phone FAIL FAIL gear.

posted on 04 Sep 2013, 21:37

73. iushnt (Posts: 2210; Member since: 06 Feb 2013)

hehe, he would have failed with his countdown if you have not commented here :)

posted on 04 Sep 2013, 12:49 7

3. InspectorGadget80 (unregistered)

nice design but not so sure bout the camera on the wrist.

Want to comment? Please login or register.

Latest stories