Samsung Galaxy Gear Review
Interface and Functionality:
Even though the software running in the Galaxy Gear is Android based, it’s fairly simplified for the small screen, so it is intuitive to navigate around and there isn’t much of a huge learning curve with it! Essentially, we swipe left and right to access some of the smartwatch’s functions, while tapping on an icon jumps us into the particular app. It features a “back” function as well, which is accomplished by swiping down from the top bezel. However, when the same gesture is applied on the homescreen with the clock screen, it actually gets us into the camera interface. Meanwhile, swiping up from the clock screen gives us the phone dialer. We really wish there was a “home“ function though, as it would lessen the hassle of using the back gesture to bring us to the homescreen.
There are also other gestures in play with the Galaxy Gear that help us to access other functions. For example, using two fingers and double tapping the screen enables us to view the battery status, Bluetooth connection status, and modify the volume and brightness settings. Meanwhile, using two fingers and long pressing anywhere on the display gets us into the Android task switching menu.
Taking a look around some of the apps on board with the Galaxy Gear, there isn’t a whole lot to find. Actually, they’re mostly comprised of basic phone-centric functions – like the phone dialer, call log, date/time/weather, notifications, and voice memo. There’s nothing out of the ordinary with any of them, seeing they all work and run in the manner that we expect. Again, it’s that premise of being straightforward that we appreciate, seeing that there’s very little hassle when trying to get around.
Samsung has done some neat things in the way the Galaxy Gear interacts with the Note 3. For starters, the “Find my device” allows the Galaxy Gear to remotely locate the Note 3 by ringing it – and vice versa too, so that either can be tracked down.
Going back to the notifications feature of the smartwatch, we’re somewhat dismayed that only a few of the notifications are accessed on the Galaxy Gear. To be more specific, we can read text directly on the Galaxy Gear if it’s a notification from the standard email app. However, if it’s a Gmail notification, we’re unable to view an actual message on the smartwatch, and instead, we’re required to open it up on the Note 3. The same thing applies to Facebook notifications. We are notified that there’s a notification related to Facebook, but we’re unable to actually to know/see what it is on the Galaxy Gear.
Sammy’s S Voice feature makes its way to the Galaxy Gear as well, but its functions have been whittled away to a few options. Specifically, we can use S Voice to answer phone calls, compose text messages, notify us about the weather, tell us our upcoming appointments, and even make new appointments as well, but it can’t do other extensive tasks like giving us turn-by-turn directions, movie times, or tell us who is the President of the United States of America.
Processor and Memory:
Powered by a single core 800MHz processor coupled with 512MB of RAM, the Galaxy Gear, as expected, performs pretty smoothly. Sure, there might be some issues with touch accuracy with the display, which could appear to be closely attached to its performance, but we can vouch that it’s pretty responsive as a whole.
With 4GB of storage, it’s enough to allow us to snap photos and videos without much worry. And considering that music isn’t necessarily stored in the Galaxy Gear itself, the tally is actually sufficient to handle all our needs.
Exclusively relying on its Bluetooth 4.0 radio, it’s the only way the Galaxy Gear is able to work and interact with the Galaxy Note 3. As we said in the beginning, at the moment, it’s only Sammy’s newest phablet that’s compatible to work with the smartphone – albeit, other devices like the Galaxy S4 and Note II will be included in the near future.