There’s been a large amount of buzz surround Samsung’s latest rumored device, the Galaxy Gear smartwatch. It sounds like an extremely interesting device, but the details have been a little scarce, so it’s hard to imagine exactly how it’s going to work. Fortunately, some sources from GigaOM have spilled some details on a few specifics about the Galaxy Gear that shed some light on the smartwatch.

The hardware isn’t too exciting, but considering this is a smartwatch, I don’t think anyone is expecting an incredibly powerful machine. The device will supposedly sport a 320 x 320 2.5 inch screen, powered by a dual-core Exynos processor. Some early reports from developer units say the battery life is decent on the device, and I think that’s arguably the most important piece in the smartwatch puzzle. Having your watch go dead around lunch time isn’t going to speed up adoption of new devices, so hopefully battery life was a top priority for Samsung.

Aside from the processing horsepower, the Galaxy Gear will also reportedly come with NFC for quick device pairing and support for Bluetooth LE, which was introduced in Android 4.3 and also a crucial part of that battery life aspect of the device. It’s also expected to come with a camera that’s integrated into the camera strap and an accelerometer and sensors to turn the screen on when the device is pulled up closer to your face, which should extend battery life by not having the screen stay on unnecessarily. Plus, as we’ve seen with Samsung’s latest devices and software, they love sensors and S-Air-View-Tracking-Magic features. You can bet the Galaxy Gear will have it’s share of Samsung branded features like that.

Speaking of the unique Samsung side of things, the Galaxy Gear will possibly download apps from Samsung’s own application hub, not the Play Store, despite running Android 4.1 or 4.2, depending on which developer device you look at. We’ve heard several rumors about Samsung trying to move away from Google and Android inch-by-inch, so don’t be surprised if the device comes with no traditional Play Store support. Fortunately, Samsung is working hard to make sure the apps they do offer are at least comparable to Google apps with a few tricks. If you’re scrolling through emails with the Gear, you can pick up your (Samsung) smartphone and start reading right from that email you left off on with your watch. It definitely sounds like some extremely polished, tight integration between devices, but considering it’s all happening with Samsung-only apps, there’s a pretty real possibility that the Gear will only work with Galaxy-branded devices and no other OEM phones or tablets. I’d bet Google Play Edition devices would be left out of the fun, too.

Overall, the device sounds like a big step towards popularizing wearable tech, and if any manufacturer is capable of doing it, it’s Samsung. At least we aren’t going to have to wait too much longer to find out the official details.


Posted on September 4, 2013, in General. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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