Along with the Galaxy Note 3, Samsung today also launched its Galaxy Gear smartwatch in India. And while we know that smartwatches are the next must-have in most of the smartphone brand’s portfolio, Samsung is only after Sony to make a quick step ahead to launch its smartwatch this year. In terms of its individuality, the Galaxy Gear works more as an accessory that will enhance your smartphone experience but does not hold much value as a separate unit. So you can use the smartwatch to keep a track of notifications on smartphone, and even to receive as well as make calls once it is connected to your main gadget. It is currently compatibility with the Galaxy Note 3 and Note Tab 10.1 (2014 edition) for now. But Samsung says it will be compatible with the Galaxy S4, Galaxy SIII and Galaxy Note II, after the company brings an update to its other smartphones as well. This can also depend on the roll out of the Android 4.3 Jelly Bean update on Samsung’s devices. Also Read - Samsung Galaxy Z Fold3, Galaxy Z Flip3 launch on August 27? New report suggests
We got hold of the device for a short while and here are our first impressions. Also Read - Samsung now lets you make an appointment to shop at its stores, book demo via WhatsApp
Well, as we said the Galaxy Gear is not really a phone but an accessory, though we must say that you won’t really feel odd even while wearing it without being connected to any device. It comes with a 1.63-inch display with metal rims, which could be slightly big for a feminine wrist but still will look nice as a watch in general. In terms of design, the Galaxy Gear comes with a thick and fine plastic-like strap which has a line-based texture on the top but feels more rubbery from the inside. It has a Super AMOLED display offering 320×320 pixels resolution, which is pretty good for a display its size. Swiping on screen is not really smooth enough to spoil you but is decent and worked fine. One can simply swipe the screen side-ways or even from top to bottom to go to another screen.
The Galaxy Gear can also be used to make and receive calls but we could not really use it to make a call so cannot really comment on the voice quality though the company does claim it to offer good audio quality with a speaker and two microphones placed on the buckle of the strap. The interesting bit is that despite allowing you to take or make or reject calls, as well as check notifications, the smartwatch will also allow you to control music playback just like the way Sony’s watch does.
However, what sets it apart from Sony and likes is the 1.9-megapixel camera on its strap which will also let one shoot a 10 second video clip at 720p. Though, the clarity of the video is something we will come to know later, when we review the device. The Gear Galaxy runs on a single-core 800MHz Exynos processor. Then there also are sensors like gyroscope and accelerometer and one can connect it via NFA or Bluetooth to a smartphone. It can also double up as a pedometer to count steps and keep a track of that for the fitness conscious out there.
Overall, the Galaxy Gear is interesting but does not really justify its price if not used with a compatible device. The Galaxy Gear will be available for Rs 22,990 in six colors from September 25 onwards. Having said that, we think this could end up as a big new category for Samsung eventually, just like what it managed to do with its Galaxy Note series of phablets.
Photos: Harshita Rastogi