Prototype Samsung Galaxy Gear smart watch shown off in pictures

Posted:
in Future Apple Hardware edited July 2015
Just days before its planned unveiling, images of a prototype smart watch from Samsung have emerged online, showing the South Korean tech giant's newest entry for a wearable technology segment where Apple, Google, and Microsoft are also expected to compete within the coming year.

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Samsung has made no secret of the fact that it plans to show off a smart watch device on Wednesday at the IFA technology convention, but VentureBeat's Christina Farr got a look at a prototype of the device, as well as some hands-on time with it. The device shown in the report is said to have been sent to developers and a number of select partners.

While its final form factor could prove different, Farr's account pegs the Galaxy Gear's wristband as "clunky and masculine," but not heavy. Samsung appears to have packed a good deal of technology into the Gear, with both a 4-megapixel camera and speakers integrated into the wristband.

With regard to specifications, the Gear features a three-inch square OLED display and a range of connectivity options. Users will likely be able to pair the Gear with a Galaxy smartphone or tablet ? or possibly other Android devices ? via near-field communication just by tapping the watch to the device. It also has Bluetooth 4.0 connectivity, allowing for another pairing option, as well as a low-power means of interacting with a paired device.

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The Galaxy Gear also packs its own Wi-Fi antenna, allowing it to connect to the Internet without the need for a paired device. Reportedly, it will have more than 10 hours of battery life.

In terms of functionality, the Gear comes loaded with Samsung's S Voice feature for voice commands, as well as a number of Android apps for social media and health tracking. The device can reportedly control a paired device remotely, allowing users to do things such as initiate calls and view call logs from a paired smartphone.

The promotional video from which the images of the watch were taken suggests that Samsung will make a big push to position the device as a fitness companion. Reportedly, the video showed users snapping pictures of their food with the watch and categorizing meals for later review. It also appears to have a number of sensors integrated, allowing users to track their heart rate, steps, and potentially other metrics. One source said that a Palo Alto-based health startup has spent months working with Samsung to develop fitness apps for the device.

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The Galaxy Gear will not be Samsung's first entry into the smart watch market. The tech conglomerate has made multiple other forays into the wearable sector, but none to any great success. Industry observers believe some five million smart watch units may ship next year as most of the big names in technology appear to be preparing a push into the wearable computing segment.

Sony already has a presence in the sector, but the coming year may see Microsoft roll out its own device as well. Google, too, appears to be working on its own smart watch, having bought last year the maker of an Android-powered watch.

Samsung's chief rival, Apple, is also widely believed to be working on its own "iWatch." By some accounts, that device isn't scheduled to see release until 2014, though Apple is said to have a 100-person strong team working on its watch.
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 155


    So, Apple doesn't need to be afraid then. That thing looks hideous.

  • Reply 2 of 155


    HAHAHAHAHAHAHA IT'S SO UGLY.

  • Reply 3 of 155
    Nice screws
  • Reply 4 of 155


    This watch looks awful.  I think they tried to design it after a Galaxy phone.

  • Reply 5 of 155
    They're punking us. This can't be real.
  • Reply 6 of 155
    Of course their second generation will be a s4 strapped to a wrist cuz bigger is better
  • Reply 7 of 155
    So basically it will do what my Bluetooth headset along with Siri on my iP{hone already does but I'll have to have this huge ass device strapped to my wrist and hold my hand up like I was using an old style telephone.
  • Reply 8 of 155
    entropysentropys Posts: 1,002member
    i think if it didn't have wifi it might also have a battery life that is better than a joke. And as others have noted, its butt ugly.

    I suspect it was rushed to market before it was ready.
  • Reply 9 of 155


    I prefer a traditional analogue watch.

  • Reply 10 of 155
    uau! That is big! I really wish that this isn%u2019t some weird tactic to surprise people with the real product. It reminds of the idiocy of a clown watch
  • Reply 11 of 155
    It looks a bit loose on the wrist, is that a feature?
  • Reply 12 of 155
    If that's what they have to offer, I don't think Apple will lose much sleep.
  • Reply 13 of 155
    I believe the idea of a "smart watch" is great, BUT! for the billionth time, it isn't so much about the idea but about the implementation of that idea. Things such as customer experience, ecosystem integration and cohesiveness, coupled with truly simple and intuitive beautiful UIs, not to mention beautiful crafted pieces of harware are just some of the things that separate Apple from other companies. All that can be express with a simple word: implementation. That's where Apple triumphs and the rest don't. This watch is... well, just the opposite of what Apple is all about.
  • Reply 14 of 155


    Gotta say, this doesn't look nice....  It reminds me of those huge calculator watches from the 80's or whenever.

  • Reply 15 of 155
    nasseraenasserae Posts: 3,152member


    This is the ugliest watch I have ever seen! I guess this is what happens when SamSung can't find someone (Apple) to copy from.

  • Reply 16 of 155
    gazoobeegazoobee Posts: 3,754member
    Interesting how it sort of rips off the iPhone "look" also. Looks like a micro-iPhone strapped to the wrist.

    This is so ugly I think it must be a fake-out.
  • Reply 17 of 155
    wardcwardc Posts: 150member


    BUT --- DOES it have 4G LTE internet built-in to the device???? THAT is the BIG question!

  • Reply 18 of 155
    droidftwdroidftw Posts: 1,009member


    This makes the Sony smart watch look down right amazing and I thought that was one ugly device.

  • Reply 19 of 155
    gazoobeegazoobee Posts: 3,754member

    Quote:

    Originally Posted by Bondm16 View Post


    I prefer a traditional analogue watch.



     


    They are so hard to use though.  You have to look at it, check out where the arms are, then think about what time that means it is.  Most of them don't even have numbers too, so then you're left counting the marks to see which number it represents. 


     


    A digital watch you can just glance at, and see the time.


    You can also set it for the more sensible 24 hour time and not be bothered by all that, "Is it 12:00 AM or 12:00 PM?" nonsense. 

  • Reply 20 of 155
    dasanman69dasanman69 Posts: 12,937member
    HAHAHAHAHAHAHA IT'S SO UGLY.

    It also didn't help that they chose a guy with spaghetti arms. :lol:
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