Print 24 comment(s) - last by fleshconsumed.. on Sep 4 at 9:34 AM

  (Source: Venture Beat)
Samsung's smartwatch has Android apps, but will it win customers to a long failing form factor?

The smartwatch form factor is quite possibly the most overhyped "next thing".  Technically the form factor isn't all that new -- Seiko (Holdings Corp. (TYO:8050) introduced smartwatches in the 1980s to the few who cared.  More recently Apple, Inc. (AAPL) tested these waters with the "wearable" sixth generation iPod Nano, as has Sony Corp. (TYO:6758) with the Android Smart Watch/Smart Watch 2.  

But in its relentless search for new moneymakers, the industry has once against dredged up this factor which CNN described has "a history of failure" -- and Samsung Electronics Comp., Ltd. (KSC:005930) is eager to get a piece of the action, if it happens to (finally) succeed.

EV-Leaks, the same group that captured early photos of the Nokia Oyj. (OMX:NOK1VLumia 1020 weeks before its launch, has leaked images via Twitter of Samsung's upcoming smartwatch which appears to be branded the "Galaxy Gear".  
Galaxy Gear Leaks
The screenshots reveal that Samsung is leaning on a fresh new trick to sell consumers on its smartwatch -- NFC.  Using the same NFC technology that Samsung Galaxy Android smartphones use to bump each other transfering contact info and music, the new watch can sync up with your smartphone.

More images have since emerged courtesy of Venture Beat's Christina Farr.  These photos show a WiFi-equipped 3-inch device with a 4-megapixel camera on the strap, and a slide to unlock button on the side of the "watch" face.

Samsung Galaxy Gear (1)
Samsung Galaxy Gear
[Image Source: Venture Beat]

Reportedly the device will feature a 10+ hour battery life.  Some may be surprised at that, hoping for higher, but remember that while device has a much smaller screen than a smartphone, it also has a smaller rechargeable battery.  Battery life is an intrinsic struggle for the form factor and Samsung's device certainly leaves room for Apple's upcoming smartwatch to potential outperform the Gear.

Samsung Galaxy Gear
[Image Source: Venture Beat]

The Galaxy Gear is expected to air at the IFA 2013 trade show in Berlin, which claims to be the largest consumer electronics show in the world.  Samsung is also expected to unveil a fresh "phablet" -- the Galaxy Note III -- at the show.

From the leaked shots it's clear that both "apps" and "Samsung apps" will be available, hinting the new smartwatch may be available for third party development.

Samsung's announcement will head off a potential iWatch announcement at Apple's rumored September 10 event.  So far no Apple product has NFC onboard.  While Apple VP Phil Schiller commented, "It’s not clear that NFC is the solution to any current problem," it's rumored that Apple may be preparing to copy Samsung with patent filings detailing a possible plan to add NFC and support for iTunes gifts.

Sources: EVLeaks on Twitter, Venture Beat

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Back to the future
By Tony Swash on 9/2/13, Rating: 0
RE: Back to the future
By retrospooty on 9/2/2013 10:16:49 AM , Rating: 2
Ya it does... Its all over the tech web that that leak is an early prototype and the final is much sleaker...

The Note 3 is looking pretty nice too. Hopefully they dump the cheap shiny plastic and go with a soft touch.

RE: Back to the future
By Monkey's Uncle on 9/2/2013 10:17:13 AM , Rating: 1
RE: Back to the future
By Nortel on 9/2/2013 11:30:30 AM , Rating: 1
It looks like a mini phone... I guess they ran out of idesign deas.

RE: Back to the future
By retrospooty on 9/2/2013 12:31:49 PM , Rating: 5
Not that I am particularly impressed with Samsung designs. They're kind of so so to me, and the picture above is not a final version it's an early prototype. I am just commenting on your ridiculous notion that everyone is still copying Apple. In case you haven't noticed for the past 2 or 3 years, the smart phone company that is copying features from the others is Apple. Apple is playing catch up as the world has already passed them by. They are all using comparable CPU and GPU, beyond that Apple is left in the dust in almost every technical measurable sense. apples 2013 phone? Hey look it's the same thing only faster again. Oh boy how exciting. Same small low resolution screen, with lower DPI then all of its competitors. Same lack of features. The company you guys worship is sort of becoming a joke at this point.

RE: Back to the future
By Gio6518 on 9/2/2013 12:49:52 PM , Rating: 2
You forgot to mention how iOS 7 is a complete rip off of Android and Windows

RE: Back to the future
By retrospooty on 9/2/2013 1:20:28 PM , Rating: 2
I was referring to how they copied that, notifications, multitasking, and many other features.

RE: Back to the future
By fleshconsumed on 9/3/2013 8:08:32 AM , Rating: 2
Just in what kind of alternative universe do you live?

RE: Back to the future
By retrospooty on 9/3/2013 10:48:12 PM , Rating: 2
Oh please, Apple copies as much if not more than any other company in the history of technology. This is perfectly fine by me, all companies do it. My only problem is with apple suing everybody over it, and its legions of mindless fans insisting apple invented the stuff they copy. Anyone that thinks Apple invents half as much as they copy simply isn't paying attention.

RE: Back to the future
By fleshconsumed on 9/4/2013 9:34:57 AM , Rating: 2
Nevermind, misunderstood your post.

10 hour battery?
By hughlle on 9/2/2013 7:51:53 AM , Rating: 2
I'll pass. These days the only reason i would wear a watch would be as a "last resort" option, say because my phone has run out of juice. That or because it was designed to deal with environmental extremes such as water sports etc. But for a delicate watch with 10 hours of battery, i'll just keep my phone in my pocket thanks.

RE: 10 hour battery?
By Brandon Hill on 9/2/2013 9:01:50 AM , Rating: 2
I prefer my watches nice and simple. I have a Pulsar solar watch that's been going strong 12 years without a battery change.

RE: 10 hour battery?
By Samus on 9/2/2013 3:41:43 PM , Rating: 2
I think Pebble has it right.

7 days of connected use, 30 days with bluetooth turned off (just as a watchface.) The best part is the watch charges in under 30 minutes since the battery is a tiny 130mah.

However, the Agent smartwatch may 1up it with wireless charging and superior battery life, features, etc.

Unfortunately neither have a camera, which is really the best addition some of these rumored Samsung/Apple smartwatches have.

RE: 10 hour battery?
By othercents on 9/3/2013 8:11:34 AM , Rating: 2
There are many complaints that Pebble doesn't have that great of a display and doesn't do as much as it could. I could care less about the camera and in reality I'm going to do all my serious processing on the phone, but the ability to view at a glance who is calling me or what that text message was without having to pull my phone out is very useful. In that sense Pebble should work just fine.


RE: 10 hour battery?
By Monkey's Uncle on 9/2/2013 9:29:22 AM , Rating: 2
Not for me thanks.

10 hrs on a battery is pretty lame. There are many places Android works well and some places it simply does not.

PDA, tablets, media boxes for tv works well, watches just... don't.

RE: 10 hour battery?
By GulWestfale on 9/2/2013 10:28:25 AM , Rating: 2
yep, the battery life kills it for me. if they say 10 hours, then in actual use it will last maybe 5 or 6. they need to get this up to at least 18 hours so you can reliably wear it on a long day.

also, a 3" screen? wow, that is almost as big as an iphone hahahaha

RE: 10 hour battery?
By retrospooty on 9/2/2013 11:00:15 AM , Rating: 2
I can't imagine any scenario where I would want any SmartWatch from any vendor even if it had a 10 day battery. I don't see a lot of people sounding very excited about it either. I think OEM's are more excited than customers on this one, hoping for new revenue streams.

RE: 10 hour battery?
By bah12 on 9/3/2013 10:48:36 AM , Rating: 2
I agree. I liken this to the 3D tv craze, all OEM hype but very very tiny niche customer base. Just everyone trying to do the next big thing, but come on watches have been dead for years now.

RE: 10 hour battery?
By ritualm on 9/2/2013 6:01:11 PM , Rating: 2
Not just the "up to 10 hours battery life". This requires TouchWiz. It's absolutely great for those who haven't flashed a downsized/custom ROM on their Galaxy phones/tablets/phablets.

A camera on the watch. Hah. That's going to introduce many unforeseen usability and security issues.

By Motoman on 9/2/2013 12:07:28 PM , Rating: 1
The smart watch is a stupid idea, and has been for decades. And it will always be a stupid idea, until Apple "invents" it, and then all the world's retards will rush out and buy one, and it will be the biggest thing since iPoopinabox.

Seriously though, I had a calculator watch when I was like 10. And then a radio watch, probably around the time I was 12. And at least 20 years ago, I used to play blackjack on my watch while sitting on the toilet...kind of like one plays Angry Birds now on a smart phone while sitting on the toilet.

I can think of precisely 0 reasons why the world needs a smart watch.

RE: Blah
By retrospooty on 9/2/2013 1:27:39 PM , Rating: 2
"I can think of precisely 0 reasons why the world needs a smart watch"

Yup... Fossil had one out over a decade ago running Palm OS. Niche at best. Its a lot like 3D TV.... A great sounding idea that just doesn't measure up in a real device. I don't even think Apples smartwatch would be that big, other than the mouthbreathing fanboys that buy anything and everything they make. I would imagine that even most normal iPhone users wouldn't want one. It can't possibly do anything the iPhone doesn't already do. Hell the iPhone is already small enough to strap to hour wrist... Just do that, LOL.

Just Silly
By exeedorbit on 9/2/2013 3:36:24 PM , Rating: 2
Aside from the fact that it's universally useless (It will probably have a few apps that people would like to use once in a blue moon, but nothing that will reshape the industry) I can not imagine any size of screen that would be both small enough to not look ridiculous, or big enough to give a comfortable viewing experience. That, in and of itself is (to me) a fatal flaw that will plague any (ANY) smartwatch.

Also 10 hours of battery life is ridiculous. That's probably if you leave it alone all day (which most people wouldn't) and the fact that it's so fragile is also a cause for concern since you can't wear it anywhere without having to constantly worry about breaking the screen. With the watch I have on, I've banged it against a few doors and walls (thank god for sapphire crystal faces), and unless these things come with gorilla glass, we're going to see about as many shattered screens as on the Iphone 5.

By PatJBock on 9/2/13, Rating: -1
RE: w­ww.wo­rk25.C­om
By Monkey's Uncle on 9/2/2013 10:15:10 AM , Rating: 4
Hey, a friend of a friend told me about her. For $68 she will do you while bending over her laptop. Not sure what the laptop adds to it, but hey, it seems to work for her since she must have gotten so good at that she is making $20k a month.

Sloppy seconds (or thirds, fourths, fifths...) anyone?

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