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Galaxy Gear gets a hefty price tag

Samsung continues its tradition of supersized smartphones with the introduction of the Galaxy Note 3. The Android 4.3-powered smartphone now uses a 5.7" 1080p Super AMOLED (up from 5.5") and weighs in at 168 grams. The Galaxy Note 3 packs quite a bit of power under the hood courtesy of a 2.3GHz quad-core processor and a whopping 3GB of RAM. Samsung has also seen fit to cram in a 13MP rear-facing camera, LTE connectivity, and a 3200 mAh battery.
 
Samsung has listened to all the critics that bash its phones for being plasticky and for not using more "premium" materials, so it has now equipped the back of the phone with a faux leather. The rest of the device is still made of the plastic that you've learned to love (or hate).
 
The Galaxy Note 3 will launch worldwide on September 25 (AT&T, Sprint, T-Mobile, and Verizon are all onboard in the U.S.).


Samsung Galaxy Note 3
 
Also announced today was the Galaxy Gear smartwatch. While details of the device have leaked over the past week (including shots of its interface), the final product differs slightly from the leaked photos provided by Venture Beat. The watch uses a tiny 1.63" AMOLED display with a resolution of 320x320, features 4GB of internal storage, 800MHz processor, and 512MB of RAM.
 
Samsung, however, was quick to point out that this is not a standalone phone -- it is simply a companion device for your smartphone. In this capacity, the Galaxy Gear uses low-energy Bluetooth 4.0 to connect to your phone. Once connected, you'll be able to receive all of your smartphone's notifications, control music, dictate voice memos, and place/answer calls Dick Tracy style. Samsung has even managed to toss in a 1.9 MP camera that will allow you to shoot up to 720p video.
 
There will be a wealth of applications available for the Galaxy Gear -- 70 initially -- all of which will be downloadable from the Galaxy Gear Manager app.

Galaxy Gear Smartwatch 

The Galaxy Gear features a diminutive 315 mAh battery and will only last a day on a charge.
 
The Galaxy Gear will be priced at $299 when it launches in October, which is a hefty price to pay for a "companion" device.

Sources: Samsung [1], [2], [3]



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Surprised such lack of vision here.
By kamiller422 on 9/4/2013 3:57:04 PM , Rating: 2
The watch is obviously an accessory for your phone or phablet or tablet. It is works best in conjunction with.

So why have it? Because it is readily accessible and more convenient to carry. Working via BT means the phone can sit anywhere many feet from where you are. There are plenty of uses for it.

1) View phone status without having to lift and wake up phone. You can see new notifications like missed calls, etc.
2) Catch and react to incoming phone calls much easier than with just phone. Watch notifies and I could response to answer, reject or text.
3) Listen to voice mails without having to fetch phone.
4) Home automation opportunities. Couple this with AutoVoice and Tasker and you have something awesome in the making.
5) Exercise. Duh. I use Endomondo when biking. Being able to view status or control music via something not stuck in my backpack would be very nice.
6) Create TODOs on the fly. Speak to watch and say "Reminder to pick up groceries and mow yard." "Set a timer for 5 minutes." "Turn off water hose in 10 minutes."
7) Easy video phone calls.

Dream it.

I wish I could get one, but I agree that $300 is a little steep.




RE: Surprised such lack of vision here.
By retrospooty on 9/4/2013 4:07:02 PM , Rating: 3
That all sounds nice when you frame it with "without having to fetch your phone" ... But, its really not difficult to fetch your phone. Plus, once you go through all that "Herculean effort" to fetch the phone, it has much nicer screen.


RE: Surprised such lack of vision here.
By kamiller422 on 9/4/2013 4:11:29 PM , Rating: 2
Ever use BT headphones with your smartphone? Really nice to listen to music without hauling the phone around. I think the watch will provide a similar freedom. Tapping the power of the smartphone without having to have it near you.

Also, the phone will be able to operate without the phone. So, not all applications will require fetching the phone. Many examples I provided do not require the phone.

Another watch use...
http://reviews.cnet.com/8301-19736_7-57601371-251/...


RE: Surprised such lack of vision here.
By retrospooty on 9/4/2013 4:16:55 PM , Rating: 2
Ya, I guess it has a few nice things, but I still don't see any smartwatch being a big hit. Even if it were $100. I cant imagine wanting to actually use this if it were totally free to be honest. I know some people would though.


By Monkey's Uncle on 9/4/2013 5:01:17 PM , Rating: 2
I really have no use for a watch that needs to be recharged every night - regardless of what it can do beyond telling the date & time.


By jimbojimbo on 9/6/2013 11:35:25 AM , Rating: 2
I predict Samsung will offer deals to sell these with a big discount with the sale of a feature phone. Even for $100 though it's still not appealing to me. I still like my Omega watch that I've had for 13 years too much.


By Solandri on 9/6/2013 4:32:37 AM , Rating: 2
quote:
That all sounds nice when you frame it with "without having to fetch your phone" ... But, its really not difficult to fetch your phone. Plus, once you go through all that "Herculean effort" to fetch the phone, it has much nicer screen.

I can imagine someone making the exact same argument in the early 1900s. "But it's really not that difficult to fetch your pocketwatch. Plus, once you go through all that 'Herculean effort' to fetch the pocketwatch, it has a much nicer clock face."

The wristwatch form factor beat out the pocketwatch form factor before. All other things being equal it'll beat it out again. The only fly in the ointment is that you have to hold the phone up to your ear to use it. A requirement which may or may not go away depending on how bluetooth headsets progress.


RE: Surprised such lack of vision here.
By Brandon Hill (blog) on 9/4/2013 4:22:36 PM , Rating: 2
Or you could, I dunno, use your phone! What's the point of having a smartphone if you're using a "dumb" watch to interface with it?

It's be like watching ESPN on your smartphone in your living room instead on the big screen TV right in front if you. Sure, you can do it, but why?

And more convenient to carry? So we've gone from one device to two devices to carry -- that doesn't seem more convenient.


By flyingpants1 on 9/4/2013 6:39:40 PM , Rating: 2
Or you could, I dunno, wait until the product is released before making a judgement! Maybe even wait until the price comes down a bit!

No more checking your phone for your notification light when it's on silent! Issue voice commands and ask questions directly to your left wrist. No more struggling to hold your phone when your hands are full, or when you're on a bike, for example. There may be potential use-cases that we haven't thought of yet.

This is going to be a new paradigm whether we like it or not. At $199, these things actually have a chance. Be prepared for the Smartwatch screen size race. For god's sake, I hope it tops out less than 3"..


By kamiller422 on 9/4/2013 10:39:28 PM , Rating: 2
Or you could, I dunno, use your phone! What's the point of having a smartphone if you're using a "dumb" watch to interface with it?

Because the watch is more accessible and readily available. Kind of like why you have a remote control on your TV when you could just get up and push the channel up and down buttons.

It's be like watching ESPN on your smartphone in your living room instead on the big screen TV right in front if you. Sure, you can do it, but why?

Incorrect. In your scenario, the smartphone is trying to duplicate functionality of an existing device onto a smaller screen. The smart watch is trying to extend the functionality of your phone (and other devices), not replace it.

And more convenient to carry? So we've gone from one device to two devices to carry -- that doesn't seem more convenient.

You wear one and carry the other. Back in the day, before smartphones, people actually wore watches. Wild. I know.


By Reclaimer77 on 9/5/2013 9:21:36 AM , Rating: 2
You know Brandon, I agree with your points. But instead of just reporting the facts, you highly editorialized the article with comments about Gear's price and usefulness. This is obviously a personal slant, because you're saying the same things in the comment section.

How can you know a product is overpriced when there's nothing to compare it to? Nothing else like this has even been announced in such detail. Yet your wording biases the reader against the product outright.


"A lot of people pay zero for the cellphone ... That's what it's worth." -- Apple Chief Operating Officer Timothy Cook














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