News & Reviews: Samsung Galaxy Gear features
Last Updated: Feb 06, 2014
The Samsung Galaxy Gear smartwatch offers the most amount of features around but one of the main reasons it didn't really take off in Malaysia was it's RM999 price tag. Recently Samsung cut down the price of the Samsung Galaxy Gear smartwatch in India down to $120 (RM397), with the original initial pricing set at an even higher $365 (RM1208). Samsung has not given any official announcement on a global cut-down in pricing for markets like Malaysia yet but since India got it, China, Malaysia and other Asian markets will probably follow soon after. The price cut is also indicative of what could be coming as well, as many are expecting the Samsung Galaxy Gear 2 smartwatch or S Band bracelet to be revealed in 2014. No specific Malaysia release dates just yet, but we're expecting it to come in or after the end of February 2014.
Last Updated: Nov 18, 2013
One of the main limitations of the Samsung Galaxy Gear smartwatch is the fact that you can't pick and choose what notifications to get and some apps just aren't listed as being able to send notifications either. Thankfully, Samsung have come out with an official update for the Galaxy Gear (build V700XXUAMK7) that lets you view notifications for nearly every app on your smartphone. This Gear Manager update also lets you customize what notifications you want to enable or disable so you don't have to live with a constantly vibrating smartwatch on a busy day. While the update doesn't do much else, it is clearly a good step in the right direction from Samsung. We're looking forward more such updates which could perhaps extend battery life and add more functionality for the Samsung Galaxy Gear smartwatch.
Last Updated: Oct 24, 2013
While compatibility with just the Samsung Galaxy Note 3 and Note 10.1 2014 Edition is one of the main constraints of the Samsung Galaxy Gear smartwatch, this may no longer be the case as Samsung have announced that quite a few Galaxy devices are going to get compatible soon. This includes the Samsung Galaxy S4, Samsung Galaxy S III and Samsung Galaxy Note II as soon as they receive their Android 4.3 updates, which are currently being rolled out in phases. Following these are the Samsung Galaxy S4 Mini, S4 Active, Mega 5.8, Mega 6.3 and S4 Zoom. While the software update will again be released in phases, these devices will begin getting the update by the end of October. Bear in mind though that certain functions and features available for use on the Samsung Galaxy Gear will depend on the tech specs available to each device.
Last Updated: Oct 17, 2013
The race for the world's best smartwatch is currently on and while the market is still fairly new, the Samsung Galaxy Gear smartwatch is probably the most feature filled of the bunch. Packing in a 1.9MP camera, a 1.6mm Super AMOLED screen and Bluetooth 4.0 LE connectivity this is one of the few smartwatches that you can use to take calls from, provided you have your smartphone connected. It is also locally available here in Malaysia for RM999. Does it live up to the hype? Read on and find out in our Samsung Galaxy Gear smartwatch review.
Last Updated: Oct 10, 2013
While it is currently the most feature-filled smartwatch from a big company on the market, the Samsung Galaxy Gearis still far from being the smartwatch that everyone wants. However, it turns out that this could be partly due to the limitations that Samsung have put on it, as the guys from Ars Technica have hacked the smartwatch to run Android 4.2.2 and even play a game of Candy Crush. Utilizing a technique called side-loading through ADB and USB debugging enabled, they not only loaded some full apps, they even watched some videos on the tiny 1.6-inch screen. However, since the tech specs of the Galaxy Gear just consist of an 800MHz processor, 512MB of RAM, 4GB storage and no WiFi, what you can do or install on the smartwatch is still very limited.
Last Updated: Oct 07, 2013
The Samsung Galaxy Gear is probably the most feature filled smartwatch from a branded company currently in the market. While it does have a number of shortcomings, such as poor battery life and compatibility with smartphones other than the Samsung Galaxy Note 3 a number of rather cool promo ads for the smartwatch have come out. For those who haven't always wanted a smartwatch, the ads show where some of the first smartwatches in media came from including Dick Tracy, The Jetsons, Star Trek, Inspector Gadget, Knight Rider and Power Rangers. It is an interesting look at smartwatches and captures some of the essence that makes a smartwatch, at least according to popular media. Check the videos out for yourself and see where it all began for smartwatches.
Last Updated: Sep 27, 2013
Samsung have confirmed that the Samsung Galaxy Gear smartwatch will soon be compatible with the Samsung Galaxy S4, Galaxy Note II and Galaxy S III smartphones. The news comes courtesy of Lee Young-hee, Executive Vice President for Marketing of Samsung who stated that the S4 would be compatible by end of October 2013. The Note II and Galaxy S III on the other hand will be compatible by end of December. This compatibility hinges on the smartphones getting their Android 4.3 updates which will then enable the Bluetooth 4.0 LE support required by the Samsung Galaxy Gear smartwatch to work. As mentioned earlier, the Samsung Galaxy Gear has an RRP of RM999 in Malaysia although it can be acquired for free as a combo deal with certain local telcos. In related news, Samsung will be working on apps or a user experience to make the Gear smartwatch pop more as they acknowledge that the smartwatch "lacks something special".
Last Updated: Sep 20, 2013
Samsung Malaysia have just released the Samsung Galaxy Gear smartwatch at a local launch event held today in Malaysia. It marks the availability of the Galaxy Gear smartwatch in Malaysia from 25 September 2013 at RM999. The smartwatch comes with a number of features and tech specs which include an 800 MHz processor, 512MB RAM, 4GB storage, 1.9MP backside-illuminated camera, 1.63-inch Super AMOLED display with 320 x 320 resolution, accelerometer, gyroscope, pedometer, microphone, speakers and 315 mAh battery for up to 25 hours of use on a single charge. The Galaxy Gear is also IP55 rated so it can stand a little dust and water.
Please check out the Samsung Galxy Note 3 Malaysia release date and info.
Last Updated: Sep 09, 2013
When it was first introduced, the Samsung Galaxy Gear smartwatch was said to only be able to work with Samsung Galaxy smartphones and even then, it would only work with the Samsung Galaxy Note 3 at the time. While it still only works with the Note 3 a recent announcement reveals that the smartwatch may soon be compatible with any smartphone provided that it supports Bluetooth LE and has Android 4.3 (which still means no go for you iOS users hoping for some cross compatibility). According to the announcement, firmware upgrades are being sent out and the Gear may soon be compatible with the Samsung Galaxy SIII, Samsung Galaxy S4 and Samsung Galaxy Note II. Ryan Bidan, Samsung Director of Product Marketing said:
"[I]t is just the timetable of bringing that software to other devices. It is nothing other than engineering work to do it.... Part of that functionality is tied to some updates in Android 4.3. So we are working to bring 4.3 to all those devices as well and so that is definitely one of the factors influencing adoption.
We were working to make sure that we had the right engineering to do it on the Galaxy Note 3. So, here we are at the launch of the Galaxy Note 3 and here is Galaxy Gear. There is more to come, for sure."
Last Updated: Sep 05, 2013
As expected, the Samsung Galaxy Gear smartwatch was officially announced along with the Samsung Galaxy Note 3. Featuring a metallic chrome bezel it certainly looks better than the earlier leaked "prototypes" and comes in black, grey, red, yellow and white plastic watch straps. It confirms many tech spec rumours which include a camera, microphones and speaker built into the strap along with a 1.63-inch Super AMOLED screen that has a 320 x 320 pixel resolution. Tech specs for the Samsung Galaxy Gear include an 800 MHz processor, 512MB of RAM, 4GB storage and a 1.9MB camera capable of taking 720p video. According to Samsung, while it only packs in a 315 mAh battery it should last "about a day" although they are unclear if this is 24 hours or an 8 hour working day.