News & Reviews: Samsung Galaxy Gear
Jan 22, 2014
While the Samsung Galaxy Gear smartwatch probably offers the most in terms of functionality for any smartwatch currently on the market one of it's main limitations was that it only works with certain Samsung smartphones. This short compatibility list included the Samsung Galaxy Note 3, Note 2, S4 and S3 with Android 4.3 firmware. However, this is no longer the case as Smart Watch Fans have come up with a guide showing how to make the Galaxy Gear smartwatch work with a Nexus 5 smartphone. It may require you to download some files, extract them and rename them, but there isn't any arduous programming or too-technical stuff to do to make it work. Do bear in mind that most of the apps work, except for S-Voice and Weather. Other smartwatch fans are saying that they have also made the Galaxy Gear work with the Sony Xperia Z Ultra, provided that it is the pure vanilla Google Edition version.
Jan 22, 2014
Jumping on the gold coloured smartphone bandwagon? Then Celcom's recent offer for the Samsung Galaxy Note 3 Rose Gold Edition should interest you as you can now get the phablet in Rose Gold White or Rose Gold Black at Celcom from RM1538. In addition to this, Celcom are even throwing in a free Moschino casing (worth RM189) along with a Samsung Galaxy Gear smartwatch at just RM288 (the standard retail price for the Gear is RM999). The initial Celcom Samsung Galaxy Note 3 deal is still the same with 12-month, 18-month and 24-month contracts for the Celcom First postpaid plans. Just for your information, the free Moschino case is only available from 28 January 2014 with the whole deal valid up until 28 February 2014. Check out the table and links in this article for more details.
Jan 10, 2014
Samsung's Lee Young Hee, Executive VP of the Mobile Division certainly likes to drop plenty of teasers for Samsung products in his quotes with this one concerning the next Samsung Galaxy Gear smartwatch. Confirming that the still unnamed smartwatch which could turn be named the Samsung Galaxy Gear 2 would be unveiled with the Samsung Galaxy S5 by April, he said:
“When we release our S5 device, you can also expect a Gear successor with more advanced functions, and the bulky design will also be improved. Health-care related functions will be the most inherently tied functions to future wearables. We see a very big potential from there.”
Jan 06, 2014
Just like LG, Samsung are also going to offer a home automation service platform which they have named Smart Home. This platform will be cloud-based and allow you to control devices, view your home (from devices with cameras) and get servicing information like when you should clean or service your connected devices. The Smart Home platform will also allow voice commands through devices like your Samsung Galaxy Gear smartwatch or smartphone. Samsung has said that this is mostly for the future as the platform service will also include functions for home-energy, security, healthcare and eco home applications. Samsung will be showing the Smart Home service platform off at CES 2014 but will roll out the service by Q2 of 2014. No news yet on pricing but it will likely be free in the beginning. For now, check out the video about it last year for a refresher.
Jan 02, 2014
With 2014 already here, we look back at the year 2013 for all the awesome mobile phones to have come out in 2013 for Malaysia. There were quite a lot of them, so we picked based on innovation, performance, design and potential successfully delivered. In no specific order we list out the following mobile phones that rocked our world currently available with local Malaysia support as follows:
- HTC One - The First Good-looking Android Phone
- Sony Xperia Z - The First Stylish Water-proof smartphone
- Samsung Galaxy S4 series - A performance smartphone for every user
- Nokia Lumia 1020 - The Ultimate Cameraphone
- LG G2 - Best all-rounder performance with functional rear controls
- Sony Xperia Z1 - The most feature-filled smartphone
- Nokia Asha 500 series - Bringing hybrid smartphone capabilities to the masses
- Apple iPhone 5S - The world's first 64-bit smartphone with well-done fingerprint scanner
- Nokia Lumia 1520 - The Videographers phablet
- Samsung Galaxy Note 3 - The Ultimate Phablet with 3GB RAM
- Motorola Moto X - Always on and always listening
- Vivo Xplay 3S - World's first 2K display smartphone
- BlackBerry Z10 - World's first BlackBerry smartphone with no QWERTY keyboard
Dec 30, 2013
The first generation Samsung Galaxy Gear smartwatch really didn't wow us despite it currently being the most feature-filled consumer smartwatch available. It cost too much, lasted just a bit more than 24 hours and still had to rely on your smartphone to use most of the apps. So when rumours that Samsung could be coming out with a 2nd version surfaced we're still a bit skeptical about the whole Samsung smartwatch thing. As it is, rumours are saying that the Samsung Galaxy Gear 2 and another wearable to be called the Samsung Galaxy Band could be revealed at MWC 2014 in February. Tech specs and features are very limited but the Galaxy Gear 2 is expected to have a flexible screen while the Galaxy Band would be a health tracker much like the Nike FuelBand. No details on pricing or Malaysia release dates but if they do get revealed at MWC 2014, we'll probably see them in Malaysia sometime in 2014. For now, check out the whole bunch of flexible display tech from Samsung's own Display group below. Do watch out for a FuelBand like bangle smartwatch in the video.
Dec 15, 2013
Reports from China have leaked some possible tech specs of the rumoured Apple iWatch along with a possible release date. These tech specs include a 100 mAh battery for two prototype iWatch devices which matches earlier reports that the iWatch would come in His and Her versions. Do bear in mind that a 100 mAh battery is barely even a third of the 315 mAh battery on the Samsung Galaxy Gear smartwatch and that that only lasts a little more than a day. Apple will supposedly solve this by using a wireless charging technology capable of charging the iWatch from 3.2 feet away. The report goes on to say that the Apple iWatch will come in October 2014 again matching earlier rumours that it would come in late 2014. The report comes from a fairly accurate source when it comes to Apple leaks but do take this rumour with a healthy pinch of salt as it involves a so far yet to be seen magnetic resonance wireless charging technology that hasn't been completely confirmed in itself yet.
Dec 01, 2013
Everyone seems to be getting on the smartwatch bandwagon, including ZTE who are rumoured to be coming out with a smartwatch in Q1 of 2014. Initial rumours say that the ZTE smartwatch will only work or sync with ZTE devices and eventually work with every other Android smartphone. However, new rumours indicate that the upcoming ZTE smartwatch could be a stand alone device where it could call, SMS or connect to the Internet without having to sync with a smartphone through Bluetooth. This is because rumours say that will be able to accept a SIM or micro SIM card. These rumours go on to state that the ZTE smartwatch will be launched first in China before being rolled out internationally and reaching Malaysia. It is expected to be priced much lower than the Samsung Galaxy Gear smartwatch which retails at RM999 here in Malaysia.
Nov 28, 2013
And the Samsung Galaxy S5 rumours continue to pile up. This time around it also concerns the Samsung Galaxy Gearsmartwatch which was initially released with the Samsung Galaxy Note 3. In line with that, rumour mongers are saying that we may see the next generation Samsung Galaxy Gear 2 smartwatch announced alongside the Samsung Galaxy S5. While we're not too thrilled about another Bluetooth companion accessory (we're still hoping for a standalone watch phone) rumours indicate that the Gear 2 could be thinner by about 15% to 20% compared to the original Gear. It would be great if the price was dropped and the battery life improved but a thinner smartwatch could also mean a smaller battery. In related news, more Samsung Galaxy S5 tech specs and features were leaked as well with both plastic and metal versions. Asides from the already mentioned rumours of either the Snapdragon 805 or a 64-bit Samsung Exynos Octa powering the S5, rumours are also saying the S5 could come with a 4000 mAh battery. Personally, we're not sure where Samsung would stick such a large battery unless it is a moulded non-removable kind but we're looking forward to next year sometime in January or February 2014 when the Samsung Galaxy S5 is expected to make an appearance.
Nov 20, 2013
Despite poor reviews (ourselves included) of the Samsung Galaxy Gear smartwatch, Samsung still managed to move 800000 units of the smartwatch, making it probably the most profitable smartwatch to date. It does help that the smartwatch market is still very small but this is still a cause for celebration, at least for Samsung. However, it does raise the question of what you would really want in a smartwatch. Quite obviously, many of the smartwatches available on the market aren't what you want. So, what would you want from a smartwatch or what sort of smartwatch would you really want? How much would it cost?