News & Reviews: SmartWatch
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 14, 2013
While the previous Samsung Galaxy Note 3 video ad didn't really help sell the phablet with it's rather weird puppetry, Samsung have come out with another promotional video that shows off the features of the Samsung Galaxy Note 3 along with some mention of the Samsung Galaxy Gear smartwatch, this time through a stop-motion pop-up book. We think that it is quite creative and helps highlight features like Air Command, the new S Pen, and all of the Air Command functions such as Scrapbook and S Finder. Check out the video for yourself in the article.
Last Updated: Oct 13, 2013
It appears that while many are still in search of the "Internet of things" or literally the ability to link everyday items to the Internet easily this ability has been linked to the upcoming Apple iWatch smartwatch. This is by far one of the more outlandish rumours, mainly because Apple isn't very well known in home automation. The rumour comes courtesy of parts suppliers who say that the Apple iWatch could be used as the main remote control for home automation. While we certainly don't see an Apple iFridge or iBlender in the horizon, it could just as easily be a general purpose Bluetooth or WiFi enabled power switch which would connect to the iWatch or just related to Apple iPod sound systems and the like. However, this begs the questions, "Why the iWatch? Why not the iPhone, iPod touch or other Apple products?" As always, take this rumour with a pinch of salt, and we will keep you updated as to any new developments. As usual of a rumour involving a device expected to arrive many months down the line, there were no tech specs, features, Malaysia release dates or pricing details just yet.
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: Oct 07, 2013
It isn't a new rumour that Google is working on a smartwatch of their own, but it's a new rumour that it may be called the Google Gem Nexus smartwatch. To top this off the Gem Nexus may get it's reveal date alongside Android 4.4 KitKat on 31 October 2013. The rumour comes from Android Police who say that while they don't have any pics to back them up, they are quite confident that both could get revealed on the same date. So far we don't have any tech specs or features apart from another rumour which indicates that it may be related to the Motorola xWatch, but it seems unlikely that Motorola would release a separate smartwatch now that it is owned by Google. Bear in mind too that Google previously bought WIMM Labs, makers of the WIMM One smartwatch about a year ago, so they've had a good amount of time to create a WiFi enabled smartwatch with a robust Android based app platform (which are the 2 main features that the WIMM One had). No specific Malaysia release dates or pricing but we should find out at the end of the month.
Last Updated: Oct 02, 2013
Another Android smartwatch with smartphone capabilities to make it past its Kickstarter crowd-funding goal is the Omate TrueSmart smartwatch. Featuring full smartphone capabilities you can use it to make calls or as a bluetooth remote for your smartphone. Tech specs and features for the Omate TrueSmart include:
- 1.3GHz dual-core Cortex A7 processor
- 1.54-inch screen
- 512MB RAM / 1GB RAM
- 4GB / 8 GB storage + microSD
- 5MP camera
- Supports microSIM + 3G + quad-band GSM + WiFi + Bluetooth 4.0 + GPS
- Android 4.2
- built-in microphone + loudspeaker
- 600 MAh battery
- Integrated Fleksy keyboard
- IP67 waterproof certification
The smartwatch has a standby time of one week and can do practically everything your smartphone can on it's own. The integrated Fleksy smartwatch is quite intuitive, so while you probably won't type the right letters on the tiny screen, the autocorrect translates most words surprisingly well. While it has finished it's Kickstarter campaign, it managed to get more than $1 million and should start shipping to pledgers next month. Those looking to buy the Omate TrueSmart can get the 512MB RAM and 4GB version at $249 (RM805) while the 1GB RAM and 8GB storage version costs $299 (RM967). It will then be shipped in December. For both offers, you can customize the 3G to match the bands in Malaysia and they will also ship worldwide. Check out the video, pics and source for more information.
Last Updated: Oct 01, 2013
Wearable tech continues to grow, and while Google Glass and smartwatches are the main devices to watch, some other independent developers are creating their own wearable technology as well. The ION Glasses is one of them and features LED-based notifications that only you will see or understand and Bluetooth remote control capabilities. You also won't be noticed as everything has been built into the frame of a normal pair of glasses which can fit prescription lenses, sunglasses and most standard glasses lenses. The way it works is that you set the colour of the LED light according to the notification in the app on your smartphone, perhaps green for an email notification. When you get email on your smartphone or tablet, the LED light will blink and let you know you've got mail. There are 256 colours to choose from and you can also use the built-in buttons on the right side of the frame to remote control your smartphone or tablet, perhaps to take a picture, go to the next slide or listen to music.
Last Updated: Sep 30, 2013
Every day another smartwatch prototype comes up, especially from crowd-funding sites like Kickstarter and Indiegogo. After the Pebble smartwatch started it, we've seen quite a few other Bluetooth connected smartwatches, but only a few which can stand on their own without having to rely on accompanying smartphones. The A.I. Watch is one of them as it allows you to make and accept calls, is powered by Android, is water-proof and has a functional 5MP camera. Since you can insert a SIM card, the A. I. Watch is practically a smartphone with tech specs that include a 1.2GHz dual-core processor, 512MB of RAM, 1.54-inch (240 x 240) touchscreen, 500 mAh battery, 4GB of storage, WiFi, GPS and Android 4.0.4. Unfortunately, it is still in prototype stage, and needs $100000 on an Indiegogo campaign to reach mass production. If it does become successful, each watch could cost $279 (RM909) but if it manages to break it's goal, the makers are promising other stuff like 1GB of RAM (for $500000) or a bigger battery. No exact Malaysia release dates but as of the time of writing, the watch has another 41 days before it has to reach it's pledged goal of $100000. Check out the video in the article.
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 25, 2013
While Celcom has already come out with it's Samsung Galaxy Note 3 bundles, those were for 24-month contracts. Looking to add a few more options for their bundles, Celcom have recently added on 12 and 18 month contracts starting from RM1888 and RM1748 respectively. Users still sign up using the Celcom First Prime, Celcom First Premier and Celcom First Elite plans but add on 1GB or 3GB of mobile internet. Other advantages of the lower contract period include a lower advance payment. Check out the details and links in the article.