Samsung's Galaxy Gear: Just How Smart Is It?


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There may indeed be a coming "smartwatch" revolution, but it won't be kicked off by Samsung's (OTCMKTS:SSNLF) new Galaxy Gear.

The Galaxy Gear can do a lot of things beyond telling time. It can make phone calls, take pictures, play music, and run apps like Evernote and Path.

However, all this will only be available to a select few since the Galaxy Gear is only compatible with the Galaxy Note 3 " phablet " or the Galaxy 10.1 tablet.

Samsung will increase the number of supported devices, but I'm scratching my head as to how the flagship Galaxy S4 smartphone wasn't the number-one priority here. I can understand blocking other Google ( GOOG ) Android devices from competing smartphone manufacturers like HTC (TPE:2498) and Motorola, but why shut out such a huge portion of Samsung users?

Additionally, the battery life is horrendous -- about one day, according to Samsung versus five to seven days for the Kickstarter darling Pebble Smartwatch, or three to four days for the Sony ( SNE ) SmartWatch 2.

And how about Casio's (TYO:6952) Bluetooth-enabled G-Shock watches that, while having vastly simpler functionality and a relatively primitive display, last for two years ? Speaking of which, Earth to Casio: If you let me use my iPhone ( AAPL ) to program your watches, I will upgrade to a new G-Shock instantly.

Who wants to charge a watch every day?

As far as looks go, I'll let you decide:

Or maybe we should let Mic Wright from The Telegraph decide:

Hey, don't look at me -- I didn't say it!

Arguably, you could say the same about Google Glass, which has battery life issues of its own. But at the very least, Glass, while quite nerdy, really is a far-out concept. Checking a text on a watch isn't much different from checking it on a smartphone -- but having information beamed into your field of vision really is groundbreaking. The commercial viability of Glass is uncertain, but we can't deny that it represents an all-new way of doing things.

Galaxy Gear feels like nothing more than part of a public relations strategy. As has been surmised by many technology industry observers, Samsung most likely raced to market to get ahead of Apple in the smartwatch/wearable technology market .

The big knock against Samsung has been that it simply copies everything Apple does. But now, it gets to turn this idea around -- and it appears that it has beat Apple to the punch.

However, since Apple never talks about new products before they're released, the iWatch (like the iTV, iGlove, and shapeshifting iPad) remains nothing but a figment of our imaginations .

See also:

Why Microsoft Got a Bum Deal

The Search Engine That Has Indexed All Tweets in History -- Now a Possible Acquisition Target?

Samsung's 'Galaxy Gear' and the Coming Future of 'Glanceable' Tech

Twitter: @Minyanville

The views and opinions expressed herein are the views and opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Nasdaq, Inc.

This article appears in: Investing , Technology
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