Samsung has launched their pre-emptive strike against Apple's widely anticipated iWatch, and it's the Galaxy Gear. Not surprisingly, it seems like what many pre-Apple products seem like - the HP Slate held up by Steve Ballmer at CES 2010. That's potentially neither good or bad, but it's another reminder about just how Apple really does tend to think differently. My guess is the iWatch will be to the common perception of a watch what the iPhone was to the old corded handset. But we'll see. Meanwhile, Alex Dobie from Android Central has a complete Samsung Galaxy Gear hands-on locked and loaded:

The Galaxy Gear is an attractive, well-built piece of technology that looks like a premium sports watch. The front is furnished in metal and sapphire glass, while the matte plastic body blends seamlessly into the soft-touch, rubberized strap. It's comfortable to use and comfortable to wear.

The Gear is, however, rather large — larger than the watch you're wearing now, most likely, which could cause problems depending on the size of your wrists. The challenges involved in miniaturizing smart electronics into a package you can wear on your wrist mean that this is an issue we'll probably see on future smartwatches, too.

Battery life is pegged at 24 hours, but Samsung hasn't been good at providing real world numbers in the past, so I wouldn't bank on that. Battery life will no doubt be a huge priority for Apple in this category, and well it should be. Go-to-market on a massively scaled next-generation wearable will be challenging. Like the iPad, a case will have to be made that it's better at some things than a phone. That could be communications projection, that could be quantified life, or it could be something we don't even know we want yet. Samsung looks like they've made a pretty adequate smart watch, given the technology available today.

Apple's not choosing to release anything today. They're likely banking on what they'll be able to do with an iWatch tomorrow.

Both approaches have benefits and drawbacks. It'll be interesting to see how Samsung's Galaxy Gear does on the market now, and what it looks like when, and after, Apple launches an iWatch.

Check out all the Samsung Galaxy Gear coverage at Android Central and then come back and let me know what you think!

Source: Android Central