Samsung Galaxy Gear shows what Apple won't do with the iWatch

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

Rene Ritchie

Editor-in-Chief of iMore, co-host of Iterate, Debug, Review, The TV Show, Vector, ZEN & TECH, and MacBreak Weekly podcasts. Cook, grappler, photon wrangler. Follow him on Twitter and Google+.

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There are 51 comments. Add yours.

Paradocks says:

The Qualcomm Toq is a much better interpretation of a smart watch than what Samsung showed today. The Toq has battery life measured in days, a reflective Mirasol color screen that can be seen in bright sunlight, and it works with multiple devices, not just Samsung products.

Denice Weist says:

Is this product out on the market yet available to buy and will it work with iPhone

Paradocks says:

Rumors have it coming out in October for Android phones first, but iOS compatibility is also a possibility.

richard451 says:

++ The Toq is where it's at. I'm kind of surprised iMore missed this.

SockRolid says:

“We expect to make tens of thousands of these, not hundreds of thousands,” Qualcomm executive Rob Chandhok said in an interview. “A success, for us, looks like our partners picking up and running with this. Qualcomm isn’t turning into a consumer electronics company.”

Source: All things D:

stuntmonkey says:

As a person why never stopped wearing watches, I find it amusing that the smartphone generation eschewed wristwatches because 'their phone had the time'... only to end up with this.

Also: That built in camera is going to get that thing banned from a lot of places pretty quickly.

Peter Cohen says:

I stopped wearing watches because I started using laptops, and didn't want to scratch up the wristrest area. I'm still using laptops, so for me, smartwatches are still a swing and a miss.

Emily Grossman says:

I have small lady wrists, so size is a big factor for me. Frankly, this Samsung attempt just doesn't inspire me to spend any sort of money.

And considering how watches have become more of a "fashion statement" than necessity, I was really expecting something a whole lot more... well... sexy. Apple could probably deliver on that front, but it remains to be seen whether or not the watch form and function is as "reinvented" as you say it could be. In this respect, I am excited for the announcement.

stewm says:

Awww come on. It saddens to hear that Size really does matter ;)

Sorry Emily, couldn't help saying it but you are right, in the case of this it is just too much size and really doesn't do enough to justify the price!

It really looks like a rushed attempt by Samsung to get there before Apple brings something out so that they can accuse Apple of copying.

Emily Grossman says:

Hahaha well in this case the size is too *big* -- maybe Samsung can take solace in that complaint ;)

Derrick4Real says:

As a person that likes the look of a good watch, especially a dress watch, these look tacky. They look like jogging watches which are fine and don't look tacky when jogging but look ugly with normal clothes.

tylerb2002 says:

So how exactly does Samsung releasing a watch serve as "another reminder about just how Apple really does tend to think differently"???

gtricecakes says:

Exactly. I like reading this site for the facts it gives on iphone and iOS, but opinions like this keep me from wanting to keep coming back to this site.

Yes, the watch isn't that great. But comparing what they did to what Apple could do is pretty irrelevant right now.

Denice Weist says:

I agree because I think Apple will lose a lot of customers that like the feature having this because people will switch back in droid phone so they can have the smart watch until Apple comes out with one yet again Apple is a day late dollar short

Solamar says:

It's more of a symptom.. Samsung didn't plan on a watch until news started circling that Apple was planning it. Then, suddenly, weeks later, Samsung let it drop they too were doing one. Apple's rumored plans actually push competitors to try to anticipate Apple.

Funny, there is no innovation here. It's all standard package smart-watch we've see in past products.. They even put in Safire Glass as Apple was rumored to do. BHAHA.. copying rumors is funny.

ChrisFricke says:

Unless you work for Samsung product development you have no way of knowing whether or not that is true. The idea for a smart watches goes back a long ways. My dad had a pager watch in the 90's that did messaging, the weather, and other simple "apps". It was large and incredible "Smart" for it's day. Made by Seiko, I think.

sjsterling says:

Lag, lag, lag.
No imagination.

stewm says:

It's definitely a No-Dad Watch. "No Dad Don't make me wear that watch!".

Sorry but something that looks like it was botched together in Dad's Garage Workshop with screws showing and a bulge for a camera on the strap.

It does make a watch made from an iPod Nano look like a finished product...snigger.

jhails says:

I'll stick with my Citizen analog watch. It tells time, it has no buttons and a solar face panel that recharges continuously. Its 4 years old and I never have to think about batteries or charging ever. The Samsung looks like a poor solution to a non existent problem. I predict sales of this device will be microscopic.

sting7k says:

I already carry around a computer in my pocket. The next step for me is a brain implant to directly control things with my mind. I will not wear a computer on my wrist. I will not wear a computer on my face. The only way that will ever happen is if computers that go in my pocket no longer exist.

Sent from the iMore App

GlennRuss says:

All of the "smart watches" are a cool idea, getting in the habit of charging your watch daily, is a little different. As far as it getting banned in places because of the camera, it is no different than a phone with a camera. Noticed in the video, swiping down was not as responsive as side to side.

Sent from the iMore App

soleobjective says:

"Either - or", and "Neither - nor."

Couldn't resist

Orealy YouThink says:

I am glad they didn't reinvent the wheel.
You know Jony isn't working for them.
I would love to hear what he has to say about "that, thing?"(cell block commander's voice from Star Wars, when Han and Luke are breaking in with Chewy!)

I am saddened for Samsung.

Orealy YouThink says:

...Tap, Tap, Tap!
The Droid boys should be here any minute.
I feel them in the room.

Orealy YouThink says:

Yah, so?
It is a Apple site. Not DroidloserMore.

TeflonTom says:

Already here. Check out Denise.

SockRolid says:

Pebble-killer. Nothing more.

And maybe it's time to rename Android Central "Samsung Central."

Kellygeorgeh says:

I guess. But it's hard to be a "killer" when it costs twice as much, only works with 2 devices, and the battery only lasts a day.

Mike Oxlong1 says:

Let's see ...
- cost too much for what it does.
- early release just to get to market.
- no apps available at launch.
- needs to use your phone in order to communicate with the rest of the world.
Are we talking about a Samsung Galaxy Gear or a Blackberry Playbook?

gopherhockey says:

You have to give Samsung credit.. they:

1. Didn't make it 6" big… because we all know bigger = innovation.
2. They didn't waste a lot of plastic… like they do with the rest of their devices
3. They beat Apple to the punch… because we all know that first to release = better. Clearly they "invented" the smartwatch today.
4. The screen is only laggy by about half a second.. not a full second.
5. It lasts longer than 23 hours… 24 hours isn't too bad for a watch is it?
6. They only copied Apples idea… not their iWatch… until its released that is.
7. They increased value… of iPod nanos as watches.
8. They gave Note owners a way to get at their smartphone data… since they clearly aren't going to get those Notes out of their pants pocket.
9. They got CNN to release a news alert on their watch…. must have been a VERY slow news day.
10. They gave sSheep something to boast about… because its been years since they had anything real to be excited about. Samsung did invent the walkman right? Oh wait.. that was Sony… never mind.

gopherhockey says:

Ironic. Let me guess which camp you came from… the name calling gave you away.

Orealy YouThink says:

Why is he a douche?
He merely state fact in a sarcastic way.
The thing is CRAP, you know, I know, the American people know it!
The watch is a DOUCHE tards dream.
I know you want one.

taharka says:

LOL @ #6
...Didn't realize the smartwatch was "Apple's idea".

theKHMERboy says:

so how would u be able to txt with this? looks pretty cool tho

escapedrift says:

The next big thing is here.

Gymmie Veco says:

I've been trying to figure this out for years now, but can somebody please, please, please explain to me this whole Android vs Apple "war" thing going? OrealyYouthink starts the name calling..."fan boy"...then gopherhockey continues it with "sheep" and when tomar5e responds back, gopherhockey says the name calling gave it away. Ummm...I think the name calling started several posters ago, but not the point.

I had the iPhone 4 and my wife had the Droid Razr, then I bought the Galaxy Note 2 and my wife got the iPhone 4S and now she has the iPhone 5. Our house isn't broken into 2 factions and we're not calling each other sheep and fan boys. Why does anybody care what phone other people use? I'm missing the point here b/c unless someone is paid by either Google or Apple, there really is no vested interest in seeing one fail and the other succeed.

For me, the more competition the better it is for consumers...I just do not understand this whole "Oh you have an Android so you suck" or "You own Apple products, you're such a sheep."

Orealy YouThink says:

Because they are M$bots that can't get a decent M$Phone so they are jealous, petty, whiny little biatches with major buyer remorse not too mention the BS attitudes, "I WILL NEVER BUY A APPLE PRODUCT, BECAUSE THERE GOING OUT OF BUSINESS!"
or some BS CRAP like that.
Not too mention they all still own Zunes!!!!! BWaahahhahahahahaha~

stuntmonkey says:

"Samsung Galaxy Gear shows what Apple won't do with the iWatch"

Well, exactly. What problem does this solve? iPod+iTunes made digital music legitimate and somewhat tolerable for the music industry. The iPhone amalgamated our phones, mp3 players and calendars, PDA's etc together. The iPad made portable computing accessible to non-techy people.

So what problem does a smart watch solve? Maybe I don't know what the problem is that's not being solved; but the benefits of the iPod/iPhone/iPad were immediately conceivable when they were launched. It's not that smart watches are a bad idea, but for now, Apple isn't a broad-category consumer electronics company like Sony, with tech existing for the sake of tech.

Also, for all the men out there: Wear a proper watch. It's the only form of male jewellery that is acceptable in all social circles. Unless you are heart surgeon, and especially if you are Dr. Nick.

felface says:

thought that the picture at the bottom was ipod nanos

jboram says:

The Samsung Smartwatch is a complete fail and doesn't "answer anything new" Its taking technology and asking it to go backwards!

The Smartwatch will never succeed until it does something different, or makes something new and innovative.

Its an old unwearable hunk of junk sadly tarnishing Samsung previous product line... Just as it says here as well: lol...