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

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Rene Ritchie

EiC of iMore, EP of Mobile Nations, Apple analyst, co-host of Debug, Iterate, Vector, Review, and MacBreak Weekly podcasts. Cook, grappler, photon wrangler. Follow him on Twitter and Google+.

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Reader comments

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


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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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

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.

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

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.

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.

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.

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.

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

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

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.

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.

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?

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.

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.

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."

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~

"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.