Samsung Galaxy Gear Priced at P13,990 in the Philippines
Samsung unveiled the Galaxy Gear smart watch when it introduced the Galaxy Note 3 and the new edition of the Galaxy 10.1. I have since reviewed the Galaxy Note 3 but the Galaxy Gear is not yet available locally, although it will reportedly be arriving in the Philippines very soon.
So what’s the retail price for the Galaxy Gear when it arrives in the Philippines? Reports say the smart watch will be carrying a P13,990 price tag. It’s very expensive in my opinion. For something that is intended to be an accessory to an Android device, it is priced like a smartphone.
The Samsung Galaxy Gear features a 1.63-inch Super AMOLED touch display with a resolution of 320×320 and a 1.9MP camera which is located on the strap. The Samsung Galaxy Gear is powered by an 800MHz processor paired with 512MB of RAM and has 4GB of storage. It is powered by a 315mAh battery. The Samsung Galaxy Gear also has two built-in mics, a speaker, Bluetooth 4.0, accelerometer and gyroscope. It can be used to make calls, making it a true Android companion.
As of the moment, the Samsung Galaxy Gear is only compatible with the Galaxy Note 3 and the Galaxy Note 10.1. It will be compatible with other devices in the future but until it becomes official, don’t buy the Galaxy Gear if you intend to use it on a Galaxy S4 or any other non-compatible device.
Samsung Galaxy Gear: Smart Freedom
It’s finally official. After numerous leaks (mostly inaccurate) and the recent admission to The Korea Times from Samsung itself, the maker of the highly popular Galaxy-branded smartphones has just unveiled the Galaxy Gear smart watch, alongside the other highly anticipated device of the year, the 5.7-inch Galaxy Note 3 smartphone.
As – erhm – promised by Mr. Lee Young-hee, executive VP of Samsung’s mobile business, the Galaxy Gear doesn’t come with a flexible screen. Neither does it come with a ridiculously big 3-inch display. A contemporary-looking watch nonetheless, it has a 1.63-inch Super AMOLED touchscreen with a resolution of 320 x 320 pixels, an 800MHz processor, a rubber wrist band, a metal bezel, and a metal fold-over clasp. Only a single hardware button is found at the right side, and its task is to bring you back to the home screen. For storage, it comes with 4GB of internal memory; RAM is pegged at 512MB.
True to rumors though, the Galaxy Gear does come with a camera, but it only has a resolution of 1.9 megapixels. Meant to be a ‘memographer’, it’s able to capture photos with audio, as well as short videos (up to 720p). Charging of its 315mAh Li-ion battery is done via micro-USB, but the port isn’t on the watch itself. Instead, it’s on this little charging case (comes bundled) that goes around the watch. The case has pogo pins that will align with the contacts at the back of the watch.
Expectedly, connection is done via wireless Bluetooth technology (Bluetooth 4.0 LE). But at launch, the Galaxy Gear will only work with the Galaxy Note 3. This is due to the additional transmission instructions that the current Galaxy S series smartphones lack. This can be solved via a firmware update to the master device (that is the phone), but Samsung isn’t willing to give us a timeline. Our guess is that recent devices, like the Galaxy S4, will get it together with their Android 4.3 update.
Also, Samsung thinks the Galaxy Gear is best paired with a Galaxy smartphone. Case in point: It’s not even designed to work with the new Galaxy Note 10.1 (2014 Edition), the third device announced today.
Smart or Not?
Features-wise, the 73.8g Galaxy Gear is able to send and receive calls; in fact, it’d be a huge surprise if it isn’t able to. It also does notifications (for calls, messages, email, and alerts), as well as something called Smart Relay. In essence, when you receive a notification on the smart watch, and go to pick up the phone, the content will automatically be shown. There’s also Voice Memo, where you speak to the Galaxy Gear, and it sends the info back to the master device, and then send s back the final text to the watch. Then there’s S-Voice, for hands-free launching of apps, creating of new calendar entries, setting of alarms, and checking of weather; a photo gallery; and a music playback control app for the master device. As mentioned above, the Memographer app is used for snapshots and short videos. And when you close Memographer, the data is transferred to the master device.
Another notable feature is that it can be used as a standalone pedometer. The watch has onboard accelerometer and gyroscope, but not GPS. Other features include a stopwatch, weather display, Auto Lock (not the watch, but the phone when the former is 1.5m away from the latter), Find My Device (you can have misplaced devices beep, illuminate, and vibrate), and clock faces (10 of them, no less, with more to be downloaded through Samsung Apps). Samsung is promising at least 70 optimized apps at launch via Samsung Apps, and these include popular ones like Evernote, Glympse, TripIt, ChatOn, eBay, RunKeeper, Pocket, Path, Line, Atooma, and Banjo.
The Galaxy Gear also has a great emergency feature. When you press the power button three times continuously, your location will be sent to a saved contact with a message.
The Samsung Galaxy Gear will be available in six colors, creatively known as: jet black, oatmeal beige, rose gold (with a beige band), wild orange, mocha gray, and lime green. Worldwide availability starts from 25th September, but there aren’t any specifics on per-country roll-out (e.g. there’s no launch date yet for the Philippines) or the price points at the point of publishing. Meanwhile, stay tuned to this space for more updates from HardwareZone.
Are you interested in the Galaxy Gear? Do you find the P13,990 too expensive? Share your thoughts below