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Sep
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Update: According to GigaOm, today's Galaxy Gear images are definitely of a prototype, as VentureBeat speculated could be the case earlier. Additionally, GigaOm's sources indicate that the watch will be running Android 4.3 with Bluetooth LE connectivity, a dual-core 1.5GHz Exynos 4212 processor (with Mali-400 MP4 GPU), and the ability to make phone calls. Our original post follows below.

We're looking forward to getting a glimpse of the Galaxy Gear, Samsung's rumored smart watch, expected for an IFA reveal. As is often the case though, we've got a bit of a pre-release treat. VentureBeat's Christina Farr got an introduction to the watch (or at least a prototype unit), and describes its less-than-svelte physique and a few of its capabilities.

VentureBeat says the Gear is about 3" diagonally, colored dark gray, and carries with it a 4MP camera "built into the strap" along with tiny speakers. Farr was able to grab stills from an apparent internal promotional video that show us a little more about how the watch functions.

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samsung-galaxy-gear-smartwatch-sketch

Images and sketch depicting Galaxy Gear gesture controls: VentureBeat

Here are some of the smart watch's other features, according to Farr.

  • Samsung S Voice for voice commands
  • Preloaded with Android apps for social media, health tracking, etc.
  • Integration with a companion Galaxy S phone or tablet
  • An easy-to-use swipe function to access apps, the built-in camera, and the photo gallery
  • Call logs (A cool use-case: You can initiate a call from the watch to a Samsung smartphone device)
  • Internet access
  • Power button on the side
  • Social media integration — you can share to your Facebook or Twitter account from the watch
  • 10+ hours battery life

Like other wearable devices, the Gear appears to be … geared … toward fitness tracking, with the option to tag photographed food according to its nutritional composition.

It's still unclear whether the Gear will be bound just to Samsung's Galaxy devices, or if it will be more widely compatible with Android.

Of course it's also worth noting that what we're looking at could be a prototype device, and its design may not be final. After all, Samsung is known for shielding its unreleased goodies in dummy boxes.

We'll keep you posted as more details emerge.

Source: VentureBeat

Liam Spradlin
Liam loves Android, design, user experience, and travel. He doesn't love ill-proportioned letter forms, advertisements made entirely of stock photography, and writing biographical snippets.

  • Roberto Giunta

    This thing is a reason why we need a Nexus smartwatch. It's infested with S-Crap all over it.

    • Simon Belmont

      Exactly what I came down here to say. I'm glad that Google bought a smartwatch company because it looks like a Nexus smartwatch is what I'll be getting.

      If Samsung's smartwatch be 100% used with any Android phone or tablet, then it'd appeal to a wider audience (and to me). I guess we'll find out soon.

      • Hans Pedersen

        What smartwatch features does stock android offer?

        • Kellic

          What he meant is you have a HTC phone? You can forget about using half if any of the features on this thing. Proprietary crap needs to die. This is why I didn't go with Apple in the first place and why if these rumors are true I won't touch this thing.

          • Hans Pedersen

            Stock android is cool for around 1% of potential buyers, okay, maybe five on a relatively geek device like this. That is why you will never see stock android on third party hardware unless it's those limited Google experience devices.

            Furthermore, how would this work with vanilla android? Hardware manufacturers can't sit around waiting for Google to maybe release an android version optimised for watches, a version that may never even exist. Just look at how long Google took to implement something simple as BT4 support.

    • hot_spare

      Doesn't even mean anything for common consumers. Hardly even 1% know what's a Nexus.

      And by being a Nexus, the battery will run out in 5 hrs.

  • Drayon

    I don't belive this is real. It lacks a hardkey home button.

    • Chris P

      Don't forget the Gingerbread menu button!

    • andre08

      I know right

  • Alter

    It looks like someone strapped a tiny phone to their wrist.

    • Herman

      Samsung Galaxy Pocket Mini?

      They should've called this one the Samsung Galaxy Wrist.

  • Andrew

    It is ugly. I mean "consistent with Samsung's design language".

  • evolutionx1

    S-Voice is so slow when compared to Google Now. 10 hrs+ of battery life for a smartWATCH isn't something that I'm looking for.

  • Anfronie

    I wasn't expecting this...I don't know what I was expecting...I don't know if this looks good or bad...just plain confused...

    • Anfronie

      Follow up: If it only has around 10hrs battery life it better have wireless charging considering you will have to charge it every day.

  • Frank Lindner

    Way to big for being wearable, the other thing is battery life. 10+ hours is terrible for a device with no cell radio in it.

  • Brian Utne

    I can strap my HTC G1 to my wrist and get more functionality.
    Insanely hideous watch.

    • Simon Belmont

      Haha. The G1 would probably have MORE functionality because you wouldn't be limited to Samsung's S-Product stuff.

      If this is only for Galaxy type phones and tablets, then it's a non-starter for me. I'll wait for the Nexus watch.

      • Brian Utne

        Same here. Nexus or nothin!

    • Brian Utne

      Got my hands on the Samsung Galaxy Note 3.0 smartwatch. Loving it so far! My right arm feels so much stronger!

      • Simon Belmont

        Hahaha. Great picture.

        I'd like to see someone put some of these newer phablets on their wrists. Or a Nexus 7.

  • Luc

    The design of this smartwatch looks bulky, that's a terrible mistake from Samsung... Where's the thin and classy design???

  • MagickalMike

    My expectation in the development of this smart watch phenomena is something more like the Pebble, which is very low energy & acts as an always out of pocket extension to your phone. This looks more like Sammy's making a nearly fully capable antenna-less phone for your wrist. Unless I'm wrong, I think that Sammy's missing the point when it comes to predicting what consumes want in a smart watch...

  • Pete Townill

    This completely validates my purchase of a Pebble Watch. This thing is hideous, and doesn't seem too incredibly useful.

  • Zak Taccardi

    This looks awful..

  • GraveUypo

    it's not even that big. i'm wearing mine right now.
    it's march over here still btw.

    • Anfronie

      pics or it didn't happen

    • Anfronie

      gahahahaah!!! thanks for that :)

    • A.Noid

      Love it! lol

    • Roh_Mish

      Thats because your smartwatch has froze

  • omry meir

    I have to say that i really don't see any use for this sort of devices.
    not by samsung, not by apple and not by google.

    can someone tell what all the hype is about?
    useless in my opinion...

    • Kenny O

      I like the idea of one mainly for notifications while the phone is in my pocket. I work in schools all day, so I have to leave my phone on vibrate all the time so I won't disturb a class. But, I want it to look like an ordinary watch - not some big screen on my arm - and I don't want to have to charge it but once a week and most. So far nothing has met my criteria as of yet......

    • http://www.facebook.com/bryanmounce Bryan

      Many individuals wear GPS watches to track runs. I would plan on doing this exact thing with something like this. Less bulky than a phone with all the functionality I need.

  • Kobi Nechmadi

    i hope that it's not the final design . if it is , the new sony smartwatch is much more elegant

  • concrete and steel

    "Slim" battery case on it's way for whopping 15+ hour battery life...

  • Stephen Fronda

    I soooo wanted the concept for this watch to be real. Kinda spoiled this idea for me. I don't want to see anything but the concept (or better)

  • ProductFRED

    > 10+ Hrs battery life

    LOLWUT. I have to worry about my watch battery now too?

    • Hans Pedersen

      I guess that's 10 hours of active usage.

  • Jeff B

    No thanks, I will keep my pebble.

  • Spirit

    Yawn

  • http://AndroidPolice.com/ Liam Spradlin

    Reactions to the leaked images reinforce an idea I've been mulling about smart watches since the whole storm of "everyone's making one. how will each compare to the one we're sure Apple is making?" began.

    Basically, I think that adoption of smart watches will be either very slow or completely stalled at first. Why? Because so far, they're all really ugly.

    Actual watches, with moving parts and hands, largely don't make sense as a utilitarian object today. They tell us the time, sure, but they're worn more as jewelry than as tools for telling the time.

    As jewelry, we want them to look good. And with actual watches, that's a possibility - there are tons of options in terms of design, color, shape, size, functionality, and machining available.

    The bet manufacturers are going to make when they create a smart watch is that their feature set will be SO mind-bogglingly amazing that it will outweigh the awkwardness of the device's actual appearance and user experience.

    So far I haven't even heard rumor of a device that comes close to tipping this scale. There are still too many marbles in the ugly jar.

    What would a good smart watch look like in my opinion? That's kind of irrelevant, because I'm just one person. What it would NOT look like, however, is a thick square or rectangle on a strap.

    • Anfronie

      A smart watch should be simple and elegant.

    • Andrew

      I could wear something that looks like Sony's latest smartwatch. But it is too basic in terms of features. This Galaxy Gear I would not wear.

      I agree with your opinion. It is hard to make smartwatches that everyone will like. People are meticulous about things they wear as accessories. You can sell millions of some looking phones, but I highly doubt that you can do that with watches.There must be broad choice of styles.

    • Ark

      Pebble isn't that bad. It's not great, but it certainly beats shit like this.

      • omegavesko

        Yeah, Pebble looks pretty good. It *could* look a lot better, but the Pebble is the only smartwatch I've seen that I would actually wear.

    • shonangreg

      Size is a problem, but within those constraints, an OLED screen that wraps around the watch as completely as possible could be made to imitate other watches. Today it is an Omega Moon Watch. Tomorrow it is a clear skeleton watch, with all the internal gears actually synced to the time -- and zoomable! And the day after tomorrow a simple Mickey mouse watch.

      Granted, mimicking actual luxury watch brands might not be allowed*, but styles certainly could be. And it could be attractive that way.

      * Fashion in clothing design can't be copyrighted, that is why Louis Vuitton, et al. have their hideous "LV" trademarks plastered all over them. I don't know about the appearance of a watch design, though.

    • Kellic

      The problem that most aren't getting is functionality shouldn't be anywhere near what a phone does. There should be a set of apps you can flip through to give you core info. That is what a watch has always been intended for: glance...done. I can guarantee you that is what Apple is going to be focusing. Limited functionality (Like they are known for.) solid battery life, but easy access to your core info.

      Samsung's crap? Too much, too big, too ugly.

  • Felipe Pimenta

    I think that smartwatches such as Peeble and SmartWatch 2 by Sony show the best what I smart watch is meant to be: Small, relatively good battery life, good looking (at least Sony's one) and without a shitload of useless features, such as camera. C'mon, why you need a camera on a watch?

  • Barnassey

    Ill keep my watch that charges itself from a built in solar cell and has a barometer and altimeter....

  • mechapathy

    Um. BAAAAHAHAHAHAHA! They can't be serious about the size of that thing.

  • http://mrmcpowned.com mrmcpowned

    Looks interesting at how they're integrating some health input, but the overall design just has that clunky feel to it. Also, shouldn't this line say "VentureBeat's Christina Farr got an introduction [to] the watch?"

  • Rovex

    This isnt a smartwatch folks, its a fitness tracker with more functions. A smart watch implys a device that replaces a watch and has smart functions. This is designed to replace a phone for exercise tracking.

    Its part of S-Health, the name 'gear' gives away that its not really a smartwatch.

  • fzammetti

    The funny thing about the aesthetics for me is if they simply turned it and made it a landscape device by default, I might be interested. I mean, you could give me a pretty good sized screen that way and I might even find some use for it.

    In fact, my SFS4 is only a *little* bit too big to be strapped to my wrist full-time... a slight shrink might do the trick. The bigger issue is rigidity... we need flexible screens! Once we have that, and you can wrap something no thicker than my SGS4 half-way around my wrist, so that the top half of my forearm is a touchscreen and there's not too much thickness added, *THAT'S* when I think we have something. I don't need it to be a full device either- I'd be perfectly happy if it was JUST a screen tethered to my phone in my pocket.

    Yeah, call me when that's ready :)

  • Jadephyre

    If this is the watch, then it's bloody ugly. In those shots it looks like someone shrunk an phone and attached it to someone's wrist o_O

  • Goldenpins

    I'm hoping this is fake because its utterly disgusting.

  • ankit555551

    What about Micromax canvas 4?

  • ankit555551

    માચરોમઅક્ષ ચઅનવઅસ ૪ કઇવો રઅહઇસઇ?

  • Mario

    I'll wait for this model...

    • toddk

      Exactly!

    • Ark

      I like that this wasn't even rendered, it's just a crude drawing. This might never exist.

      • Mario

        Never say never...

        • Ark

          You just said it twice, you god damn hypocrite

  • trev8988

    Looks like something you wear under a court order.
    Why not just strap the whole phone to your wrist?

  • Ark

    That looks hilariously awful

  • Hans Pedersen

    Okay, if this is real, I don't even get why they would release it. No one would wear a "watch" that huge.

  • Kellic

    Well. This is what happens I guess when Samsung is first out of the gate with a product and can't pick and choose the best design options from the competition. Don't worry. Apple will come out with a smart watch, as well maybe Google, and Sammy will figure out what works and what doesn't. If this is true they should already know that while consumers are willing to use a larger screen on their phone, that phone will eventually go in their pocket. This thing will forever be on their wrist. No one wants something that large on their wrist. They should have gone widescreen along the wrist instead of across it.

    • Pradeep Viswanathan R

      Samsung first out of the gate ? smart watches have existed for more than 2 years now. Sony was one of the big brands to do it.

  • G

    Am I the only person who thinks the smart watch is a bad idea? I just think this is up there with the most pointless devises ever. I just feel that Samsung, Google and Apple are running out of ideas and they are clutching at straws here.

  • Paul Roberts

    I'm still waiting for my RobCo Industries PipBoy 3000. I've saved up almost 90 caps.

    • Gregory Cabral

      This wins.

  • martinb

    Well what happend?

  • mucinch

    The problem with Galaxy gear is there is no Apple smartwatch yet.

  • http://www.martian-imperium.com/ Lokifish Marz

    All that tech and it still can't make phone calls. No thanks.

  • Tridos

    sony's smartwatch2 far far better

  • hot_spare
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