There are more than a couple Gears to choose from these days, but not that long ago, there was only one. That awkward piece of tech is more affordable now, though it still hasn't dropped down to the price many people would like to pay for it. That makes now a good time to pay some attention to Best Buy. Today the retailer has refurbished versions of the original Galaxy Gear going for just $89.99, a price that's on the better side of $100.
We knew it was coming, but that doesn't make it any less weird to me. Samsung is now rolling out an update to the original Galaxy Gear that effectively removes Android, replacing it with the company's self-built mobile OS, Tizen (which is what the Gear 2, Gear 2 Neo, and Gear Fit are all running). This immediately raises one question in my mind: since "Galaxy" is Samsung's branding for Android devices, will it just be called "Gear" moving forward?
The Galaxy Gear didn't jumpstart Samsung's wearable ecosystem as it had hoped. In fact, it was such a disappointment that the company released a new version alongside the Galaxy S5 just a few months later. The Gear 2 and Gear 2 Neo run Tizen instead of Android, but there was rampant speculation that the original Gear would be moved to Tizen eventually. Apparently that's close to happening, and SamMobile got some hands-on time with Tizen on the Galaxy Gear.
The original Galaxy Gear was a tough sell at $299. Heck, even at the $199 price you can find it for these days, it's still a tough sell. Let's be honest, even paying that much for any of the quarter-dozen Gears Samsung replaced the gadget with takes some convincing. But $99? That's a number I can get behind, and it's one I'm sure some of you can as well. Today eBay Daily Deals has the Galaxy Gear, refurbished, available in three colors for precisely that amount.
The original Galaxy Gear wasn't for everyone (particularly people who don't own a Samsung phone). It also suffered from limited app compatibility and a quirky interface. Its biggest drawback, though, was the price: $299. That's a lot to ask for a smartwatch that only does a handful of things. But what about $99? That's how much Best Buy is currently selling refurbished models of the device for as part of today's deal of the day.
Samsung leaks have been harder to come by as of late - with the Galaxy S5 probably arriving at a press event on Monday, we still haven't seen hide nor hair of the hardware. But perennial leaker Evleaks has just posted two photos of what appear to be successors to the Galaxy Gear smartwatch, the Gear 2 and Gear 2 Neo. According to a later tweet, the watches may drop the standard "Galaxy" branding.
The Galaxy S4 Mini and Mega may typically take a backseat to the Galaxy S4, but today is their turn to bask in the limelight. Sprint is now rolling out OTA updates to both devices enabling Galaxy Gear support along with WiFi calling. The former is already available for the Galaxy S4, but the latter functionality is brand spanking new. This update is rolling out right on schedule.
The Galaxy S4 Mini's update is version JDQ39.L520VPUANA7.
For the last several years Samsung has refreshed its primary Galaxy S line in the spring and the Galaxy Note in the fall, and it looks like the company isn't going to break that streak in 2014. Speaking to Bloomberg, Samsung's Vice President of Mobile Lee Young Hee confirmed that the "S5" would arrive before the end April. "We've been announcing our first flagship model in the first half of each year, around March or April, and we are still targeting for release around that time," she said.
The Galaxy Gear may not be the best smartwatch out there, but if you have a compatible Samsung device, it may just be worth checking out. This would normally set you back $299.99, but today only, you can get the Gear for $239.95 from eBay, a 20% savings. To sweeten the deal even further, the watch also comes with free shipping.