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.
We're less than 24 hours away from Samsung's Unpacked 5 event in Barcelona, where the Galaxy S5 is expected to be the guest of honor. We'd also thought that the recently-leaked Gear 2 and Gear 2 Neo (nee Galaxy) would be revealed there, but Samsung issued a press release instead. Now one Instagram video of the Gear 2 seems to have spilled the beans on the S5, at least in a mild way.
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 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.
The list of devices that offer support for Samsung's first smartwatch is constantly growing, and today Verizon's Galaxy S 4 Mini gets to join that elite crew. The support docs just updated with details of the OTA, which highlights the Gear's potential usefulness.
Gear support isn't all you'll find in this update, either. It also brings about some new bloatware (imagine that), like Verizon's MyInfoZone Widget, VMware, and Verizon Cloud. Exciting stuff.
T-Mobile customers with the Galaxy Note II, your day has finally arrived: the Jelly Bean 4.3 over-the-air update is finally rolling out, according to this XDA thread. Samsung's Galaxy S4, S III, and the Note II have been getting the same update on other American carriers, but T-Mobile is behind the leaked release schedule (though not by much). The Note II is the last Samsung phone on T-Mobile scheduled to get the update, at least for the moment.
Update: Samsung has confirmed that it meant 800k shipments – not sales. The confusion might have resulted from Samsung's claim that the Gear is the best selling smart watch, which might still be true. We don't know how many have actually been sold, or if that rumored 50k sales number from last week is accurate.
Samsung's foray into the nascent smart watch market has not been as much of a failure as some recent reports would have you believe.
The Galaxy Gear is twice the price of the Pebble and pricier than both iterations of Sony's SmartWatch, but it isn't necessarily a more complete product. A particular sore spot is how the watch handles notifications, limiting not only which apps can send them, but not actually displaying the contents for most apps. The latest update to the Galaxy Gear Manager app alleviates this somewhat. Now users can pick which apps send messages to the Gear and even read the contents on the watch itself.
By all accounts, the Galaxy Gear isn't doing spectacularly well. Samsung is still busy adding support for its smart watch to devices other than the Note 3, and the device itself is not without its foibles. Still, your choices are limited when it comes to smart watches, so you might as well save 20 bucks.
The Galaxy Gear has a 1.63-inch AMOLED screen with support for catching your Android notifications and telling you what's up (sometimes) without looking at the phone.