Samsung confirmed that they have a smart watch in development in the spring of 2013. But what else did we actually know about this new android device? Very little to be totally honest. While we knew for a fact that the Samsung smart watch was a reality all the details we had were industry rumors and hearsay. The best we could tell you was to ‘watch this space’.
However – the Galaxy Gear smart watch is now here!!!!
name of the Samsung smart watch – the Galaxy Gear.
Well it has been known as both the Samsung Altius and Samsung GA7 up until the end of June 2013. It was then that the name Samsung Gear emerged. Why? because it was at this point that Samsung made a US trademark filing for a device called the Gear. While it was never stated outright that this was their long awaited smart watch, the wording -”clocks”, “wristwatches” etc – made it quite obvious. And while this doesn’t necessarily mean that the smartwatch had to be so called, it is very unusual to change the name after the trademark has been filed.
Samsung smart watch functions
Again, most of what we originally knew about the Samsung Gear were calculated guesses. But these leaked screenshots of the supposed Samsung Galaxy Altius from February 2013 gave us some clues. If you would like more information on Samsung smart watch functions look here.
So we know from this the name – which has since been changed (at least we believe so!). We can also see the usual functions which we would expect from any smart watch - a connectivity / reception icon in the top left, and email and music functions. It would also appear to be a touch / swipe screen.
But other possible functions came to light with the recent trademark filing? A camera, GPS and biometrics functions were all mentioned. So it was considered quite possible that the Samsung smartwatch would be positioned as the latest sports watch. Interestingly, reference was also made to a TV receiver – this is certainly a new concept for a smart watch.
What we still didn’t know is whether this device would work alone or would need to pair up with a smartphone. You can find more details on smartwatch apps here.
Another interesting point arising from the trademark filing is a form of eyewear which pairs up with the Samsung smart watch. It seems that Samsung may be working on a device to rival the Google Glass?
So what do we know now that it is here?
Well after all that time with Samsung keeping the details closely under wraps, we now confirm the specs to be the following:-
- compatible with Android 4.3 Samsung smartphones and tablets.
- 4 x 4.2 x 3.3 inches ; 9.9 ounces.
- ability to make voice notes.
- Bluetooth enabled.
- 1.9 megapixels camera.
- readable Mail/SMS notifications.
- ability to take calls directly using S-Voice.
- 512MB of RAM + 4Gb of storage.
- ability to use as pedometer / sports watch through availability of apps.
Previous Samsung Smart Watches
The Gear is not Samsung‘s first venture into the smart watch market. Way back in 1999 – before we even understood the term ‘smart watch’ - Samsung introduced the SPH-WP10. Not an easy to remember – or catchy – name. This was an early – if not the first - watch phone. So a futuristic device that was worn as a watch, looked like a watch, told the time like a watch - but was actually a lot smarter!
The problem was that it may well have been a little ahead of it’s time. Yes it looks a little chunky – but for a watch combined with a cellphone it was quite a manageable size for the time. The real issue as to why it didn’t last was probably the price – approx. $700 !
Then came the Samsung S9110 a decade later. This time they were again a little early, even if only by a few years. Again it was a watch phone – and again it didn’t catch on.
We had no doubt that the third Samsung smart watch would be different. It had been eagerly awaited for a while and so launched with much media hype on 4th September. And with all the current competition Samsung know they will have to get it right!