Samsung just took the lid off its long-rumored Smartwatch. Here's everything the Android-powered arm computer—officially known as Galaxy Gear—has to offer.
Galaxy Gear is a lot like a pared down smartphone you wear on your wrist. On the home screen you'll see the time, and shortcuts to access essential apps like the camera and your contacts. Swipe to navigate back and forth between different features. From the watch, you can make and receive calls, send texts, and post status updates to Facebook and Twitter. There are other apps, too, that are specifically designed for the 1.63-inch display.
Galaxy Gear has a 1.9-megapixel camera that can capture both photos and videos, and it works very closely with other Samsung Galaxy services you're familiar with. For example, you can use S Voice to compose texts, make calendar appointments, set alarms and see the forecast hands-free. There's also something called Auto Lock that will lock your phone's screen every time your watch is more than about five feet away. It can also interact with foreign language signs and translate for you—translation has been something that Samsung's been really pushing.
There are some other neat-sounding but we'll-believe-it-when-we-see-it features, like answering calls by just lifting your wrist to your ear when the phone rings. It's also supposed to push emails you're viewing right to the note screen when you look at a notification and then pick up the phone.
The interface interaction seems to all be done through swipes—no tapping here—which is actually pretty smart, since there will be a ton of accidental taps on your wrist.
One of the most fundamental parts with Galaxy Gear will be performance. How accurate is the touchscreen? Is it fluid? Is it fast? Much of the interface seems to be controlled by swiping rather than tapping, and we're not sure how smooth that will be. We'll let you know shortly in a hands on.
Battery life is claimed at a day of use, but we're also skeptical of all battery life claims, so you'll have to wait until review time to look at that. You should note, though, it's already coming in at significantly less uptime than Sony's.
And yes, Samsung's smartwatch will work much like your Fitbit or FuelBand. It has a pedometer built in to track your steps as well as other features that monitor calories burned, distance covered, and so on.
The watch is lightweight, made of stainless steel, and will come in six different colors.
Galaxy Gear goes on sale September 25 in most of the world, and will be available in October in the US and Japan.