The Samsung Galaxy Gear at $300 is a milestone in smartwatch technology because it’s one of the first watches from a key brand that does more than notify you of tweets and texts.
The Gear has its own processor, 1.9-megapixel camera, accelerometer, gyroscope and its runs Android. It works with a smartphone—so far, only the new Galaxy Note 3 via Bluetooth LE.
Raise your wrist to your face to call up the watch’s homescreen, swipe left or right for apps, swipe down to go back, swipe up for the phone screen. You also control the phone by tapping on it, such as to call up S-Voice dictation so you can speak aloud your replies to texts or ask to dial a phone contact, and other tasks.
Both Wired and The Washington Post said the voice function works fine, but the process is slower than just using one’s phone. Photos can be snapped quickly but they are low quality. Call quality is decent, said both publications.
But Wired concludes, “…in many ways, the smartwatch ends up being more of a nuisance than a convenience.”
The Washington Post said, “the Gear is a solid device” for early adopters. “But for the average person, it’s probably worth waiting for the next generation.”