Samsung reveals Galaxy Gear smartwatch10th September 2013
Samsung is pioneering the next step in internet-ready portable devices with its Galaxy Gear smartwatch accessory.
Announced ahead of similar products expected from the likes of Apple and Microsoft, the Galaxy Gear allows its wearers to make voice calls and run apps accessible through its colour screen interface.
"This is an exciting time for all of us at Samsung," said Pranav Mistry, head of the think tank team at Samsung Research America, as he announced the device at the Berlin IFA.
"We have created something incredible. You don't need to get your phone out anymore.
It works as a partner device to Samsung's Android smartphones and tablets, which has come as a surprise to many who expected an autonomous device. What's more, initially it will only be compatible with the Galaxy Note 3 smartphone.
This means it does not have wireless capability on its own and must be close to one of these other mobile gadgets to get full functionality. However, one industry expert said that the move is not unexpected.
"Samsung is trying to build its own ecosystem, so why do something that brings value to somebody else?" Carolina Milanesi, an analyst at tech advisers Gartner, told the BBC.
One criticism that has been levelled at the Galaxy Gear is its charger, which attaches to the device like a protective shell, obstructing users from accessing its only button and subsequently restricting usability.
Among the biggest benefits of the device, beyond not having to get your phone out to answer a call, is its 1.9-megapixel camera, which can also shoot ten minutes of 720p HD video. Meanwhile, the colour display has been lauded for offering very attractive, bright visuals.
If you lose the Galaxy Gear, there is also a function that allows you to sound an alarm from the device to help you find it. The feature works within a range of about 30 feet and will set off regardless of whether the phone is on silent or not.
The Galaxy Gear is due to cost £299 in the UK when it hits shop shelves on September 25th, despite going on sale for $299 in the US, which is around £190 at current exchange rates.
Posted by The EnerGenie