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Galaxy Gear Smartwatch Capsule Review

· Mobile Zone

Update: I picked up a Pebble smartwatch - says is waterproof, 7+day battery life, limited features but mostly a watch with message integration. Will post my impressions separately.

I did a bit of conspicuous consumption this weekend and picked up a Galaxy Gear smartwatch. Here's my mini-review:

Pros

  • It's from the future
  • The display is awesome
  • Neat applications
  • Easy paring with Galaxy Note 3 using NFC
  • Great watch faces

Cons

  • 24 hour battery life (or less)
  • HUGE, un-replaceable, inflexible band on account of the camera built in
  • Not waterproof
  • Huge cradle needed to charge
  • heavy to wear
  • I can't touch type on a macbook pro when it is on
  • SDK is not available from Samsung even though it's an Android device

Ok, first off, WHY, Samsung, would you create a clasp that sticks out about 3mm from the watch band? Do you know most of your buyers are techies who might just use your watch while typing? Really, that's a fail right there. Secondly, instead of adding features like GPS (yeah, WHY?) to your devices couldn't you use a bit of that space to house a larger battery? And the ergonomics of it? Are there any?

I'm going with either a pebble smartwatch or if I feel a bit more futuristic a Sony Smartwatch 2 - we'll see. But I'm not sure who they are marketing this Galaxy Gear to at this point. Nerds who don't want to type but use their phones everywhere? It's not the future, it's like I'm P-Diddy with a Maybach on my wrist.

PS - I really wanted to like this thing. I just don't see how you could skip ergonomics completely and assume people will just learn how to deform their wrists to use it. Hopefully they learn from this and produce a good watch for their next version, with 3 or more days of battery life, water proofing, and a replaceable strap (no, I DO NOT need a 1.8 megapixel camera).

The only reason I bought it was to program on it - I thought it would be nice to write a few early apps for the platform. But Samsung does not allow public access to the Gear SDK yet. That tells me they are planning on releasing a supportable watch with SDK in the future. I love the Galaxy Note 3 even with all of the bling (as it's a really useable Android platform phone) but this is just a heap of features dumped on a watch.

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Published at DZone with permission of Ken Rimple, DZone MVB. See the original article here.

Opinions expressed by DZone contributors are their own.

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