Yesterday I attended a briefing with Samsung Canada where they unveiled a few new products coming to Canada over the next few days and weeks. This included the new mini versions of their very popular Galaxy S3 and S4 smartphones, the new Note 3 and their much anticipated take on the smart watch category, the Galaxy Gear.
The Note has been a favorite of mine since it first launched and has almost compelled me to switch from my iPhone a few times in the past (the camera was always the deciding factor). With the Note 3, Samsung just keeps refining an already great device that I look forward to spending more time using.
My first impression of the Galaxy Gear is that it’s smaller than I was expecting and with a very bright display. The device’s design is fairly reminiscent of my Abacus Spot Watch from the MSN days and even similar to the LG video phone watch I reviewed a few years ago. In the above photo, it’s beside my Pebble (which has an e-ink display vs the Gear’s OLED display) but it wasn’t clasped to my wrist so appears bigger than it actually is. It seems Samsung is experimenting in the smart watch space for now as the Gear is only compatible with a very particular set of Samsung devices (at launch, only the Note 3) which will grow as existing devices get the latest Android software which is coming later this fall.
Battery life seems to be at least 24 hours for the Gear which is a lot less than the Pebble (at ~1 week) but the Gear also does more. It has a built in camera, mic and speakerphone for recording voice memos or making/receiving photo calls and a touch screen display.
I didn’t have a lot of time to actually play with the devices but review units are coming soon so stay tuned for more in depth hands on with them. You can check out Samsung’s microsite for more details and specs about the Galaxy Note 3 & Galaxy Gear. For now, take a look at this gallery of photos of the various devices: