Option List

16 April 2014

Samsung Galaxy Gear

Samsung’s flagship smartwatch is a fun device – as long as you have the right companion phone.

Gagan Gupta
Car image

Wearable tech seems to be catching on these days, and smartwatches seem to be the point of entry into that domain. Samsung’s Galaxy Gear is a great add-on for Samsung loyalists, especially the ones who enjoy
the ecosystem that Samsung smart devices offer.

Pairing the Gear to a Samsung Galaxy Note 3 was just a matter of touch, which was well-instructed on the watch’s screen, and immediately after, your device is set to sync calls, contacts, and even some notifications with the parent device. Full marks for eliminating a learning curve. The Gear itself comes with a built-in 1.9 megapixel camera, that does up to 15 seconds of video recording as well. The screen acts as a viewfinder when shooting, which tends to limit your shooting angles, but we don’t expect it to be anyone’s first choice for a camera in any case. That said, the picture quality was pretty good under most circumstance, and the default 1:1 aspect ratio made the shots great for Instagramming.

Speaking of which, it would have been ideal to have an Instagram camera app just for the Galaxy gear. In fact, it would have been great to get all my notifications there as well, especially Whatsapp and Gmail ones, which are my primary mode of messaging and emailing, respectively, these days. Samsung’s app store for the Gear has gotten a bit populated over the months, and we now have Twitter and Facebook notifications apps available on demand, along with some pretty good options for custom watch faces and workout apps. There’s still a long way to go to get the most out of the Gear, and we really hope Samsung keeps the app support going.

As tacky as we initially found the idea of a smartwatch initially, with the right Samsung phone, the utility of the device is undeniable. The ability to take calls on your phone comes in handy when you’re not in a position to reach your phone, and it’s a lot easier to quickly read text messages on your wrist, rather than reach for a large form-factor phone. But without a compatible Samsung phone, the utility of the Galaxy Gear quickly deteriorates, along with some of its conveniences. It would be great to make this device stronger as a stand-alone unit, and even possibly for it to work as a gateway to the now well-established Samsung ecosystem.

Enthusiasts and early adopters will no doubt be pulled in by Samsung’s ample marketing on the Gear, and honestly, they won’t be disappointed either. But in its currently limited design/colour options and dependence on Samsung devices, it’s more of a fun toy than a timepiece of the future.

Rs 25,000; samsung.com/in

Tags: samsung, mobile, mobile phone, watch, smartwatch, galaxy gear



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