Tag Archives: Samsung Galaxy Gear

Samsung Galaxy Gear – 5 Part Master Review

Below is links to all the review posts on the Samsung Galaxy Gear.
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Samsung Galaxy Gear review

Part 1 – Samsung Galaxy Gear camera samples – https://gavinsgadgets.com/2014/01/16/samsung-galaxy-gear-camera-samples/

Part 2 – https://gavinsgadgets.com/2014/01/16/samsung-galaxy-gear-review-impressions/

Part 3 – https://gavinsgadgets.com/2014/01/23/samsung-galaxy-gear-review-update/

Part 4 – https://gavinsgadgets.com/2014/02/05/samsung-galaxy-gear-if-only/

Misc Review Posts

Home Entertainment Setup with Gear – https://gavinsgadgets.com/2014/02/05/samsung-note-3-galaxy-gear-and-fiio-e18-portable-usb-dacamp-home-entertainment/

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Samsung Galaxy Gear – if only

The Samsung Galaxy Gear is a great combination with the Note 3.

The attention to detail by Samsung is remarkable high in places. For example, the charging cradle piece, when it charges , it shows the battery level. It then turns the Gear screen off again. But it you lift Gear with charging cradle fitted, the battery icon and percentage appears again. Also the cradle has NFC for the first time setup.

But the charging cradle which clips over front and rear of the Galaxy Gear is also my pet hate. It would have been a lot nicer just to have a micro USB port built into the rear of the Gear. That way you wouldn’t need the special piece of charging it.

And what happens if you were to lose it ?

I’ve also found battery life improves all the time. One week is easily possible if motion option is turned off, otherwise 2-3 days is realistic.

Samsung Galaxy Gear – review update

I have had the Gear a bit longer and thought I would just provide some additional feedback.

Initially, as much as l loved using the Gear with my Note 3, I just couldn’t stand wearing a watch on my wrist and consequently I was going to sell it. But the functionality of it in the end won and therefore have kept it. And here’s why.

Battery – normally a days use will drop the battery anywhere by 30-55% but never any further. I don’t charge it overnight simply because it only takes 30-40mins to recharge. So I recharge just before I go to bed, unplug and switch off ready for my 5am start.

Convenient. I can have the Note 3 in a different room or even upstairs. If somebody calls me I can accept the call on my Gear. The same for a text message. I just use S Voice to dictate a reply and send it. Obviously the Note 3 doesn’t need to be upstairs. It could just be nearby.

Notifications. I have selected which notifications I want to receive on my Gear. It means it becomes very discreet checking them and deciding which ones are worth responding or even reading.

Pocket for Gear app – in the car I select my clipped news items from my Gear and they are read aloud via my Note 3. Really love the text to speech aspect of this Gear app.

Apps – there are a number of apps on the Gear which just make life a little easier. Like the timer when cooking.

Camera – even the camera works rather well. It’s fine for sharing on social media.

So all in all it’s proving a heady accessory for the Note 3.

And the other day I was trying to send wireless a photo from my Note 3 to my TV but it wasn’t working. I tried many different things even switching off Bluetooth which disconnected my Gear. I realised the fault was with my TV. I hadn’t changed the wireless settings for my new router. Anyway, I forgot to switch Bluetooth back on, and for the next hour I thought my Gear was not functioning properly until I realised my error. But in that hour it felt unnatural not to be monitoring my notifications via the Gear.

Talk about a turnaround. And here’s the next part. Normally I get withdrawal symptoms and need to move to the latest piece of tech. And for some reason the Note 3/Gear combo leaves me very content.

Samsung Galaxy Gear – review impressions

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The Galaxy Gear in mocha grey arrived a few days ago and I have been trying to get a sense of its usefulness.

It certainly splits opinions as to its looks. Some say it’s too big and bulky and looks butt ugly. Others are amazed by it. It’s fairly light despite its bulk. Other comments were over attention to detail. The screws on the Gear and not tightened into the same position. Other watches at this price point would not be like this!

Also there was an ongoing debate on twitter as to whether it’s really a watch as the time is not displayed permanently. When you lift your arm the accelerometer triggers the display to show you the time or chosen clock face.

Putting all that aside it comes in a typical Samsung box with the watch, charger, watch cradle with NFC, quick start guide and warranty leaflets.

I completely missed the fact that to NFC pair the Gear to the Note 3 that the watch cradle needed to be attached so I ended up manually downloading the Galaxy Gear Manager app and using bluetooth to pair the devices.

From the Gear Manager you can completely configure the watch complete with whatever face clocks required and the types of notifications you would like it to receive.
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Some of the clock faces include shortcuts to apps and other functions. I like a plain face with the day of the month enabled in the clock options. They are a few more clock faces to download in the Samsung App store along with actual apps you can run on the Gear.

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There are many settings that greet you when you open the Gear Manager.
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And then there is a whole section just for notifications.
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And then third party notifications. So for example I have twitter and Google Now selected.
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Each of the included apps on the Gear has settings.

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So it all seems very complicated at first. And it is. I didn’t grasp what was happening where and why but as day 1 progressed everything started to fit into place. Day 1 involved involved taking a number of photos with the Gear, asking S Voice to call a contact and then have a conversation using the Gear, all very James Bond 007 style. If the Gear and the Note 3 become separated the Note 3 locks. You can also double press the power key for S Voice which is marginally better than on the Note 3. For whatever Siri faults are on the iPhone, it is better than S Voice. However S Voice on the Gear is much better than on the Note 3 itself. I also had tons of notifications arriving. I had the Gear on vibrate but there are tones to select and different volumes. There is also a brightness and screen off delay settings. You can wake up the Gear display just by looking at the Gear. The accelerometer activates screen with the correct motion. I was dubious as to whether this function would work as well as described but it does. The other neat motion based function that works really well, is say I get a new tweet notification and pick my Note 3 up, the Gear will open the Note 3 twitter app at the notification. Rather neat.

I am still working out how notifications work between the Gear and the Note 3. For example, if I delete an email notification on the Gear it only removes the Note 3 notification and the email app shows a number badge of 1 email still. Opening the app shows the email as read. It is understanding the chemistry between notifications and the respective apps that will improve the operation. However, you still need to remove the notifications off the Gear and there’s no global delete yet.

So how easy is the interface? Actually very straight forward. With the clock showing, swipe down from edge to edge for camera, swipe up edge to edge for phone dialler. Two finger tap beings up Bluetooth and battery level status, volume and brightness adjustment. Swiping across to the left brings up the notifications, and contacts if you go the other way. Keep swiping to scroll through all the other apps. The menu does loop so you don’t have to go all the way backwards again. For every app that has a notification you can delete individual notifications or select all within that app. But you can’t at the moment do a global delete all app notifications as mentioned above. I have used S Voice to find a contact, dictate a text message and send it perfectly. To go backwards, just swipe down. Two finger holding on the display beings up recent apps and you can swipe away any you wish to close. The Gear will take a max of 50 photos after which you will need to delete them off the phone. After each photo , the Gear will transfer them to your phone. You can record 3 video clips in a row, after which the camera app closes to maintain optimal performance. The camera has a macro mode option. You can alter the order of apps and move apps in to the app folder or just have one app per whole screen. In the app folder 4 apps are shown per page.

Talking of apps some companies have released Galaxy Gear specific apps. I have installed the following.

Ebay for Galaxy Gear – works same as main app but only able to browse your activity.

Pocket – flick thru your articles. Hit play and the articles are read aloud through the Note 3. I really like this operation.

Zite – flick through headlines. Tap on article and it opens on phone. Not sure of usefulness of this but it’s different.

Camera 360 – adds some effects and frames for the Gear camera. A worthy extra.

Sample low light shot. I have created another post with some additional camera samples. You can remove the Galaxy Gear watermark as well.
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So with all this activity what’s the battery like. Well from 8am to 7pm it knocked the battery to 50% meaning I would need to charge to overnight. With lighter usage maybe a second day is possible, but one full day is not unreasonable.

Is it worth £299. No. But who else sells a smart watch that can make calls, has a camera and speaker built into the strap? Will I keep it. Yes.

Samsung Galaxy Gear – just what are the true sale figures?

Yesterday I reported that the Samsung Galaxy Gear had only sold 50,000 units. However, Gavin’s Gadgets reader Lee Jones added a comment that Yahoo were reporting sales were actually 800,000. That is a vast difference. And then reader Jah added additional commentary that 50,000 in itself is still a remarkable number considering it has only been on sale for a limited amount of time and has been compatible with only one phone.

So what are the true figures and where did the initial sales estimate come from.

Firstly, BusinessKorea reported that Samsung had sold less than 50,000 units to date. This seemed a fairly reliable source and based in Samsung’s home territory. Then the story developed further.

Samsung quickly tried to spin the bad news by saying that it had in fact sold 800,000 units, making it the “most sold wearable watch available in the market place.” And if you are being honest, any company would want a more positive news story than the first version.

However, let’s pause for a moment. The only problem is that Samsung later confirmed that the 800,000 number was actually for units shipped, not sold, which is a big difference, and being unbiased in the only figure Samsung can report as it doesn’t sell the watch direct to the public.

So exploring the numbers further, BusinessKorea’s sources said that the Galaxy Gear’s daily sales are under 800-900 units. On top of that, a leaked internal memo from Best Buy revealed that around a third of buyers are actually returning the Gear which means a lot of unopened Gears sitting on store shelves.

The £299 smartwatch received overwhelming negative reviews when it launched last month from many top news sites including Engadget and New York Times. One has to realise this was the first generation watch from Samsung and it did try and offer an awful lot on a wrist.

So what are the actual sales figures. I would estimate that if 800,000 got shipped and there is a 30% approximate return rate! that leave just over 500,000 actually sold. That is very impressive. But what if the returns are higher and 50,000 is the correct figure. Well, let’s put 50,000 in perspective. That’s 50,000 watches for just one Samsung phone the Note 3. Samsung will be making the device compatible with more of its phones so expect to see sales increasing. And 50,000 has been achieved in just over a month. As a comparison, Pebble Smart Watch which sold 250,000 units in a year, but is compatible with iPhones and multiple android smartphones.

So you decide. Is the Samsung Galaxy Gear a success or the start of the new era of tech wearables?

Samsung Galaxy Gear – Samsung’s new wearable tech

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Samsung has just announced the Galaxy Gear, a trendy watch apparently with a 320 x 320-pixel, 1.63-inch AMOLED touchscreen,a built in speaker in the watch strap including and a pair of mics for recording and playing back video content and communicating with a caller via the built-in dialler, which also works with the native phone app in your connected Galaxy device.

The Gear includes an 800MHz processor, a 315mAh battery, a BSI camera sensor and autofocus lens mounted in the wrist strap that’s tasked with capturing 1.9-megapixel stills and 10-second video clips at 720p, 640 x 640 or VGA resolution with sound. That camera, designed for on-the-go captures where convenience, not image quality, is a priority, is paired with a pre-installed app called Memographer. Other apps for the Galaxy Gear are set to be made available around and just after launch.

My favourite strap line from the presentation was “Just point your wrist, and shoot”. Sounds like the Secret Service or something out of James Bond.

Now the watch has a 25 hour battery and costs nearly £200. For both those reasons its off my wish list.

And who wears a watch nowadays. If you want to know the time you check your mobile!

Is Samsung launching its SmartWatch on the 4th September 2013?

What is known for sure is that Samsung will be launching the Samsung Galaxy Note 3 during its Unpacked Event at IFA in Berlin, on the 4th September 2013.

Now rumour has it that Samsung will try and steal Apple’s thunder and launch also its own smartwatch, aptly named the Galaxy Gear smartwatch.

Personally, having used a Pebble smartwatch, I just cannot see the need. And who wears a watch nowadays. If you want to know the time, don’t you normally look at your phone for the time?

Galaxy Gear is supposedly running an Exynos 4212 dual-core chip at 1.0 GHz, a gigabyte of RAM, support for Bluetooth and NFC, and a two-megapixel camera, a 1.67 or 2.5 inch 320 x 320 OLED panel. And phone calls will be possible.

So would you buy one?