More details about Samsung’s Galaxy Gear smartwatch emerge


Last updated: August 20th, 2013 at 08:24 UTC+02:00

Earlier rumors had given us a pretty good idea of what hardware to expect in Samsung’s Galaxy Gear smartwatch, and now the folks over at GigaOM have chimed in with info from their own sources, confirming most of what we knew while also adding in a few new titbits of information.

It seems the screen will be 2.5-inches in size instead of 1.67-inches as our tipster had reported, though the resolution remains the same at 320 x 320 pixels and you still get an OLED unit that will support the usual tough and swipe gestures but won’t have text input. The dual-core 1.5GHz Exynos 4212 processor and Mali-400MP4 GPU powering the smartwatch are confirmed once again, and so is the inclusion of Bluetooth 4.0 LE for connecting to a smartphone, including NFC to allow for instant connections by bumping the watch and phone together.

The Gear will also have an inbuilt accelerometer that will allow for turning on the watch when it is brought up towards the eye, a technique no doubt implemented to manage battery power. Apparently there will be enough sensors in the Galaxy Gear to make it capable of competing with wearable computing devices like the Nike Fuelband – with the right apps (Samsung’s S Health will likely be loaded by default), the smartwatch could become your health tracker of choice.

When it comes to the software, GigaOM reports that the developer versions of the watch have been seen running on both Android 4.1 and 4.2, with tight integration between the watch and phones and tablets – for example, if you clear a few notifications on the watch, stop at, say, an email notification and pick up your phone, the phone will display the email message by detecting you were looking at its notification.

Oh, and since it’s a social world we’re living in, Facebook and Twitter will be integrated into the software at launch. Also, a watch manager app on your phone will manage the connection with the smartwatch, and it seems like all the apps that take advantage of the smartwatch’s capabilities will come from Samsung’s app store rather than Google’s, hinting at the company’s plans to slowly move away to its own platform (though unlike what the conspiracy theorists will tell you, Android will still be the OS of choice for Samsung for some time to come).

How much of this is true? Well, with multiple sources saying the same thing about the smartwatch, it would seem that most of what Samsung has to say during the Galaxy Gear’s official unveiling won’t come as a surprise to us. Perhaps the only thing that remains to be seen is how the watch actually works in real life, and frankly, that’s the most important thing that everyone should be looking forward to, while hoping that Samsung doesn’t mess it all up.


Watch Galaxy GearSM-V700smartwatch
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