Samsung Finally Takes The Wraps Off Of The Galaxy Gear Smartwatch

The smartwatch race heated up today in a big way, as Samsung showed its Galaxy Gear smartwatch at the Samsung Unpacked event in Berlin. Among the many, many smartwatches currently on the market or soon to be hitting the market, Samsung’s take on such a device has been eagerly anticipated. Now that we’ve been given the details, it seems the anticipation was warranted.

Samsung announced the Galaxy Gear as a companion to the new Galaxy Note 3--and really, any Galaxy devices. The Gear lets users make and receive calls hands-free with the built-in speaker, and it notifies you of any incoming texts, emails, and alerts and gives you a preview of whatever’s coming through. A Smart Relay feature will display the full content on your Galaxy device.

Samsung Galaxy Gear smartwatch

You can draft a message and do simple tasks such as setting an alarm or checking the weather with the S Voice feature, and you can make video memos with it when you want to “jot” something down and remember it for later (and even save them onto a separate Galaxy device). It runs Samsung Apps and includes a pedometer, stopwatch, timer, media controller.

Samsung's J.K. Shin shows off his Galaxy Gear smartwatch

The Galaxy Gear sports an 800MHz processor and 1.63-inch display (320x320) AMOLED display with 512MB of RAM, 4GB of internal storage, a speaker, and two microphones with noise cancellation. There’s a 1.9MP camera with a BSI sensor and autofocus, and it connects via Bluetooth 4.0 + BLE. Sensors include an accelerometer and a gyroscope.

Samsung Galaxy Gear smartwatch

The tech chic smartwatch comes loaded with apps, including Atooma, Banjo, Evernote, Glympse, eBay, Line, MyFitness Pal, Path, RunKeeper, TripIt, and Vivino Wine Scanner.

If you want your smartwatch to be a fashion statement, you can choose from six colors: Jet Black, Mocha Gray, Wild Orange, Oatmeal Beige, Rose Gold, and Lime Green.

Samsung Galaxy Gear smartwatch

Although some expected Galaxy Gear to be a true standalone device, it seems as though Samsung will only be selling it as a companion to the Galaxy Note 3, at least at launch--which will be September 25th. And no, unfortunately, Samsung did not yet share pricing info. That juicy tidbit will go a long way toward determining the value of the Galaxy Gear; and will it just be a value-add to the Note 3 or will it eventually be sold by itself?