First and foremost, with the introduction of Samsung’s Galaxy Gear we finally have a real glimpse at what has been rumored for months now. The smart watch is set to be released within the next month – September 25th to be exact.
After doing some initial research on Galaxy Gear, I have a few things I love about it and a few things I do not. First, I think its a great thing that the smart watch will come in a variety of different colors making it a more personalized experience. I mean, who would want a black watch if they could have gray, rose gold, beige, orange or green? Another thing that I like about Galaxy Gear is the way Samsung has reportedly reached out to developers to make sure that their applications will work flawlessly the device. Moreover, because it will have its own processor and version of Android Jelly Bean, you can expect the Galaxy Gear to be more than just a companion device for your smartphone. By this I mean the devices functionality shouldn’t be directly tied to the phone its self.
Speaking of phones… here is where we get to the bad side of things. The Samsung smart watch has been designed as an extension of the Note 3. Yes, as of right now the device will be sold (at launch) to only be used with the Galaxy Note 3. That means if you have any of Samsung’s other smartphones – including the Galaxy S4 – you will not be able to use Galaxy Gear in conjunction with your device. However, Samsung has stated that they do have plans to add compatibility to their other devices through updates; and in their defense they are one of the few Android phone manufactures that update their phones throughout their full life cycles.
Yet, even though Samsung has plans to make their other phones compatible with Galaxy Gear, I’m still left in utter shock. Remember the S4 press conference when they touted the S-Health apps and devices? What about the S-Band.. where has that been? I had assumed that the S-Band was put on hold to develop Galaxy Gear and I was okay with this because I figured it would replace the S-Band and S4 users (myself included) would be able to get the smartwatch instead. Albeit, Galaxy Gear is much more expensive, it was a good alternative.
Its quite obvious that the S-Health app will be given Gear compatibility relatively quick, but who knows how long such an update will get to my phone. Sure updating the application is easy enough, but pushing a full phone update through carrier channels is a long and strenuous process.
In the end, I’m glad Samsung is ahead of the curve in the wearable tech industry and the Galaxy Gear looks like a solid device. However, I’m not happy with the way they (Samsung) threw the millions of other Samsung smartphone owners to the side of the road. All I can say is that I hope the updates are pushed to users soon so those who want Gear compatibility wont have to wait too long!