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Samsung Galaxy Gear Wearables, Smartwatch News 2014: Battery Life and iPhone, Windows Device Compatibility Are Major Hurdles

First Posted: Apr 26, 2014 02:26 PM EDT
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This year, Samsung officially entered the wearables market with some relative success. The company has been reporting that the Galaxy Gear has been getting sold out in a number of markets. However, is the Gear worth buying?

Samsung's Galaxy Gear is the Korean mobile phone market leader's take on the relatively new smart-watch niche. It is a competitor to a number of devices that have already been in the market for a while, like the Sony Smartwatch and Pebble. Samsung mostly marketed the Gear as a companion device to the Samsung Galaxy line of smartphones (or the Galaxy Note 3 phablet with which it was launched). This little smartwatch is capable of taking calls as well as reading and sending text messages for the smartphone with which it is connected. Apps may also be installed on it although they have to be specifically designed to suit the device's screen size and resolution. It can perform various other functions similar to what computing devices can do and it even has a camera on the side.

While the Gear's capabilities may sound impressive, it bears a number of drawbacks that are not easy to ignore. One of these is poor battery life. Samsung itself has stated that the Gear's battery is estimated to last for just a day of average use. The batteries of other smartwatches can last longer and Gear 2 is supposedly coming in April with 2-3 days battery life. Additionally, the Galaxy Gear has limited compatibility. At its launch, its compatibility was limited to the Galaxy Note 3. Samsung announced that it would be updated to become compatible with more devices within the Galaxy range. Still, the Gear is not compatible with iPhones and Windows Mobile devices.

With a $299 price tag on its launch date, the Galaxy Gear did not appear that appealing to buyers. It so far has failed to become as successful as Samsung's Galaxy line. Nevertheless, Samsung's smartwatch achieved sales figures that are better than what other smartwatch manufacturers have achieved. Whether or not it's a good product is still debatable, but it can be said that Samsung has a few kinks to fix in terms of the product's features, hardware, software, and overall packaging if it wants more success with it.

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