After months of hype, Samsung finally unveiled its Galaxy Gear Smartwatch at an event on Wednesday in Berlin. It didn't go well. Reaction to Samsung's newest product was almost overwhelmingly negative, with one critic referring to it as "more an overpriced toy than a device that really drives value to its consumers."
The Galaxy Gear, which carries a $299 price tag, requires one of Samsung's newer devices to function; it connects to its paired device using Bluetooth 4.0. Once linked, the Gear can act as a voice dialer, a 1.9 megapixel camera, and a machine through which a user can run a wide range of virtual applications on its 1.6-inch AMOLED touchscreen. Unfortunately, that's about all it can do. It lacks one of the most vital features that we've seen in emerging smartphone technology - biometric sensors.What this basically means is that there's no additional functionality outside of what comes through the link.
Understandably, analysts weren't happy.
"How much will people really be willing to pay for such limited use?" Asked J. Gold Associates analyst Jack Gold. He was one of the generous ones. Forrester's Sarah Rotman was far more scathing in her summary:
"Samsung is pursuing a spaghetti-on-the-wall product strategy: launch a smartwatch and maybe it will stick."
Although a few analysts expressed positive sentiments regarding the Galaxy Gear, I'm honestly more inclined to agree with opponents of the gadget. I see nothing in the Gear that differentiates it from anything currently on the market, particularly at three hundred dollars. Given how many other organizations are currently working on their own smart watches - the unveiling of Apple's iWatch is said to be at most a month or two away - Samsung's rather lackluster offering is very likely to be outshone in short order by its competitors.
Smart Watches are going to be extremely popular in the coming years. That goes without saying. For both professionals and consumers, the utility and convenience afforded by these new gadgetswill become indispensible - all it's going to take is the right device. Unfortunately, I doubt the Gear is that device.
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