5 Galaxy Gear features to consider before you dismiss it as ‘too geeky’

galaxy gear smartwatch everything you need to know

Check out our review of the Samsung Galaxy Gear smart watch.

As we’ve already seen from the dozens of smartwatches and smartglasses coming out (and even appearing on the fashion runway), wearable tech is finally making the transition from geeky niche to a mainstream trend. Or tech companies want it to, anyway.

Samsung just got into the game on Wednesday by unveiling the Galaxy Gear smartwatch at IFA 2013 in Berlin. With a gorgeous 1.63-inch OLED screen, 4GB of storage and a 800MHz CPU in a package the size of a watch, it’s certainly a technological marvel. But would you actually wear a giant screen on your wrist?

Don’t count it out just yet. Here are five killer features of Samsung’s Galaxy Gear that may have even skeptical fashionistas holding their eye rolls.

1. A secondary screen for your phone

The Galaxy Gear is designed to be a companion for your Samsung Galaxy smartphone. It serves as a secondary screen that can display incoming notifications including calls, text messages, emails, and social-media posts. You’ll see a preview of the incoming message on your Galaxy Gear smartwatch, and you can choose whether to ignore it or grab your Galaxy smartphone and take a closer look. The Smart Relay feature ensures that the full content will automatically be ready and waiting for you on your connected Galaxy device.

2. Voice control

The Galaxy Gear enables you to make and receive hands-free calls, thanks to the inclusion of two microphones (with noise cancellation) and a speaker. All you need to do is raise it to your face to speak. It hooks up using Bluetooth and a special app that you’ll need to install on your smartphone. You can also use it to record voice memos, but more impressively, you have the option of using S Voice to draft messages, create calendar entries, check the weather, or set alarms. S Voice is Samsung’s alternative to Google Now.

Samsung Galaxy Gear

3. A camera at the ready

The feature Samsung calls ‘Memographer’ is basically a camera in the strap. It’s a 1.9-megapixel camera, which allows you to capture photos and record video hands-free. Videos can be up to 10 seconds in length at 720p quality. You can also share them directly from the watch to your social-media accounts. The big selling point is the ease and speed of use. You can just swipe down to capture a moment, which should be much faster than fishing a phone out of your pocket. The camera also features auto-focus, and anyone worried about sneaky snaps can relax, because there’s a shutter sound that can’t be turned off.

4. Smartphone security

The fact that the Gear is connected to your Galaxy smartphone or tablet means it can also be used to find your device. For security, you can also set it up to automatically lock your phone as soon as the watch moves more than 1.5 meters away. There’s even a safety assistance feature in case of emergency, which notifies saved contacts with a prewritten message and your location when you press the power button three times continuously.

5. Fitness tracking

The Galaxy Gear has a built-in pedometer app, which can track your physical activity and compile data from your workouts on calories burned and the distance you’ve covered. Apps like MyFitnessPal and Runkeeper are poised to leverage this data, too.

Don’t forget the app ecosystem

These are just the features the Galaxy Gear will ship with, but like any good “smart” device, apps will make future possibilities limitless. Around 70 apps, including Evernote, eBay, Glympse, TripIt, Pocket, Banjo, and Path should be available at launch, and that number will no doubt grow as more developers get on board. They will be exclusively available in the Samsung app store.

Tempted? The Galaxy Gear will be available from September 25 in many countries, or October in the United States, where it will sell for $299.

Wearables

Think this smartwatch doesn’t have a screen? Think again

This looks like a regular chronograph watch, but it holds a secret: It's really a smartwatch and even has a hidden screen, which is revealed only when you need it. We took a closer look at CES 2019.
Mobile

The most expensive Galaxy S10 could be the priciest Galaxy phone we've seen

Not long now; with 2019 underway, the Samsung Galaxy S10 is almost here. Before it arrives, here's absolutely everything you need to know about all three of Samsung's next flagships.
Mobile

We tried all the latest and greatest smartphones to find the best of 2019

Smartphones are perhaps the most important and personal piece of tech on the planet. That’s why it’s important to pick the best phone for your individual needs. Here are the best smartphones you can buy.
Deals

Here are 20 portable tech gadgets you’ll want to use every day

If you're looking for portable tech to keep you charged up while on the go (or for some great small gift ideas), we've rounded up 20 must-have gadgets. You'll find everything from a mini gaming controller to a folding Bluetooth keyboard.
Computing

Yes, Android apps can run on your PC, and it's easier than you think

Wish you knew how to run Android apps in Windows? It's easier than you might think and there are a number of different ways to do it. In this guide, we break down the steps so you can follow along with ease.
Mobile

Unleash your inner artist with the best drawing apps for the iPad Pro

The best drawing apps for the iPad Pro turn Apple's robust tablet into a canvas worthy of a true artist. Here are 20 of our current favorites, whether you're looking to keep things simple or take your art to the next level.
Emerging Tech

CES 2019 recap: All the trends, products, and gadgets you missed

CES 2019 didn’t just give us a taste of the future, it offered a five-course meal. From 8K and Micro LED televisions to smart toilets, the show delivered with all the amazing gadgetry you could ask for. Here’s a look at all the big…
Android

Mobile World Congress (MWC) 2019: Complete Coverage

There's no bigger show for mobile tech geeks than Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, Spain: where flagship phones are born and intriguing new wearables shine. And this year, where foldable phones and 5G are likely to dominate the news. For…
Mobile

C you soon? Rumors swirl of a USB-C port on 2019 iPhones

While it's not been long since the last iPhones launched, rumors for the next iPhone are already surfacing. Apple's 2019 flagship could include a variety of upgrades ranging from a new design to enhanced features.
Mobile

Biometric phone unlocks can’t be forced by feds, says U.S. judge

Fingerprint and face unlocks used to not be protected by the Fifth Amendment, but that may soon change. A judge in California has ruled biometric unlocking methods of all kinds are protected in the same way as passcodes.
Mobile

The Note 8 and S8 range now have access to the Android Pie beta

Android 9.0 Pie has been released. But is your phone getting Android 9.0 Pie, and if so, when? We've done the hard work and asked every device manufacturer to see when their devices would be getting the update.
Mobile

The Motorola Razr may return as a foldable phone — for $1,500

The Motorola Razr V3 is one of the world's most iconic phones, and it could be making a stylistic return in the form of a foldable Motorola smartphone -- but it may cost around $1,500. Is the nostalgia worth it?
Mobile

The iPhone XS Battery Case's battery has a smaller capacity than previous cases

Apple has been rumored to be working on a new iPhone battery case for the iPhone XS, iPhone XS Max, and iPhone XR. Now, those new cases are finally here, offering seven hours of extra use for each iPhone and are available for $129.
Mobile

Join the Apple club with our complete guide to switching from Android to iOS

If Android simply isn’t cutting it for you anymore, then you might be considering Apple’s warm embrace. Here’s how to make the switch from Android to iOS without losing your contacts, sleep, or hair!