Samsung’s new smartwatch has finally been unveiled amid much excitement.
The Galaxy Gear had been highly anticipated as the firm is currently the world’s largest smartphone maker and has beaten rivals Microsoft, Apple and Google to unveil such a device – now consumers can see exactly what it does.
The watch works as an extension of a Galaxy phone and enables users to make calls, use apps and even take pictures form the camera lens mounted on the strap. Samsung have called the Gear a “fashion icon”.
However, analysts warned that a decision to limit the watch to working purely as an accessory to other Galaxy Android devices might be a mistake and limit its appeal among users.
“Consumers might be a bit disappointed to find that the smartwatch is a partner device reliant on being paired with a Samsung Android smartphone or tablet, rather than being the completely autonomous media and communications device many consumers were expecting and hoping for,” said Chris Green – a tech analyst at the consultancy Davies Murphy Group.
The decision to only link the watch to Samsung Android smartphones is in contrast to that of Sony. Their forthcoming Smartwatch 2 can be paired with any device running Android 4.0 or higher.
Although a price for the Galaxy Gear has not yet been announced, it’s widely expected to be in the region of £190 or $300. Sony’s device is expected to be much cheaper, costing in the region £120 or $180.
With such high profile manufacturers aiming to dominate this relatively new market, it is thought that by 2014 over 5 million smartwatches could be sold – changing the way we view the classic time piece forever.
The Samsung Gear will go on sale from September 25th at the Ifa consumer tech show in Berlin and will then be rolled out across the board towards the end of the year.
It features a 1.6in (4cm) LED display, a 1.9 megapixel camera, a speaker and microphone, has four gigabytes of internal storage and a non-removable battery.
It comes preloaded with 10 different clock options and there will be about 70 apps available at launch including Evernote’s note-taking software, auction service eBay, the social network Path and several fitness programs.