Well, the interest in the Samsung Galaxy Gear continues to build, but a number of people are asking the question of whether this Android powered smartwatch will be compatible with non-Galaxy devices, and according to the latest information from GigaOm, it’s not looking promising.
Om Malik from GigaOm has been speaking with sources who’ve supplied some pretty interesting details on the upcoming device, most interestingly that it ‘will need a Samsung device with a watch-focused app store to install apps on the watch’. Other details on the product include that the the device that Samsung will launch is actually a more finished product than the one pictured this morning.
The laundry list of highlights for the Galaxy Gear include
- High quality OLED displays will show the full spectrum of colors.
- The display will be around 2.5 inches diagonally (and 3 inches diagonally including the case.)
- It will be powered by a dual core processor, probably a Samsung Exynos 4212 dual core 1.5GHz with Mali-400 MP4 GPU.
- It has a camera and a microphone integrated into the strap and even tiny speakers.
- It has Built in NFC and Bluetooth 4.0 LE
- The Gear is powered by Android 4.3, with keyboard featured turned off.
- The device won’t have a browser and will need the phone to tether to the Internet.
- It will need a Samsung device with a watch-focused app store to install apps on the watch.
- It has a built-in accelerometer and other sensors that will allow it to act has a quantified self device.
- Expect battery power to be 24 hours with modest use, but around 10 hours with more active usage.
A 1.5GHz CPU with Mali 400 GPU is quite frankly an insane amount of power to be had for a smart watch, but in this day and age, that may be the cheapest low-end device that Samsung are still mass-producing in quantities large enough to meet demands of the production run. BLE support is promising for battery life but even a watch that only lasts 10 hours is not long enough for most people who are out of the house longer than that most days.
There will be a large portion of people – myself included – who will agree, that without compatability with non-Galaxy phones the Galaxy Gear holds little to no interest. It’s certainly understandable as to why they’ve decided to go down this path – more device sales, locking people into the Galaxy eco-system, better integration and usability with their own APIs etc. and in the end it’s their product to do with what they will. All I can say now is, come-on Nexus smartwatch.
Yes or no on the Galaxy Gear?