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Samsung Galaxy Gear roundup

Samsung's Galaxy Gear smartwatch hits shelves this week. Is it worth the cash? 

By Matthew ShaerCorrespondent / October 1, 2013

A Samsung Galaxy Gear smartwatch is pictured after its launch during an event at the IFA consumer electronics fair in Berlin, Sept. 4, 2013.



This week, Samsung debuts its Galaxy Gear smartwatch––a wrist-mounted mini computer running an Android OS and packing a small camera and Wi-Fi, 4G, Bluetooth, and NFC antennas. The Galaxy Gear comes in a range of colors, and will sell stateside for $299. Of course, to take full advantage of the device, you'll need to own a Galaxy Note 3 phablet, the only device that really syncs up with the Gear. 

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Is it worth it? Let's go to the reviews. 

Opening shot

"I thought there was no way in the world I would spend $300 for a Samsung watch that connected just to Samsung smartphones," writes Matthew Miller of ZDNet. "Then I tried the Note 3 and love what Samsung is doing in pushing Android further, especially with their S Pen improvements. After then testing the Galaxy Gear and how well it works with the Note 3 I never hesitated in ordering one for myself." 

The design, part one

"Samsung’s track record on [design] has never been very good and the Gear keeps regrettably in line with that trend," complains Vlad Savov of The Verge. "Its design tries to have something for everyone – a chunky steel clasp and exposed screws for fans of oversized men’s watches, yet also Rose Gold and Oatmeal Beige colors for a feminine audience – and ends up pleasing no one in particular. It’s too bulky to ever be considered elegant, but too polished to be a proper macho watch." 

The design, part 2

"Samsung clearly designed the Gear a give off the waft of high-end design, with appointments like longitudinal ribbing along the band and metallic hardware accents," writes Christina Bonnington of Wired. "One of the first things I noticed looking at the watch, however, was how out of place the four screws along the perimeter of the face seemed — particularly for a smartwatch so clearly devoted to sleek minimalism."

The hardware

"Phone calls placed through [the Gear] were surprisingly clear on both ends and easy to place, although holding your watch to your ear to speak feels as silly as it sounds," writes Jeremy A. Kaplan of Fox News. "The 1.9-megapixel camera built into the watchband is perfectly reasonable for the pictures you’d expect to take from your wrist: It’s no substitute for a digital camera or smartphone, but great for capturing life wherever you happen to be." 


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