Thursday, January 23, 2014

Galaxy Gear is not the smart watch for everyone

1/23/2014

I was intrigued with the idea of wearing a smart watch even before I saw more than a dozen of them at this year's CES. I wore Casio's Databank watch back in the day, so I would welcome a watch that could do a lot more than store my address book.

But Samsung's Galaxy Gear isn't that watch, at least not for me. After a week of wearing one of the models sold by Verizon Wireless, here's what I learned:

  • The display is easy to read and navigate. i liked the clock and weather screens and it was fairly easy to look find entries in my contact. 
  • Taking and making calls on your wrist is a little awkward, like using a Bluetooth earpiece. It's an acquired skill. 
  • The face of the watch goes dark after a few minutes, probably to save battery life. That means it takes both hands to see the time, which seems to undercut the whole reason for wearing a watch in the first place.
  • The watch requires a special cradle to charge. You can't connect it directly to a charging cable. And when it's fully powered, it won't last for more than two days.
  • The built-in camera takes very nice photos, but aiming and clicking takes more effort than it should.
  • The watch looks nice in photos, but it's too thick and heavy to be comfortable. 
Add in Gear's $300 price and the fact that it only works with Samsung Galaxy phones and its becomes a specialized product aimed at a very narrow audience. One that doesn't include me.  


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Follow me on Twitter @ricmanning and read my technology columns at My Well Being.

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