With more device support, can the Galaxy Gear catch on?Evan Selleck - Contributing Editor
We all know that Samsung doesn't mind putting devices in certain niches, even if they aren't primed to steal the show right out of the gate. They did it with the Galaxy Note, and as usual the general consensus was that it wouldn't pick up steam. That turned out quite the opposite, obviously, and Samsung's plan ultimately worked out. Whether or not they're aiming to do that with areas like six-inch smartphone display remains to be seen (with the Galaxy Mega 6.3, of course), because we do know they're aiming to do just that with smartwatches.
The Galaxy Gear has been available for a little while now, coupled with a price tag of $300. I'll be the first one to tell you (I'm certainly not the first, and I won't be the last) that it's too expensive, but Samsung doesn't see it that way. They think you'll buy more than one, because you can't change the colored band, and obviously orange doesn't go with everything.
But while Samsung won't say the Galaxy Gear is too much moolah, because they'd point to all the technology and features shoved inside the little device, they will probably admit that the Galaxy Gear is a first effort. This is the device they're going to use to test the waters. This is the watch that will guide all other watches from Sammy, based on the feedback from consumers and reviewers.
There's a lot to work on, but as a first device, albeit a too expensive one, the Galaxy Gear certainly has a lot to work with. There are positive marks for the "watch," they do exist. And that's what Samsung will build off of, while adding some changes thanks to the feedback they receive between now and then. Back in March, long before the Galaxy Gear was the real deal, I wrote about how I hoped Samsung wouldn't limit their smartwatch. Turns out I was right, and that's honestly my biggest dig against Samsung's first wearable companion.
We're dealing with a device that's meant to be our companion, to give us notifications, or let us check the weather, or take phone calls all without pulling our phones out of our pocket. With that in mind, it shouldn't matter which phone we pull out of our pocket, right? Oh, but it does. Samsung marketed the Galaxy Gear as a companion to the Galaxy Note 3 and . . . Oh, that's it. If you didn't want the Galaxy Note 3 but thought the Galaxy Gear was cool, you were out of luck.
That's finally changing, according to Samsung. Other Samsung-branded devices will be gaining support for companionship with the Galaxy Gear in the near future, either through Android 4.3 Jelly Bean updates or other software upgrades. Devices like the Galaxy S4 mini, the Galaxy S4 zoom, and even the pair of Galaxy Mega (5.8 and 6.3) devices will be able to connect to the Gear.
That's all well and good. Especially since the Galaxy S 4 is also picking up support to function with the wearable piece of technology. You can't go wrong with 40 million devices having the ability to connect to your device. They should have started with that, sure, but better late than never, I guess.
The question is, does all this new support really matter for Samsung's first wearable piece of technology? Now that it's available, with that pricey tag, and more support is coming before the end of the year, do you imagine that a lot of people are going to go out to pick up the piece of technology this holiday shopping season? Let me know what you think.