It's about that time of year again where devices and accompanying accessories are going to start rolling out one after the other, and while we patiently wait for them to start we are all subject to leak after leak until we get to see what's really going on. Although smartphones are generally the first point of interest in these leaks, over the past couple of years a new type of accessory has become popular right alongside the smartphone, and that's the smartwatch.
There have been a few iterations of the smartwatch released already. The first most notable one was probably the first Sony smartwatch, which didn't take off too well at all. Whether it was the time it was released or the fact that the specs and features weren't exactly optimized for excessive usage in conjunction with a smartphone (perhaps both) we'll never know; but it wasn't too long after when another smartwatch, Pebble, came on the scene and made a lot of people do a double take at the smartwatch concept and what they can do.
While I find Pebble to be a pretty novel concept, I have admit that for a lot of people Pebble and its eInk display just won't cut it. When people think "smartwatch" they're thinking of something flashy, bright, and probably just a small version of their smartphone attached to their wrist. The Pebble smartwatch is great for battery optimization and even has quite a few apps going for it right now, and above all supports multiple phones and OSes and is pretty reasonably priced. But another smartwatch of interest right now and the Samsung Galaxy Gear, is probably what most people imagine when they hear the term "smartwatch". The display is bright, the features are a-plenty. But with the Galaxy Gear being nearly a year old now, just like with smartphones it would seem that smartwatches come with a yearly upgrade as well, if rumors have any truth to them.
I don't think it's too crazy that Samsung wants to release a Galaxy Gear 2. Hopefully they correct the mistakes that many people had with the first generation, which mostly revolved around the poor battery life. The watch would last you a day if you were lucky, but also like a smartphone, you were going to have to charge it every night if you wanted to get consistent daily usage out of it. It's something that a lot of people were willing to deal with, but in my opinion I felt that having to charge two devices every night might be a little too much. The battery life needs to improve for the smartwatch to gain any real success.
But while I'm completely on board with the release of a Galaxy Gear 2, what I'm not on board with is the rumor that "multiple" Galaxy Gear models will be released.
I guess I should say that I have mixed feelings about it. Not knowing just how many Galaxy Gear models will be released is kind of what worries me, because Samsung has a track record of releasing phone after phone... after phone after phone after phone. They like variety, but sometimes it seems that they like it a little too much. The leak reported by Alex Wagner, our news hound here at PhoneDog, shows leaked images of two Galaxy Gear smartwatch versions by @evleaks. One looks a little more posh than the other, so perhaps it's really just a matter of releasing a premium version and a low-cost version. After all, another big reason the original Galaxy Gear flopped (in my opinion) was the ridiculously high price of $299 from the launch. That's half of the price of a high-end smartphone with less than half of the performance a smartphone can give. Thanks, but no thanks.
I do hope that two is the magic number here, because if there ever comes a day where a Galaxy Gear Active or a Galaxy Gear Zoom, or anything along those same lines is released... well, I won't do anything about it, really. I might complain. But really, I just think it's a bad idea and Samsung, along with any other manufacturer making smartwatches right now, should keep it simple for now.
Readers, what are your thoughts? Do you think manufacturers should keep smartwatch releases simple, or do you think that the more choices, the merrier? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below!