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5 Things Samsung Should Do for Galaxy Gear 2

By , Alex Davies - Source: Tom's Hardware US | B 9 comments

What we want from Gear 2.

We’ve had smartwatch dreams since the Dick Tracy days. Finally, those dreams are starting to look someway possible. Samsung’s first shot at the smartphone segment is the Galaxy Gear. Though it’s only six months old, rumor has it Samsung is about to announce the Galaxy Gear 2 at MWC. With so little time between model one and model two, what could Samsung improve upon? Here’s our list of changes and features we want to see with the next iteration of Gear.

Price

The first thing we want to change is the price. The Galaxy Gear is far too expensive for a companion device. We simply couldn’t justify spending $300 on a device that we didn’t really need. Especially with competing devices selling for less. It might be a tall order, but if you were to ask us the ideal price for a smart watch, we’d say $150 -- the same starting price as the Pebble.

Functionality

Of course, price is dependent on features. Right now, Samsung’s Gear suffers from something of a personality disorder. It hovers somewhere between LG’s full fledged wrist watch smartphone and notification-only smartwatch. Though we appreciate certain features (like the mic and speaker that enable hands-free calling), we’d be willing to ditch the camera for a discount in pricing. Though it’s good for what it is (…a watch phone??), it’s wholly unnecessary. We don’t need a camera on our wrists.

Style

Oh, do we have a beef with the Gear when it comes to aesthetics. While it’s not exactly ugly. it doesn’t scream elegance either. Especially if you’re a woman. When we talked to Samsung about the Gear last year, we asked who they were targeting with the Gear. “Everyone,” was the response. When we asked if the company expected people to wear the Gear all the time or just during certain activities (while at the gym, for example), a Samsung rep told us they hoped people would wear the device all the time. When we said we couldn’t picture a woman wearing the Gear with her little black dress on a date, our Samsung rep didn’t really have an answer. The introduction of the Rose Gold model shows that Samsung is working on this issue, but we look forward to an even more elegant solution.

Compatibility

Right now, the Gear doesn’t work with anything other than a Samsung. Even then, it’s only going to work with the Galaxy Note 3, the Note 2, the Galaxy S3, the Galaxy S4, and the Galaxy Mega on AT&T. That is a small list in a big Android world. The Galaxy Gear is Samsung’s first foray into a relatively new market. If the company wants the Gear to succeed, the device needs to work with a lot more of its own phones for a start.

Battery & Charging

The Galaxy Gear’s battery isn’t too terrible; it lasts two days. That’s not bad but considering it’s “just” a companion device, we want it to last a little bit longer than double the time our smartphone does. The current generation of Gear packs a 315 mAh battery. We’d like to see Samsung improve upon that with the nest model. However, we’d gladly trade that for an improvement on the charging situation. Right now, the Galaxy Gear ships with an a serviceable charging cradle. We’d love if this device utilized conductive charging. It’s not a big leap, and it would eliminate the cradle completely. Definitely a plus in our book.

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Discuss
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  • 4 Hide
    DelightfulDucklings , February 5, 2014 11:23 PM
    Battery life would have to be at least a month for me to even consider buying it, I just can't imagine having to charge my watch when the watch I have right now has lasted about 7 years on the battery that was in it when I bought it and still has juice left.
  • 0 Hide
    cypeq , February 6, 2014 3:22 AM
    I have enough of a daily charging the phone... my last phone was lasting 6 days... but it wasn't 'smart' . I would not bare charging a watch. That's just me. I don't even need a watch... I just check the phone.
  • 0 Hide
    fokka , February 6, 2014 7:05 AM
    i don't think that battery life is that big of a problem. we already went from charging our phones 1-2x per week to charging it every day, sometimes even more than once and since i don't expect people to wear their relatively clunky smartwatch in bed, it should be managable to put it on a cradle on the nightstand to charge.wireless charging would of course be favourable for such a device, but i don't think we will have to wait much longer for that to be implemented. then again, a charging station with open contacts where you don't have to fumble with cables should be ok too.it's just that the current solution with its enclosing design seems a bit awkward.as for the price, yes, i also think that 300 is asking a bit much. that's more than many people shell out for their smartphone and is just adding too much to the already high cost of the compatible smartphones.reducing the next iteration to 200 bucks shouldn't be a problem for a company like samsung and they'd probably be well advised to make it comaptible at least with all new devices, eg. the impending s5 mini, mega, etc.they could even make one without the camera and sell it for 150 bucks, but maybe that's a bit much to ask.regarding functionality, i don't think that people expect a smartwatch to be as full-fledged as their smartphone, but there should be the possibility to get widgets for your favorite apps on there, not just a handfull of samsung aproved stuff. i don't know the current situation, but some kind of sdk would be helpful with that.i think the biggest problem is that there aren't many people who really need a smartwatch and for the limited use they deliver, they are often just too expensive.
  • Display all 9 comments.
  • 0 Hide
    tului , February 6, 2014 7:08 AM
    Quote:
    Battery life would have to be at least a month for me to even consider buying it, I just can't imagine having to charge my watch when the watch I have right now has lasted about 7 years on the battery that was in it when I bought it and still has juice left.
    I could get by maybe once a week accepting that I'd still be somewhat of an early adopter. But you're right for the general masses, a month would be the minimum, and even then I think many would poopoo it.
  • 0 Hide
    g-thor , February 6, 2014 7:10 AM
    I agree - loose the camera. Why is every company so intent on stuffing cameras into devices that don't really call for them? I'd also love to see a tablet (a good one) with only the front facing camera, or even no camera, since I don't do video chats.
  • 0 Hide
    singingigo , February 6, 2014 7:18 AM
    Add the functionality we find in Fitbit devices.
  • -3 Hide
    Zeatrix184 , February 6, 2014 7:44 AM
    What they should do is cancel the product, get back to the drawing board and make something usefull. Or just wait until Apple releases their wearable and copy that too :) 
  • 0 Hide
    joemehnert , February 6, 2014 7:47 AM
    Totaly missed the mark. It needs another camera for skype calling. It also need a built in flash/ flashlight. Slightly smaller in size and curved. I own the current galaxy watch.
  • 1 Hide
    bombebomb , February 6, 2014 12:55 PM
    nest, nest, nest