Unnamed sources have provided an inside look at what may be the Samsung Galaxy Gear smartwatch.
Sources close to Samsung's Galaxy Gear smartwatch project told GigaOM that the company will likely have two events on September 4: one in Berlin and one in New York, where the latter may actually start selling the rumored smartwatch in a pop-up store in Times Square. Samsung is also expected to reveal the Galaxy Note III at one of the events prior to the IFA tech convention in Berlin.
Sources told the site that Samsung actually seeded many different variations of the device with developers, but most of them have similar traits: a high-quality OLED display measuring 2.5 inches, a dual-core processor and decent battery life. SamMobile previously reported that it will supposedly have a Samsung Exynos 4212 SoC with two Cortex-A9 cores clocked at 1.5 GHz and four Mali-400 MP4 GPU cores clocked at 400 MHz, and a screen with a 320 x 320 resolution.
The GigaOM sources also said that the smartwatch will pack a camera sensor that will be integrated into the strap and tiny speakers built into the watch clasp. An NFC component will enable bump-to-sync and authentication, and Bluetooth 4.0 LE will connect the device to smartphones for accessing the Internet, pulling text messages and so on. The integration and syncing between the watch and connected smartphones and tablets is reportedly "tight."
The Samsung Galaxy Gear will reportedly feature a built-in accelerometer that will allow users to switch it on by merely moving it up towards the eye, and other sensors that will make it competitive with other wearable tech like the Nike Fuelband. The screen will support touch-based gestures, but will likely not offer text input given the size.
The report goes on to explain the "tight" connection between the smartwatch and connected device. For example, if the user has swiped through notifications pushed through to the gadget and taps on a specific email notification, the user can pick up the connected smartphone or tablet and see the email displayed. Twitter and Facebook integration will be available at launch.
The Galaxy Gear models shipped to developers have either used Android 4.1 or 4.2 "Jelly Bean." However, instead of relying on Google Play for distributing apps for the device, Samsung will have its own marketplace. There will also be a Samsung watch manager app for the connected device that will manage the connection, which will use the company's proprietary accessory protocol, between it and the smartwatch.
A standalone Samsung Marketplace isn't surprising given the company's shift to providing its own multi-platform software for a more unified Samsung experience. There's talk that the Galaxy Gear will primarily serve as a companion accessory for the Galaxy phones, but there's also a good chance it will be compatible with any Android "Jelly Bean" device. Just like Amazon's Appstore, users could side-load the Samsung storefront and download free/premium apps to the device when needed, including the smartwatch manager app.
It's possible the Galaxy Gear is Samsung's answer to the sleek Android-powered Sony SmartWatch 2, which is slated for a September 9 release. It also arrives as talk heats up regarding LG, Google, Microsoft and Apple working on their own smartwatch solutions. There are several other competing products already available on the market including Pebble, MetaWatch and the MotoACTV, but overall current smartwatch solutions haven't really convinced consumers that wearable tech is necessary in their daily routines.