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.
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.
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.
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.
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.