Samsung Gear Smartwatch is too Dick Tracey and not Simple enough to want you to Rock the Future on your Wrist

“If you can explain something in simple Terms, you don’t know enough about the subject”

Albert Einstein

Adding to the Yule Log Samsung’s much rumored Smartwatch, the Samsung Gear, for which Samsung has been filing trademark claims for the name “Samsung Galaxy Gear”. Well Folks, Samsung has finally launched the Samsung Galaxy Gear Smartwatch on Monday September 5th 2013 as reported in all its gory details in Kelroy’s article Samsung Introduces GALAXY Gear, a Wearable Device to Enhance the Freedom of Mobile Communications.


Interestingly Google  and LG  in March 2013 and Microsoft since early April 2013 have announced plans to debut their own Smartwatch companions for their Smartphones. They’re now in the Smartwatch race for the same obvious reasons as mentioned in Apple to debut Apple iWatch in March 2013 – iWant one and iCant Wait: an easy to manufacture device that can be easily mass produced and sold for high margins.


I had also rashly predicted the coming of the so-called Apple iWatch in the article “Apple to debut Apple iWatch in March 2013 – iWant one and iCant Wait”.  However, since then a deadly outbreak of would-be smart watch competitors has arisen among them Samsung, who’ve claimed to be making another stab at the Smartwatch concept in March 2013. So I guess I was sorta right….

But based on the specs in Kelroy’s article Samsung Introduces GALAXY Gear, a Wearable Device to Enhance the Freedom of Mobile Communications Samsung’s got it all wrong….again. Let me explain where poor little Korean Kid fell down and is now in danger of riding the Fail Whale!

Samsung Galaxy Gear – We’re all past Dick Tracey’s Walkie-Talkie Watch

The Samsung Gear Smartwatch was supposed to be minimalist arm-candy to match with ANY Smartphone, not just the Samsung Galaxy Note III out of the box ONLY. That seems a tad odd….why not make it compatible with ALL Google Android smartphones out of the box, preferably via a synchable free App, as truly a Smartwatch is an extension of your smartphone?

Why Samsung, why?!

I’d also predicted that it might be the first piece of hardware that, along with Smartphones coming in the Third Quarter of 2013, might be sporting Tizen OS. Alas I’m wrong, as the Operating System is Android crammed into a smartphone-on-your-wristwatch form factor.

This would’ve been the perfect test platform for Tizen OS, much touted by Samsung as a replacement for Android to get in on the App Store Action as opined in Samsung’s Tizen OS launched to partake in Apple and Google’s App Economy.

Why Samsung, why?!

The Battery life, based on its 315mAH battery rating, makes me pause as that’s more smartphone and less wristwatch. Wristwatches, as I consider myself an expert on them, have batter lives that last for months and weeks, not hours. The typical user, not gadget freak, can’t be bothered to remember to recharge their Smartwatch every time they have to put it on. I’m beginning to see the Fail Whale bobbing his head up an’ down in the waves!

Samsung apparently has it head stuck in a Dick Tracey past where Americans were enamored with Walkie-Talkie watches. Well, in case Samsung never got the Memo, here’s the SMS version: We’ve been there and we’ve done that! Samsung’s over-thinking the Samsung Galaxy Gear Smartwatch. Worse, if the pricing is really as announced, will DEFINATELY be the riding the Fail Whale!

Samsung Galaxy Gear – Should have been Einstein Simple out-of-the-box

This time around, rather than be sold as a standalone product, it’ll support the Smartphone by making notifications for SMS (Short messaging Service) or texts, email, Facebook, Twitter and other Social Networks as simple as a glance at the wrist. No more poppin’ Smartphones in places where it may not be safe to be flashing so much bling.

It may do this by vibrating or flashing in different colours to alert the user that they have a message somewhat akin to the Kickstarter supported Embrace+ Bracelet. Making the Smartwatch the same size as the Nike Fuelband would also be a step in the right direction to make this device a digital companion on your wrist!

Ideally too, it should also provide have some capability to keep you in good shape by tracking your vital statistics like the Nike Fuelband. Throw in the functionality of a Security replacement for your House keys and Car keys and Proximity Setting to alert you when you stray too far from your smartphone or when you leave it behind, the so-called keyless Fob and the Virtual Butler really comes alive and makes the Smartwatch smart!

Customers who order the Smartwatch should also be able to customize the Smartwatch before they buy it as well. Customizations in design make gadget more personal and colour customization choice website like the Moto X from Google owned Motorola Mobility would be a good step. A dash of Champagne of Gold into the colour lineup will certainly add that professional spice that’s missing from Samsung Galaxy Gear’s awesome-sauce!

Finally, the Battery should have been designed to be rechargeable via Solar, Induction or even by the swinging motion of your arms, thus making the watch function for extended periods of time without the need for smartphone-tethered-to-your-charger-esque frequent recharging. The Charger is just one more Analog device that needs to be cut out from your Digital life, an opinion I’ve long held. If you can’t improve battery life of Gadgets, at least make them self-recharging!

Samsung, back to the drawing board with this prototype and “wheel an’ come again”!

Samsung Galaxy Gear Takeaway – More Embrace+ and Nike Fuelband, less Dick Tracey

So there you have it folks, my less-than-subtle-and-not-so-kind critique of the Samsung Galaxy Smartwatch, the Customer Care Agent version. To be a success, the Samsung Galaxy Gear II (but this mus’ be a prototype!) will have to come good with:

  1. Smartphone compatibility with ANY Android phone via a freely downloadable App

  2. Smaller form factor similar to the Nike FuelBand or Kickstarter supported Embrace+ Bracelet or even better make it look like a regular wristwatch

  3. Come in a variety of Metallic Colours including Champagne or Gold

  4. Demonstrate Tizen OS Versatility and its ability to work on any product, any form factor and interact with Android

  5. Notifications for SMS, email, Facebook, Twitter and other Social Networks, preferably via flashing colours

  6. Proximity setting to alert you when you stray too far from your smartphone or when you leave it behind

  7. Battery life measured in Months and weeks, not hours or days

  8. Removal of the need to recharge by built in self-recharging Technology, cutting the last vestige of the Analog World

Definitely the Samsung Galaxy Gear Smartwatch are bound to be Christmas stocking stuffers from Santa that are proudly “Made in Korea” as they got the Jump on Apple! They just need to tweak this prototype (praying this IS a prototype and not the real thing). Samsung, I’m the Smartwatch Doctor; take the above prescription in mind and make THAT the product that poppin’ in stores come Christmas!

Now that it’s here and they can improve on it, the question remains: Are YOU ready to Rock the Future on your Wrist?

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Lindsworth is a Radio Frequency and Generator Maintenance Technician who has a knack for writing about his work, which is in the Telecoms Engineering Field. An inspired writer on themes as diverse as Autonomous Ants simulations, Power from Lightning and the current Tablet Wars.