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Samsung Galaxy Gear smart watch anything but worthwhile

The Samsung Galaxy Gear smart watch is unique and novel, but that's about it.
by Richard Hall Modified: December 11, 2013 at 9:07 am •  Published: December 9, 2013

The battery life is way too short. I got about eight hours out of a full charge, and that just won't cut it, considering most people who would be using the Gear likely have work days longer than eight hours.

Using the device once it's up and running is relatively painless. Swipe gestures get users through the menu of options, and taps select desired functions and apps. The watch also responded well to voice commands when I prompted it to do things like give me weather information, but sometimes there would be a delay for seemingly unknown reasons.

The voice command, however, is something you'll have to depend on if you use the Gear, since it's the only way to respond to text messages since the watch lacks a typing function.

The Gear's 320x320-pixel screen is clear and nice, and even its 1.9-megapixel camera surprised me with its functionality and speedy picture taking. It houses an 800 MHz processor and 512MB of RAM, which is ho-hum compared to the other smart watches out there.

Taking and making phone calls with the Gear is ... something else. Since the watch's speaker is thin on sound and volume, I found myself speaking louder than normal when I used it to make phone calls. So, I felt like I was shouting at whomever I was speaking to on the other end, in order to make up for the Gear's inadequate sound.

If the price tag were $30, I'd tell you the Gear is worth checking out if you're a gadget fan. But it's not: You have to fork over about $300 to have the pleasure of dealing with its complicated setup on its limited range of supported devices, its so-so functionality and unconvincing construction.

And then you'd be out $300, asking yourself, “Why? Why? Why?!”

by Richard Hall
Digital Media Specialist
Richard Hall is an award-winning newsroom developer, editor and blogger for NewsOK. He was born in Austin, Texas, spent his childhood in southern California and has lived in Norman since 1999. He graduated from the University of Oklahoma in 2008.
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