Samsung’s smartwatch has gobs of gear

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Posted: Monday, September 9, 2013 12:00 am

Samsung has accelerated the smartwatch race by unveiling the Galaxy Gear.

The South Korean tech giant introduced it last week in Berlin but did not disclose a price. AT&T and T-Mobile said they will sell it for $299.99. It won’t be available in the U.S. until October, but 149 countries will get the smartwatch this month.

Users wear the Galaxy Gear on their wrists like any other watch, but this one can make voice calls, run apps, take photos, display alerts and more.

Here are some its features:

» It connects with devices

Samsung said the Galaxy Gear connects with the Galaxy Note III and 2014 edition of the Galaxy Note 10.1 tablet, both of which will come out soon. The Galaxy S4 will also soon get an update to be compatible with the Galaxy Gear, and in the future, other Samsung devices will too. It connects to those devices using Bluetooth.

» It has a small touchscreen

The Galaxy Gear uses a 1.63-inch touchscreen. The display has a 320 by 320 pixel resolution.

» It shows notifications

Whenever you get a message, email or alert on your smartphone, the Galaxy Gear will display a notification. If you want to see the message, pick up the Samsung device that the Galaxy Gear is connected to and that smartphone or tablet will open to the message.

» It can make calls

The Galaxy Gear will also alert you when you have an incoming call. But you don’t have to pull out your phone to pick up; the smartwatch has a speaker and microphone on its wristband.

» It takes voice commands

You can use that microphone to also give the Galaxy Gear instructions. The device runs S Voice, which is Samsung’s version of Siri, so you can give voice commands such as “Is it going to rain today?” or “Set a reminder” and the Galaxy Gear will respond.

» It takes pictures

Besides a microphone and speaker, the Galaxy Gear’s wristband also has a small 1.9-megapixel camera that can be used to quickly take pictures or shoot video.

» It runs apps

Like a smartphone, the Galaxy Gear is also capable of running apps. For now, there are only a handful designed for Samsung’s smartwatch — they include the Path social network and read-it-later app Pocket — but the company said more will come soon.

» Battery lasts a full day

You won’t have to worry about charging the Galaxy Gear often — Samsung said it can last 25 hours on one full charge.

» It comes in six colors

Trying to appeal to all kinds of consumers, the Galaxy Gear will come in black, gray, orange, beige, rose gold and green.

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