First Samsung Galaxy Gear reviews are in, things don’t look so great for Samsung

October 3, 2013

    samsung galaxy gear aa 12

    The Next Big Thing is Here! Although the Note 3 and Galaxy Gear have been available internationally for a little while now, Samsung’s latest darlings are just now starting to show up in the United States.

    As the dust settles, folks are now getting a better look at both the Gear and the Note 3. While most Note 3 reviews have been on the positive side, the same can’t necessarily be said for the Samsung Galaxy Gear.

    Probably the most damning review of the Galaxy Gear is from Vlad Savov of the Verge:

    A smartwatch the Galaxy Gear is not. Frankly, I’m not sure exactly what it’s supposed to be. Samsung describes it as a companion device, and the Gear is indeed chronically dependent on an umbilical link to another Samsung device, but it never left me feeling like it was a helpful companion.

    While other reviews might not be as blunt or critical, take a quick drive around the virtual block and you’ll find most others reviews echo a similar sentiment: The Gear is an interesting idea but in it’s current form its more than a little lacking.

    NY Times David Pogue probably says it best:

    Nobody will buy this watch, and nobody should. But there’s something here under all the rubble. Sometimes the Gear can be liberating; sometimes it makes possible tasks that you can’t do while you’re holding a smartphone.

    So what’s the problem with the Galaxy Gear? Most reviews seems to complain most loudly about the Gear’s somewhat laggy interface, it’s limited apps, and the Gear’s dependency on the Note 3.

    Another area of contention is in the battery life, where most reviewers feel that a one day (or less) battery capacity just isn’t good enough for a smart watch.

    samsung galaxy gear aa 20

    That said, most reviewers also note that there is value to be found with the Gear, even if hidden under its noticeable issues. There might not be many apps, but the ones that are currently available are actually said to be be pretty good. The same goes for the camera functionality and using the Gear to make phone calls.

    Not all reviews have been negative either. ZDNET was probably the most enthusiastic about the watch, though Engadget also had some nice things to say:

    The Galaxy Gear is a solid effort from Samsung, but it needs time to grow and develop. The things it does, it does well, and it’s certainly more feature-rich and involved than any other smartwatch we’ve used so far.

    So is the Galaxy Gear doomed to be a failure? Honestly, it’s a bit early to say one way or another.

    The Galaxy Gear is a great idea, even if actual implementation might not have been the best. We also must stress that some of the problem areas for the Gear could eventually be addressed through future software updates, such as the app situation and lack of supported companion devices.

    Even if they never get it right with the Galaxy Gear, the rumor mill claims that Samsung might have a second chance with the Gear 2.

    For our part at Android Authority, we will reserve passing official judgment for now, though you can expect a full review in the very near future.

    Comments

    • cycad007

      The Gear is a POS…just like the company’s ethics. I don’t deny they make great products. But they are “evil”. Here’s partial list of “wrongs” compiled by someone online named Teejay2000:

      July 7, 2004: Jury advised of adverse interference when Samsung allowed emails to be automatically deleted even after it was told to retain relevant emails. After Samsung’s appeal, Judge William Martini found “Samsung’s actions go far beyond mere negligence, demonstrating knowing and intentional conduct.”

      October 17, 2005: The U.S. Department of Justice fined Samsung nearly $300M for memory price fixing within the U.S.

      Feb. 7, 2007: U.S. government fined Samsung for $90M for memory chip price fixing for violations in 2006.

      Jan.15, 2008: Samsung’s offices in Korea were raided after evidence showed that a slush fund was used to bribe government officials and other business leaders.

      July 16 2008, Samsung chairman, Lee Kun-He was found guilty in Seoul of financial wrongdoing and tax evasion. Despite prosecutor request of seven years in prison, sentence was reduced to three years followed by a pardon by the South Korean Government in 2009 to allow him to help with its successful bid to host the 2018 Winter Olympics. He is now a member of the International Olympic Committee and this ‘pardoned criminal’ returned as Samsung’s Chairman in March 2010.

      May 19, 2010: The EU Commission fined Samsung for being part of a cartel that shared confidential information and fixed memory chip prices (along with eight other firms).

      Nov. 1, 2011: The Korean Fair Trade Commission fined Samsung for being part of a cartel that fixed prices and reduced output for TFT-LCD screens between 2001 and 2006.

      March 15, 2012: The Korean Fair Trade Commission fined Samsung for a mobile phone price fixing scheme and consumer fraud whereby consumers would be paying more than what the discounted prices advertised.

      July 25, 2012: Magistrate Grewal informs the jury that they could take into account that “spoliation” of evidence occurred when Samsung destroyed evidence that could have been used in the Apple lawsuit; Samsung had a policy of automatically deleting emails that were two weeks old and should have suspended that policy between August 2010 (when Apple informed Samsung of patent infringement) and April 2011 (when Apple initiated the lawsuit).

      August 24, 2012 a jury returned a verdict finding Samsung had willfully infringed on Apple’s design and utility patents and had also diluted Apple’s trade dresses related to the iPhone. But Samsung continues to fight the ruling, and continues in their copying behavior.

      Dec 2012: EU issued a Statement of Objections (SO) against Samsung for abusing its Standard-Essential Patents in not providing FRAND rates. Samsung withdrew all SEP-based injunction requests against Apple in Europe days before the SO was issued, but to no avail.

      April. 2013, Samsung is accused of and admits hiring people in several countries to falsify reports of HTC phones “constantly crashing” and posting fake benchmark reviews.

      October 2013 Samsung in confirmed reports from independent and objective testing, found to be intentionally falsifying performance benchmarks of its flagship products: the Galaxy S4 and Note 3.

      • TechDevil

        In other words: Someone who hates Samsung had a field day gathering lots of negative information.

        If I spent one day, how much similarly bad information do you think I could find on Apple, Sony, HTC, and pretty much every corporation on Earth? And besides, Samsung has made a lot of lives a lot easier. They have helped smartphones and other devices grow exponentially in the recent years. That’s not something every corporation can brag about.

        • cycad007

          One can easily argue that Microsoft & Apple made a lot of lives easier. One can even argue that Apple helped create the smartphone market that Android resides and yet most people here would complain about both Apple/Microsoft. Why? Mostly not for their products but for their corporate behavior.

          Just because Samsung dominates the Android market and uses Android in their products doesn’t make them a good company. Rather, I would argue that they are a evil company making good products.

          • TechDevil

            While I completely agree that Samsung is not a nice company, they do listen to feedback more than Apple and Microsoft. Had Microsoft listened to customers, Windows 8 would have its regular startbutton. Had Apple let the users who hate iOS7 revert back to iOS6, more people would be updating their software. Basically, Samsung is a company that seems to build towards what the users want in a bigger and easier way than other companies do. At least that’s my experience.

      • Anders CT

        Seriously, there are very little on that list that makes Samsung an evil corporation. A victim of Apples patent-trolling yes, but that does not make you evil.

        TouchWiz on the other hand, is an assault on usability, design and human decency. I guess that counts for evil.

        • cycad007

          You don’t consider “price fixing”, “hiring people to falsifying reports to undermine HTC One sales”, and “bribery” to be *EVIL* behavior!?

          TouchWiz?! Who the F**K cares about TouchWiz?

          • TechDevil

            Good guy cycad007, telling it like it is. Although you did not have to censor the word fuck, we are all adults here and it’s just a regular word.

            • cycad007

              Thanks TechDevil. There might be kids here…I abhor “dirty” words!

            • TechDevil

              Honestly, kids see a lot worse than cursing these days. I can see your point, though.

        • cycad007

          Oh…how about “region locking”…does that qualify as “evil” in your book, Anders? Geesh….

    • TechDevil

      I will never, ever, buy a smartwatch. I don’t need it, I don’t want it, I have absolutely no use for it whatsoever.

      • Hadrian Hoar

        So why are you posting here are you short of things to do.Or as I suspect you have an interest in smart watches that you have not yet admitted to your self

        • TechDevil

          I’m sorry. I did not realize I am not allowed to share my opinion on something related to my interests. Oh wait, that’s exactly what everybody does on the Internet.

          • Hadrian Hoar

            Yea your getting there at the moment it’s related your on the slippery slope

            • TechDevil

              Grammar just died in your comment.

            • monchis

              Wtf did she say?

            • TechDevil

              I have literally no clue :P

          • Mike Reid

            You’re right. I may not agree but you’re welcome to state your opinion.

            Even the article is negative and nobody is claiming the writer is an anti-fanboy of Samsung or smart-watches.

            I think smart-watches, or other wearables, will eventually be compelling for many people and maybe me too, despite my not having worn a watch regularly for at least 30 years.

    • MasterMuffin

      “Not all reviews were negative have been negative either” ? :)

      • Andrew Grush

        Fixed.. not sure what happened there. Keeping in theme with this article – I’ll go ahead and blame the Gear on this one. :P

        • MasterMuffin

          :D seems legit!

    • Hadrian Hoar

      I do get the feeling it’s rather like the first reviews of the note 1 smartphone (they where mainly negative) it’s out of there comfort zone there is no Steve Jobs telling reviewers what to do and they have to have a view on something most of them do not understand and like most human behaviour it’s much safer and easier to be negative

      • Tanner Hoyt

        Or it could just be that it sucks. You know, since it lags a lot, only works with the Note 3 at the moment, has disappointing battery life, etc…

        They’re not playing it safe, they’re being real. The Gear just isn’t that impressive. It’s overall an slow, ugly, expensive device that doesn’t really do anything that makes you go “Wow! that’s cool.”

        • Hadrian Hoar

          Most reviews don’t say it’s ugly.But why are you commenting are your worried Apple is falling way behind

          • Tanner Hoyt

            Yeah, because I accuse Samsung of rushing a product to say they were first before Apple means I’m an Apple fanboy. Makes sense.

            • Bryan Z

              Lol people need to understand that because you hate samsung does not mean you are an apple fan boy, I hate samsung because it damages android’s real value as an OS that’s why I own a nexus 4 period.

            • Jaun Lombard

              So you hate everybody except Google?

    • Elvis

      It’s A shame Samsung dropped the ball on this but now and then everyone makes a balls up theirs was rushing it out to beat apple

    • Maher Salti

      from when I saw it and read about it I always thought it was a pre beta device. Things like this will only hurt Samsung’s name right?

      • Hadrian Hoar

        Wrong

      • Kade

        Given smart watches are a new market, I’d imagine the blow to their name, if any, is negligible

    • Q.

      The problem is though it’s completely pointless. I can’t imagine anyway a Smartwatch can become useful.

      • Hadrian Hoar

        No I think you need intelligence for that

        • Q.

          Enlighten me how a smartwatch could become more useful?

          • Hadrian Hoar

            Tell the time.read text messages.set alarms.snap shots (camera) bill boards take out menus. Pedometer distance walked.controlmusic from smart watch.make hands free phone calls bike riding etc. Voice memos when in a hurry . finding out about a wine from snapping the label.snap a picture of an accident before things are moved.snap a picture of some one stealing your car etc. Directions turn left right.stop watch . calculator.
            Control smart tv. Email support and notification. Day and date.hands free shopping list . dictate a phone number to voice memo.video someone’s directions when lost.golf distances when playing.I think that might do for now.

            • Q.

              The thing is people have got a phone in their pocket that can do that.

            • Hadrian Hoar

              In there pocket yes that’s the point.phew

            • Q.

              But you haven’t explained how a smartwatch is useful :S

    • Pradaman Shorey

      Omate is much much better.. I am waiting for it.. Best of the lot…
      There has been a lot of build up around Omate, I hope it is up to the mark… for their own good and for backers like me ;-)

    • Clarkkent113

      The only thing most people need to know is this:

      $299

      That’s why Samsung won’t sell any of these.

    • FREEstuff

      free with the purchase of a note 3 or keep it sammy

    • follow @muvee360

      Samsung should do a variant of the galaxy Gear that has a GSM radio with 2-3 days of battery life, can connect to a Smartphone like this one, i could do without most of the features of this one but the GSM radio would be a plus

    • sausalito

      Probably the final disappearing of smartwatches. Good thing.

    • abazigal

      I still think a smartwatch should be a device which tethers itself to your smartphone (like pebble), rather than a full-blown computer (like galaxy gear). The latter boasts some impressive specs (on paper), but as Apple has shown, specs alone don’t always tell the whole story. You end up compromising in all the wrong areas (10 hours of battery life in a watch?!?), and in the end, if the user experience sucks, people won’t use it. It’s that simple.

      • Hadrian Hoar

        Buy an Apple smart watch then oh whoops they don’t make one (and if they are going to its possible they will need samsung’s help to manufacture It like With the 64 Bit Chip In The IPhone 5s)

        • abazigal

          What’s your point?

          If and when Apple does release a smartwatch in the future, and if it does meet my needs better, I would get one.

          What does it matter that some of the parts might come from Samsung so long as the product meets my needs?

          • Hadrian Hoar

            I suppose it just upsets me when you don’t know the facts about the gear (and some of what you have said about it is inaccurate) and then you start praising Apple that’s not fair to the people who have put in a lot of work to bring the gear smart watch to the consumer

            • Sean Karpa

              The electronic market is an unfair, unforgiving market. It is not about your effort to produce a product but the results it produces. The gear, though interesting and a brave step, missed the mark.

    • Jaun Lombard

      It is not a bad device…The grey or gold one with the black band actually looks very premium (It is the best looking smartwatch on the market today).

      The lag…which I saw in videos is not that laggy, but my only problem is the price and battery. If it was priced $150.00 and battery averaged 3 days with moderate usage I would have bought it! In South Africa it is about $430.00!

    • Cotomeo

      This smartwatch stuff needs to be developed some more.
      The next gen should be more surprising, otherwise it’s gonna be a fail.

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    • NickSDC

      Why does everyone care so much to deem this thing useless. Yeah it’s overpriced. So is your bottled water. Who cares? I bought one. Sure, the real world uses can be counted on one hand. Barely. But it does have real world uses. Guess what happens when your phone is out of range?Gear vibrates. It’s like saying hey genius, you left your phone in the office. And if I check my phone for emails/messages 20% less since it’ll be on my wrist, that’s a 1/5th less likely I’ll be to fumble my huge phone. Either you see the value, or you don’t. But don’t be such a hater about it.

    • jamie

      The company that can make the smartwatch happen is google.If they release a build of android specially designed for smartwatches, compatible with all android devices, offering a smooth, intuitive experience with a google managed app store, the smartwatch could take off

    • Devin Magruder

      What were they thinking? How the heck are you supposed to talk on that? I’ll look like a doof wearing that thing. Honestly, it’s bad enough we have cell phones with far too many necessary features, but this is NOT a step forward.

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