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8/16/2013
09:35 AM
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Samsung Preps Galaxy Smartwatch

Samsung will reveal Galaxy Gear smartwatch alongside Galaxy Note III smartphone next month.

Samsung Unleashes New Mobile Devices: Visual Tour
Samsung Unleashes New Mobile Devices: Visual Tour
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Samsung's new smartwatch may debut as soon as next month. Samsung will show off the Galaxy Gear at the IFA trade show in Berlin. The company has a press conference scheduled for September 4.

More than just a notification tool, the Galaxy Gear will be able to make phone calls and browse the Web. The Galaxy Gear will run a version of Google's Android operating system, according to anonymous sources cited by Bloomberg. Other specs and features (screen size, battery life, connectivity, etc.) of the Galaxy Gear smartwatch have yet to be revealed.

Bloomberg reports that the Galaxy Gear should reach the market shortly after it is announced, which means it will likely beat Apple to the smartwatch punch.

Reports of a Samsung-made smartwatch first surfaced earlier this year. Apple, Samsung's chief competitor, is also working on a smartwatch of sorts, but the timing for Apple's smartwatch is unclear. At one point, many believed it would debut alongside the new iPhones and iPads expected in the months ahead. Recent reports, however, suggest that it may not arrive until next year.

Apple is said to have about 100 engineers working on the project. It would be a major win for Samsung to get its smartwatch into the market ahead of Apple.

[ Will new technology render batteries obsolete? Read Battery-Free Devices Draw Power From Thin Air. ]

The market for wearables, while still niche, is expanding. Other companies have had mixed success with smartwatches this year. The Pebble smartwatch reached the market in January and Sony's second-generation SmartWatch also became available recently. Motorola no longer offers the MOTOACTV smartwatch.

Most of these devices are limited in scope. They can be used to receive notifications for incoming text messages and emails, to answer phone calls, and as exercise and/or navigation companions. The Sony SmartWatch, however, needs to be linked to a companion smartphone to perform most of its functions. It's not yet known just how independent Samsung's smartwatch will be, but adding features that don't require a smartphone to be nearby would help boost the appeal of such a device.

Samsung is also expected to debut the Galaxy Note III during its IFA press conference. The Note III is an even bigger version of Samsung's genre-defining phablet. It will have a 5.7-inch full HD screen with an Exynos 5 Octa eight-core processor. The camera will be bumped up to 13 megapixels, and it will come with the latest S Pen software from Samsung.

Both the Note III and Galaxy Gear should be available by the end of October.

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Cara Latham
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Cara Latham,
User Rank: Apprentice
8/19/2013 | 6:27:29 PM
re: Samsung Preps Galaxy Smartwatch
I agree with both of you! The ONLY use I can personally see myself having for a smartwatch is when I go for a run in the park. I hate taking my smartphone because it is too heavy and bulky. If they add music playing capabilities, then I think there would at least be some value for me, and I wouldn't have to worry about missing a call when I am out in the park. That said, that feature still wouldn't compel me to drop money on it.
JameKatt
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JameKatt,
User Rank: Apprentice
8/19/2013 | 4:23:56 AM
re: Samsung Preps Galaxy Smartwatch
Browsing the web on a tiny screen. That is Samsung's complete lack of ideas while it waits for something to copy from Apple.

Why doesn't Samsung simply copy Nike's Fuelband, for example?

Give a reason for such a watch's existence. Otherwise it is laughable.

Samsung is forever the copyist.
JameKatt
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JameKatt,
User Rank: Apprentice
8/19/2013 | 4:21:45 AM
re: Samsung Preps Galaxy Smartwatch
The Samsung "Smartwatch" is NOT a win for Samsung if hardly anyone buys it. It's known functions are laughable.

It looks like Samsung is flailing in the wind while waiting for something from Apple to copy.

It even is trying to bring back the flip-phone of all things.

These days, hardly anyone needs a watch because they can use their smartphone for time-keeping.

These days, watches are pieces of jewelry - often the only jewelry men will wear. Thus, a watch better be good and have a wow factor reason to wear.

This Samsung "Smartwatch" is ho hum boring. It will probably either be huge or will have a very short battery life.
Michael Endler
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Michael Endler,
User Rank: Author
8/18/2013 | 3:37:13 AM
re: Samsung Preps Galaxy Smartwatch
It will browse the Web, huh? The interface better be very clever for that to be worthwhile.
Laurianne
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Laurianne,
User Rank: Author
8/16/2013 | 7:33:08 PM
re: Samsung Preps Galaxy Smartwatch
I agree with Tom. No one has explained to me why a smartwatch is better than my iPhone, which even has a waterproof case. I can see a watch getting splashed on, rained on etc. Also will it look as ahem, glamorous as the early Blackberry-on-a-belt look?
OtherJimDonahue
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OtherJimDonahue,
User Rank: Apprentice
8/16/2013 | 6:58:14 PM
re: Samsung Preps Galaxy Smartwatch
Somewhere, Dick Tracy is saying, "So?"
Thomas Claburn
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Thomas Claburn,
User Rank: Author
8/16/2013 | 5:16:34 PM
re: Samsung Preps Galaxy Smartwatch
I remain baffled by the value proposition of smart watches for people who already have smartphones.
chorlacher175
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chorlacher175,
User Rank: Apprentice
8/16/2013 | 4:59:47 PM
re: Samsung Preps Galaxy Smartwatch
The "Octa"-core naming is misleading. It functions as two, four-core processors that cannot be used at the same time. One is low power and one is high power. It's effectively a four-core processor. The "eight-core" design is merely how they implemented power management for their four-core processor.
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