Samsung and Qualcomm announce Android smartwatches

While rumors and even leaked images of the Galaxy Gear smartwatch have popped up on the Internet already, today Samsung officially announced its plans to launch the Android-based wrist device. The product will go on sale Sept. 25 in most parts of the world (but not the U.S.) on the same day as the Galaxy Note 3 smartphone.

As it turns out, some of previous rumors about the Galaxy Gear, including that it is supposed to have a 3-inch screen, were false. Samsung says the smartwatch has a 1.63-inch Super AMOLED display with a resolution of 320x320. Another rumor claimed it would have a 4-megapixel camera but the real version's camera, which is placed on the strap, is only 1.9 megapixels.

Samsung claims the Galaxy Gear will have up to a day of "regular" battery use from its 800MHz processor, and it will have 4GB of storage and 512MB of RAM. It also has a speaker so that owners can handle hands-free telephone calls. There will be six colors to choose from: Jet Black, Mocha Gray, Wild Orange, Oatmeal Beige, Rose Gold, and Lime Green.

Engadget reports that more than 70 apps will be available for the Galaxy Gear, including Evernote, Path, eBay and more. It also reports that the smartwatch is only compatible, at least for now, with the Galaxy Note 10.1 tablet and the Galaxy Note 3 smartphone. It will launch in the U.S in October and cost $299.

Along with today's Galaxy Gear announcement, Qualcomm also revealed its own Android smartwatch, the Toq. Designed to be a second screen for Android 4.0.3 and above devices, the Toq is also supposed to be a showcase for Qualcomm's Mirasol display. The company said the Toq has "a revolutionary reflective, low-power display that enables an always on viewing experience."

Qualcomm will also release a version of the Toq as a "Premium Audio Edition" which will allow the owner to use truly wireless headsets with the smartwatch. The Toq will ship in limited quantities in the fourth quarter of 2013. No price tag was announced.

Source: Samsung and Qualcomm | Image via Samsung and Qualcomm

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59 Comments

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Nope sir, not for me.
I just can't see the point in the whole concept, and that's before you see how fugly all of them are.

Nothing wrong with a secondary device that makes managing your smart phone easier but not a 300 quid watch.

Battery life is a huge fail. It's bad enough that my phone only lasts a day between charges. I preferred the 5-7 days I used to get, even if I couldn't do much with my old cellphone. With a watch it's several times worse. People expect a watch battery to last months or years. If they could get it lasting a week, even then it seems a bit short... 1 day for a watch is just a joke.

I agree - they are obviously trying to fit too much too soon into this thing.

I'm in agreement with everyone else. Why do I feel the need to send email from my watch when I can do that on just about every other device...and even send instant messages from my smart phone.

I have a feeling these will become the "Betamax" of electronics in about 5 years.

I think they have over complicated it. It should have been a simple second interface for your smartphone and nothing else. When it comes to watches, battery life has to get you through the day.

The thing is with this as I said before is that Samsung hasn't put a clear intention on this. What exactly is going to prompt a user to want to have a micro smart phone on their wrist, what the point of having a camera on the wrist as well. 70 apps already, it mentions ebay for example. Like I am really going to hold my wrist up and scroll through ebay when I have my phone or tablet. Even as a companion to the smart phone it doesn't really make sense. I mean sure for fitness maybe.

The problem I see at least with Samsungs version is that it does too much. Keep it simple, sort of like the Ipod Nano wrist watch. Something basic that can be used as an offline device or a companion to the phone.

I think I'll wait for a smartring. ; ) Or maybe a smartstud for my tongue. Or maybe even a smartearring for my ear. What else is left?

wahoospa said,
I think I'll wait for a smartring. ; ) Or maybe a smartstud for my tongue. Or maybe even a smartearring for my ear. What else is left?
smart condom.

Anyone beside me think Samsung jumped the shark on this whole watch thing? I've worn a watch most of my 53 years. This, I just don't get. Especially with the just over 1 day of battery life. Yeah, although not a smart watch, my trusty casio wave-ceptor watch, gets 3-4 years on the battery, automatically adjusts the time once a day, has everything at a glance I need to see (and you don't have to turn it on). 300 bucks, just to flash a smart watch at your friends? I don't get it.

naap51stang said,
Anyone beside me think Samsung jumped the shark on this whole watch thing? I've worn a watch most of my 53 years. This, I just don't get. Especially with the just over 1 day of battery life. Yeah, although not a smart watch, my trusty casio wave-ceptor watch, gets 3-4 years on the battery, automatically adjusts the time once a day, has everything at a glance I need to see (and you don't have to turn it on). 300 bucks, just to flash a smart watch at your friends? I don't get it.

I don't think you're the target demographic. I'm sure there's a lot of things you don't get that became popular.

I like it and I sort of want one, too bad it won't work with my iPhone. I don't like the screws on the face but I suppose they might be removed in a later version. I think this is a good go at first release.

I don't get the point of these. Is it THAT hard to take your phone out of your pocket? Are people really that lazy!?!?

What if you're walking around in a shady neighbourhood?

Although yes, I do understand that looking at an expensive smartwatch could also get you mugged too.

Enron said,
If you're walking around in a shady neighborhood, you don't need a watch to know it's "time" to get out of there!

Also, Microsoft patented an avoid ghettos GPS/pedestrian warning technology. If I was going to get any smartwatch, I'd want one with this feature.

http://seattle.cbslocal.com/20...to-feature-for-gps-devices/


What if your destination was the ghetto? I pretty much shouldn't steal one of these things then?

If it was a Microsoft product with that gawd-aweful metro on it I bet most commenters would call it innovative, revolutionary, the future of watches...

\s

Order_66 said,
If it was a Microsoft product with that gawd-aweful metro on it I bet most commenters would call it innovative, revolutionary, the future of watches...

\s

Can you imagine Microsoft making one of these? Just picture a thick a s s device like the Lumia on your wrist.

Order_66 said,
If it was a Microsoft product with that gawd-aweful metro on it I bet most commenters would call it innovative, revolutionary, the future of watches...

\s

MS already had Smart watches before anybody else knew what it was..duh!!

Will i be able to control my TV with it?
The last watch i owned could.

I see no benefit to this. Recent years. Screen have been getting bigger. Other than to compliment your smart phone (answer calls, play music, etc). I don't see no reason to it.

I'm generally anti-wearable computing, but I wouldn't mind a watch that gives me a weather forecast! That's about as much as I'd use it for probably.
Not convinced.

DaveBG said,
lets wait for theirs and see, i bet it wont have half of the features this has

You're right. It won't be huge and it won't be laggy. I'm sure the world will be devastated.

I'm not really sure the purpose of these. I mean, sure to tell time, but any watch can do that. I mean, if you need to be checking your phone every 5 minutes or have your phone in a back pack or purse then maybe it useful. I can see for fitness purposes like running or biking these doing well, but then again Nike has been doing this for ages now.

Now along side with the Apple comments above, I think many of us said the same thing about tablets that came out before the iPad and even when the iPad launched. What Apple did though is a good marketing ploy, they made consumers think they need the device and showed the eco system as well as uses. I'm sure Apple will wait and see how the reception is on these before launching theirs.

wingliston said,
This is a step back. iPod Nano Touch with wristband. Nothing new.

Umm, I didn't know you can make video calls and receive text messages on that dumb watch?

Qualcomm's not as ugly as Samsung's. Now, knowing Apple, and if they ever decide to launch an iWatch, they will smash, destroy and absolutely erase and vanish all other smart watches out there (designwise, at least).

I'll always prefer a conventional time piece than any of these.

300 for a watch which you cant use unless you have a galaxy product thats like 600 total depending on the device you go with

Shahrad said,
I dont understand the purpose of this device.

What are some of the good perks of it?

I like the idea of it, but I'm struggling to come up with a decent answer to your question

Shahrad said,
I dont understand the purpose of this device.

What are some of the good perks of it?

Be like Michael Knight

Talk to someone on your watch like Michael Knight..

"Bring the car out to the front" before you walk out of the Bar.. lol people give you their weird look on their face. lol

Shahrad said,
I dont understand the purpose of this device.

What are some of the good perks of it?

There are none, it's Samsung trying to enter a market (watches) and hoping for success with something most people don't need, probably don't want. Well, it's about time Samsung had it's own huge product flop, looking like this will be it.

Shahrad said,
I dont understand the purpose of this device.

What are some of the good perks of it?

I can answer that question for you for such a device. But Google hasn't released it yet.

When Google comes out with their own watch the consensus is that it will have a slimmed down version of Android that is very Google Now centric.

That to me will be a convincing point however, I stopped wearing watches a long time ago.

Shahrad said,
I dont understand the purpose of this device.

What are some of the good perks of it?

The purpose? Smartphones are ubiquitous now and are reaching market saturation, so companies like Samsung and Apple need a new gadget to sell everyone in order to maintain growth.

Lord Method Man said,

The purpose? Smartphones are ubiquitous now and are reaching market saturation, so companies like Samsung and Apple need a new gadget to sell everyone in order to maintain growth.

That is a purpose for the companies to sell such a device and not a purpose of the device. Doesn't answer the question.

Given that i do not use watch currently and all the things i can do with this i will be getting one once the update for my Note 2 comes out of course.

The report from the hands-on review says it's nice and laggy. Surprise surprise, the Samsung way. And for $300? What joke. This just gives Apple the excuse to ask a stupidly high price for theirs.

Samsung currently has nothing to copy from. Honestly, what are the innovations that Samsung released lately? The only "innovation" was going from the S1/S2 iPhone lookalike to the S3/S4. The Note is just an oversized S3.

Why aren't anyone saying anything. Why are they saying that Apple is not innovating? Clearly, neither made any signicant innovation lately. Tweaks, improvements, yes. Then why is Apple being the only one being hammered on?

I'm not defending any company here, but, when we look at the big picture, nothing much as changed.

With the release of this half baked watch, it is obvious that the mere idea of Apple possibly working on an iWatch is enough to push companies like Samsung to make a product to compete with something that as far as we know doesn't even exist.

Also, should Apple release an iWatch, I would bet that the watch would look much better than this. Samsung can definitely work on this some more.

Samsung currently has nothing to copy from. Honestly, what are the innovations that Samsung released lately? The only "innovation" was going from the S1/S2 iPhone lookalike to the S3/S4. The Note is just an oversized S3.

Why aren't anyone saying anything. Why are they saying that Apple is not innovating? Clearly, neither made any signicant innovation lately. Tweaks, improvements, yes. Then why is Apple being the only one being hammered on?

I'm not defending any company here, but, when we look at the big picture, nothing much as changed.

With the release of this half baked watch, it is obvious that the mere idea of Apple possibly working on an iWatch is enough to push companies like Samsung to make a product to compete with something that as far as we know doesn't even exist.

Also, should Apple release an iWatch, I would bet that the watch would look much better than this. Samsung can definitely work on this some more. They should take advantage of their head start.

I don't wear watches, but I suppose that there possibly is a market for this.