Steve Wozniak: Samsung Galaxy Gear smartwatch is "so worthless"

While many manufacturers are readying their smartwatches, Samsung has already released several wearable devices, including the Galaxy Gear, which it launched in September 2013. The device was widely criticized for its $300 price tag, lackluster design, poor software and limited functionality.

After two months, it was estimated that the company had sold fewer than 50,000 of them, with around 30% of those sold being returned by buyers; Samsung later refuted these claims, insisting that the Galaxy Gear had been a huge success. 

One buyer who couldn't get rid of his Galaxy Gear fast enough is Steve Wozniak, outspoken co-founder of Apple, and all-round enthusiast of all things technological. Wozniak rarely equivocates in his comments on the tech industry and its products - in the past, he has called Apple "arrogant", spoken in support of Kim Dotcom and MegaUpload, called Windows Phone "intuitive and beautiful", and said that Microsoft may be more innovative than Apple

Wozniak told Xconomy.com that he is a fan of the general smartwatch idea, but the execution still needs work. "I want my smartphone here [on my wrist], but I really want the whole thing," he said. "I don't just want a little Bluetooth connection to the smartphone in my pocket, because then it's just an intermediary, an extra thing I buy to get what I already have, and have to carry anyway."

As a serial early adopter of technologies, Wozniak has already tried numerous smartwatches, but there is one that holds a special place of loathing in his heart - Samsung's Galaxy Gear. "That was the only technology I bought to experiment with that I threw out after half a day, sold it on eBay because it was so worthless and did so little that was convenient," he said.

Woz says that he likes Google Glass, but adds that "it may not be that useful, just like smartwatches may not be useful enough to get the critical mass they need to really go ahead." 

He adds that it may come down to one company - maybe Apple, maybe someone else - to do something truly revolutionary in this space, before the smartwatch market really takes off. "If thirty companies are doing the same thing, you know it's wrong," he explained. "When one company does one thing very strikingly different, and everybody says this company got it right, this is the way of the future. In the past, it's been Apple a number of times - not always. So I'm really hoping that Apple's the big breakthrough." 

Apple is widely expected to launch its first 'iWatch' later this year - could it be the device that finally cracks the key to success for smartwatches? Time will tell. 

Source: Xconomy.com via CNET | upper image via Samsung, lower image via Google

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Yeah I don't get the whole smart watch idea either. I like to wear a watch but I like a nice classic design that looks good on my hand (more like jewelry really but I do like to quickly glance at it instead of looking for my phone for instance). I can't see myself ever wearing some oversized, plastic and just ugly looking thing.

Even the recent release LG and Samsung watches are crap based on L. Theses are not the wearable devices that anybody wants. Google. Motorola, LG and Samsung go back to drawing board.

I cant see the point of them. Not when you have to Carry a pairable device for it to do Anything that a watch can't. As for the price, I'd rather spend more money on a good wrist watch that won't be worth next to nothing within 18 months.

Smartwatches? Yes, tell me more about a device that can't be used with two hands. And abandons the mobile gaming market that played such a huge role in our addiction to smartphones.

Wearables are interesting but the obsession with watches betrays how completely devoid of originality and imagination so many people are.

Smartwatches have their place. Something thats around $100 and waterproof, non-touchscreen, easy to read in the sunshine, long lasting (~week) rechargeable battery, interchangeable watch straps.. All points of which the samsung gear completely misses. But hey, theres a terrible camera, inaccurate pedometer, a mic that always gets what you say wrong, and a good chance it'll short circuit on you wrist while out for a run in the summer heat, and a guarantee its useless if you don't have your smartphone handy. Think the professional term for these is gimmick.

It think it's going to be really simple. When Apple comes up with iWatch, every Apple worshiper will rush in to get it - they always do no matter what the product is - and that will build critical mass for people to accept smartwatches as mainstream.

Smart watch's act as a bridge between cell phone and you.
In the future, the smart phone may move to a wrist device.
Technology, may not be be quite there yet to take off in the ways we want to use them.

Jason Stillion said,
Smart watch's act as a bridge between cell phone and you.
In the future, the smart phone may move to a wrist device.
Technology, may not be be quite there yet to take off in the ways we want to use them.

If their programmer does a good job making it useful, the designer makes it look pretty, and the lawyer can uphold the monopoly - sure. I've talked to quite a few apple fanboys who are just not interested in wearing something on their wrist now that they adjusted to having a cell phone rammed up their ass all the time.

The Moto360 is a nice watch no doubt, but I'm sure many more people would consider buying it if it had a metal or leather strap option instead of just the current plastic or rubber band.

Watches with silicone or plastic straps are extremely juvenile looking! I personally wouldn't be caught dead with a silicone strap watch! It has to be metal or leather.

I'm completely the opposite and won't jump aboard if its metal/leather. Leather makes me sweat and break out, and I'm allergic to metal - unless its 18K gold or higher - touching my skin. Hell I even had to send back my fitbit force due to only being able to wear it about 4 hr a week.

Generally speaking those without allergies are in total agreement with your statement. Pebble even released a 'steel' version of their smartwatch due to the cries for a 'higher grade' model. I just really hope they make them out of both.

bigmehdi said,
The full smartphone on the wrist, that would be awesome.

No thanks, I want bigger screens (6" 4k), better battery (2 day charge), bigger SSDs (128 Gb) + SD, more Ram (8 Gb), better CPU & GPU, etc. Not the other way around with limited specs and battery, on a tiny limited screen!

VHMP01 said,

No thanks, I want bigger screens (6" 4k), better battery (2 day charge), bigger SSDs (128 Gb) + SD, more Ram (8 Gb), better CPU & GPU, etc. Not the other way around with limited specs and battery, on a tiny limited screen!

Actually I don't care of most smartphone feature. I'd want a watch and phone available on the wrist. With good autonomy. I can live without the silly apps.

bigmehdi said,

Actually I don't care of most smartphone feature. I'd want a watch and phone available on the wrist. With good autonomy. I can live without the silly apps.

OK, that changes all, you want a watch with a SIM card, and need it to last a week. Got it!

VHMP01 said,

No thanks, I want bigger screens (6" 4k), better battery (2 day charge), bigger SSDs (128 Gb) + SD, more Ram (8 Gb), better CPU & GPU, etc. Not the other way around with limited specs and battery, on a tiny limited screen!


6-inch 4k? You have to be joking. Even QHD is a bit much for a 6-inch screen, let alone 4k. You're using up GPU cycles and battery life on literally millions of extra pixels you can't see.

5-7 inches 1080p is great. In fact at 5 inches 1080p is a bit more than needed.

QHD maybe comes in for a nice fine 8-inch display. 4K? Minimum 10 inches. Even then... I've seen a 24-inch 4k screen and you can barely see the pixels!

i havnt worn a watch in almost 15years dont think i would, and im finding more and mroe people are not wearing watches either

Gotta love the Woz, he doesn't mince words or hold back. If a company/product earns a good tongue lashing from him, he'll let them know. *two thumbs up*

I really have to assume being Woz he had a Samsung phone to pair the particular watch he is talking about with. Because if he did not, it is absolutely and truly completely and utterly 110% useless.
So I mean he HAD to also have a Samsung phone right???? Surely Woz did not purchase a smartwatch that only works with a specific brand of phones without having that brand of phones.
And they have learned from this mistake, as the next Samsung watch is an AndroidWear watch, which supports all Android phones.

There you go! I think this is just PR BS! How was the Galaxy Gear not paired with a Galaxy S5? At more or less $300 + $200 Price Tag, the Gear is a pricy complement to all what the S5 does. By itself Woz is being Mr. Obvious here saying its worthless! Again this is just CrAppletons PR BS!

Wozniak is spot on. I will never have any need to carry an extra gadget. Even the thought of carrying 2 phones makes me nauseous. I am trying to rid myself of gadgets which I don't need and it's worked wonders.

"Article"
Wozniak told Xconomy.com that he is a fan of the general smartwatch idea, but the execution still needs work. "I want my smartphone here [on my wrist], but I really want the whole thing," he said. "I don't just want a little Bluetooth connection to the smartphone in my pocket, because then it's just an intermediary, an extra thing I buy to get what I already have, and have to carry anyway."

;)
That's what I like about Woz.

I agree with him to some extent. Smart watches need to start someplace and when the tech evolves, I am sure more features will be added to smart watches. Right now, the tech just isnt there.

The thing is, everyone has a different opinion on what a smart watch should be. Take tablets for instance, how many years did it take for them to evolve to what they are now so they would catch on. Smart watches will be the same, we are just scratching the surface on what they could be used for. I don't think right now any company has a true direction or idea yet.

I disagree. The watch has been a fashion accessory for many years. The Moto 360 hasn't forgotten this and, although its a smartwatch, they remembered from the start that at the end of the day it needs to function like a normal watch. It's also very good so has the fashion conscious.

wv@gt said,
The thing is, everyone has a different opinion on what a smart watch should be. Take tablets for instance, how many years did it take for them to evolve to what they are now so they would catch on. Smart watches will be the same, we are just scratching the surface on what they could be used for. I don't think right now any company has a true direction or idea yet.

I think the only meaningful way to implement smartwatches is Nokia's Morph concept (that is also smartphone and tablet). I haven't seen anything like it's approach except maybe in some sci-fi movies or anime.

wv@gt said,
we are just scratching the surface on what they could be used for. I don't think right now any company has a true direction or idea yet.

Yes, you bring up an interesting issue. Will wearing a smartwatch cause me to scratch my Surface Pro? Metal on metal tends to leave some type of blemish.

eh.... watches... they are so last century.. honestly, I don't see anything ever getting smart watches to catch on unless you somehow put the entire phone in there and have no need for a second device

I don't get it either. I haven't used a watch for over 10 years. I look around at my work... there's a total of 1 person who wears a watch.
A smartwatch would've been cool back when digital watches were cool... which was before 1978, I believe.

neufuse said,
eh.... watches... they are so last century.. honestly, I don't see anything ever getting smart watches to catch on unless you somehow put the entire phone in there and have no need for a second device

Completely agreed... why do I need to spend $200 or $300 dollars for a device that need my smartphone to be there? it does not make sense at all.

People spend more than that now on normal watches. Smart watches will probably not be that popular...like BT headsets...but enough people will use them to justify producing them. Especially if more watches have a good design like the Moto 360. And if people have a smart watches, chances are they will have their cell phones with them most of the time as well. I carry my cell everywhere without a smartwatch.

Bamsebjørn said,
I don't get it either. I haven't used a watch for over 10 years. I look around at my work... there's a total of 1 person who wears a watch.
A smartwatch would've been cool back when digital watches were cool... which was before 1978, I believe.

Your office is much smaller than the rest of the world dude. In my office pretty much every adult i cross is wearing a watch.

I've not seen anything good about smart watches to make me buy one, but I do enjoy wearing them so if Apple do it right it may change my mind..

I generally hate phones anyway, notifications about rubbish all day long, unable to switch off from emails.. why would i want this in my face on my wrist all day? I don't listen to music on my phone or take photos, i can't see any personal benefits. Love wearing watches though.

techbeck said,
People spend more than that now on normal watches. Smart watches will probably not be that popular...like BT headsets...but enough people will use them to justify producing them. Especially if more watches have a good design like the Moto 360. And if people have a smart watches, chances are they will have their cell phones with them most of the time as well. I carry my cell everywhere without a smartwatch.

The Moto 360 is NOT a good design. In fact it is the polar opposite of such!

Nogib said,
The Moto 360 is NOT a good design. In fact it is the polar opposite of such!

Ahh, ok. So that is why everyone is calling it the best looking smartwatch and lots of comments on how good it looks. I dont see that with Samsungs watches or LGs.

Moto 360 is the best looking/designed watch announced.

Yep, as Woz says, it's only going to take off if you can actually wear your smartphone on your wrist.

A decent wraparound screen would start to make it work.

I do love the 5.2-inch display on my current phone tho, and there's no way a screen that size will fit on my wrist...