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Samsung's Galaxy Gear smartwatch now compatible with the Galaxy S4, S3 and Note 2 smartphones

To be extended to older Galaxy devices by the end of October
Wed Oct 23 2013, 11:01

NOT SO SMARTWATCH the Galaxy Gear is now compatible with more Samsung devices, including the firm's flagship Galaxy S4 smartphone, through the Android 4.3 Jelly Bean update.

Samsung Galaxy Gear smartwatch with Android 4.3 Jelly Bean

Up until now the Galaxy Gear would only work with Samsung's latest phablet, the Galaxy Note 3, which was launched at the same time, so the update is bound to be a welcome one for those with less recent Samsung mobile devices - namely the Galaxy S3, Galaxy S4 and Galaxy Note 2 - and who want to bring their phone notifications from their pocket to their wrist.

Samsung said it will also extend the Galaxy Gear's compatibility to other Galaxy devices, including the Galaxy S4 Mini, Galaxy S4 Active, Mega 5.8, Mega 6.3, and Galaxy S4 Zoom through a separate software update beginning globally at the end of October. This will be enabled through Samsung's Touchwiz user interface (UI) as opposed to an upgrade to the Android mobile operating system.

Samsung Galaxy Gear

The Galaxy Gear Smartwatch was unveiled last month at IFA in Berlin as a "companion device that makes mobile communication easier and more enjoyable".

Powered by an 800MHz processor with 512MB of RAM, the Galaxy Gear works alongside your smartphone via Bluetooth connectivity. It brings up notifications for things such as emails and text messages, which will pop up on the watch, saving users from having to dig their phones out of their pockets or bags.

However, in our review of the Galaxy Gear we found that despite having a premium design, the functions and settings it brings to users, especially the lack of social network integration, don't really justify its hefty price of £299.

Samsung Galaxy Gear call log

There's also the problem of battery life. The Galaxy Gear's 24-hour battery life means it has to be charged every night, which for something as simple as a watch didn't appeal to us. That makes it just another device with a battery that we have to keep an eye on. There's also the problem that your attached smartphone needs to be charged and with you at all times for the watch to work properly. All this might be too much to worry about for some people.

Still, for those with deep pockets who might splash out for it, the Galaxy Gear smartwatch does offer some unique features such as a 1.9MP integrated camera and voice controlled commands, just don't expect it to revolutionise your life. µ


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