#galaxy gear

Doing Something First Versus Doing Something Right

It begins. While the world has been speculating about Apple’s iWatch project for years, we’re finally starting to get some tangible information. And if what’s being said is true — and I believe a lot of it is — we’re going to see Apple do what they do best: make the first-movers look like fools.

That’s not to say the iWatch1 will be a huge success — nothing is guaranteed, not even for Apple. And this device sounds quite a bit more ambitious than some of Apple’s previous endeavors in pure consumer electronics. But I do believe that when we do see the iWatch, all the comparable devices will seem decidedly amateur by comparison.

We see this over and over again. Apple is rarely the first-mover in a space. MP3 players, smartphones, tablets, etc. But when they do move, they do so with a product that is best situated to actually succeed in the market.

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Kevin Roose:

As Matt Buchanan notes, wristwatches have always been passive display devices — you glance at them to see what time it is, but (unless you’re setting an alarm or using a stopwatch function) you rarely have to do anything to it to make a watch work. Passivity is also how fitness bands like the Jawbone Up and the Nike Fuelband work. With certain models, you can look down to see how far along you are in your exercise goals, but to do any actual configuration or tracking, you have to connect them to a device with a larger screen.

It remains a mistake to think of these devices as watches. As I’ve said before, these things are going to be even less analogous to a wristwatch than the iPhone was to a telephone.

That said, I do agree about the importance of passivity with these devices. That’s one reason I think the Galaxy Gear is going to be DOA. They’re just thinking of it as a smartphone with a smaller screen — one which still requires being tethered to another smartphone to be useful in any way. 

Vlad Savov on the new Samsung Galaxy Gear:

There are a couple of significant downsides that temper my enthusiasm for the new Gear. First and foremost is the speed and intuitiveness of the user interface — or rather, the lack thereof. There’s a tangible lag to anything you do with the Gear, while the swipe gestures are hard to figure out and do different things depending on where you are in the menus. Additionally, the speaker built into the buckle is too quiet and makes the old sci-fi action of conducting a phone call via your watch a possibility only in quiet areas; it also doesn’t play back any music, it just controls output on your connected device. Most of all, however, I find it hard to justify spending the $299 asking price on an accessory like the Galaxy Gear. It’s too dependent on its parent device for functionality — which will cost you a fair amount too — and, like all other smartwatches, fails to truly live up to the “smart” part of its name.

Where to begin…