Samsung has beaten the mythical Apple iWatch to the punch by officially revealing the long-rumoured Galaxy Gear smartwatch at IFA.
Packed with enough tech to make your everyday wristwatch hide in shame, Samsung is hoping that the Galaxy Gear will invade people's wrists worldwide from the day its released. Let's take a look at what goodies Samsung has packed into the Galaxy Gear shall we?
IT'LL DOMINATE YOUR WRIST
The Galaxy Gear is thankfully not the hulking behemoth it was made out to be in its early prototype leaks, but there's no denying that it's a hefty bit of kit to strap onto your wrist.
It'll land in an array of colours, from plain black to sporty orange, and even rose gold. You know, for the ladies.
Its metal housing proudly shows off four screws, with a 1.63in 320x320 Super AMOLED display housed in the middle. A metal buckle and rubber strap finish off the Gear's construction.
Stuff's Sophie Charara found the Gear to be lighter than it looks and thought that it was solidly put together, though she describes it as being "chunky, like a divers' tool rather than svelte dress watch".
While we knew that a flexible display definitely wasn't on the cards, we're hoping the Gear 2.0 (if there will be a second version) will arrive featuring a futuristic bendy display to cut down on some of the bulk.
Under the hood
An 800MHz processor beats within the Gear's innards, along with 512MB of RAM. From our hands-on video above however, things do seem rather laggy, so we're hoping Samsung irons out any software bugs to make things a little zippier before release day.
The Gear also has 4GB of internal memory and features a built-in pedometer for counting your steps during various fitness activities.
While there will be over 70 Gear apps at launch, you can only load ten third-party apps on the Gear at any one time, due to its internal storage limitations. Launch apps include eBay, MyFitnessPal, Path, Pocket, RunKeeper and Tripit.
Its built-in mic, combined with S Voice will let you initiate voice commands like checking the weather, creating an alarm, drafting messages or making a new calendar entry.
A non-removeable 315mAh battery promises "a day" of use. That's bad enough on its own for a watch, but if it runs out before we're in bed then we've got serious problems – we've got enough things to charge every night during our pre-bedtime ritual as it is.
Our full review will test the Galaxy Gear to its limits, so stay tuned.
More after the break...
Watch, meet phone
The Galaxy Gear will pair up to your device via the latest low-energy Bluetooth 4.0 standard, as long as the device in question is either the new Galaxy Note 3 or Galaxy Note 10.12014 edition that is.
That's right, they're the only two devices at launch that will work with the Galaxy Gear. Boo hiss.
Samsung has stated that the Galaxy S4 and S3 will both be updated to Android 4.3 in October. As Android 4.3 supports the new Bluetooth 4.0 profile, we expect to see Gear support for those handsets too.
There's no word on a Galaxy Note 2 update at the time of writing, so Galaxy Note 2 owners should be sharpening their styli and forming an angry mob right about... now.
If you're lucky enough to rock a compatible Galaxy device, you'll be able to connect to the Gear and answer and make phone calls, thanks to its built in speaker and microphone. Yes you'll look like a plonker, but it's no worse than answering a call on say, the gargantuan Sony Xperia Ultra Z.
Like most other smartwatches (including the Pebble), you can control your phone's music playback straight from the watch screen itself. If you misplace your phone you can even use the Gear to make it beep, letting you track it all the way back to your dog's bed where it'll be covered in copious amounts of canine saliva. No treats for Fido tonight.
It's got a freaking camera
Yep. Built right into the strap is a 1.9MP affair, sans flash. Obviously it won't net you any photographer of the year trophies, but if you've caught a cat doing something hilarious or need a photo pronto then it's probably the quickest, most convenient way to take a snap (or record 720p video). Until good old Google Glass invades all of our faces at least.
COMPATIBILITY, PRICING AND AVAILABILITY
The Galaxy Gear will be launched in more than 140 countries around the world from 25 September for a whopping US$300 ($384). Too much money? Stuff editor Will Findlater certainly thinks so. How about you?
Samsung Galaxy Gear
There's no denying the Galaxy Gear is a clever watch, packed to the rim with tech including a camera, mic and speakers for answering phone calls. It's too early to tell whether or not it will justify its hefty price tag in everyday use, but stay tuned for our full review, where we'll give you the full lowdown on everything you need to know about the Sammy's newest toy.