Samsung's Galaxy Gear smartwatch could bring further separation from Google

Alleged specs for the reported Galaxy Gear smartwatch have leaked, but the most intriguing component is its app store

As the likely launch date for Samsung's smartwatch draws closer, details on the wearable gadget are coming into focus.

GigaOm is now reporting hardware specs and software details for the smartwatch, citing "sources who are familiar with Samsung's plans." This follows a report by Bloomberg that said the so-called Galaxy Gear smartwatch will debut on September 4.

The specs, if accurate, seem more powerful than other smartwatches, with a dual-core processor, a built-in camera, NFC capabilities and small speakers on the clasp of the watch. A built-in accelerometer may allow users to turn on the screen by moving their wrists toward their eyes.

The OLED touch screen will reportedly be square-shaped and measure roughly 2.5 inches diagonally, and the entire frame will measure 3 inches diagonally. If true, this would make Samsung's smartwatch larger than the Pebble. Despite the more powerful specs and large color display, GigaOm says battery life should be "pretty decent."

Other smartphones need not apply

The most interesting tidbit, perhaps, is the claim that Samsung will use its own app store to take advantage of the watch hardware. "That likely means if you want a Samsung Galaxy Gear smartwatch, you'll need a Samsung Galaxy phone or tablet," Om Malik writes.

Samsung has dabbled in its own Galaxy-specific services before. With Samsung Wallet, for example, the company basically cloned Apple's Passbook service instead of relying on Google Wallet. The company's S Voice assistant competes with Google's own voice search for users' attention on Galaxy phones.

But until now, Samsung's phones and tablets have worked in peace and harmony with other Android devices. Although Samsung has its own app store already, it's not very popular compared to Google Play. The unified ecosystem for Android apps allows users to easily move between phones and tablets regardless of brand.

If Samsung does require the use of its own app store for the Galaxy Gear, it'll be the company's biggest attempt yet to take control of Android. And that's something only Samsung can pull off, as the largest Android device maker by far. Perhaps not-so-coincidentally, Samsung is holding its own developer conference in October.

Note: Main image is an  unofficial concept design by Johan Loekito from 2009

Join the newsletter!

Or

Sign up to gain exclusive access to email subscriptions, event invitations, competitions, giveaways, and much more.

Membership is free, and your security and privacy remain protected. View our privacy policy before signing up.

Error: Please check your email address.

Tags smartphonesAndroidsamsungconsumer electronicsgadgetssmartwatch

Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Jared Newman

TechHive (US)
Show Comments

Cool Tech

Bang and Olufsen Beosound Stage - Dolby Atmos Soundbar

Learn more >

Toys for Boys

Sony WF-1000XM3 Wireless Noise Cancelling Headphones

Learn more >

ASUS ROG, ACRONYM partner for Special Edition Zephyrus G14

Learn more >

Nakamichi Delta 100 3-Way Hi Fi Speaker System

Learn more >

Family Friendly

Mario Kart Live: Home Circuit for Nintendo Switch

Learn more >

Philips Sonicare Diamond Clean 9000 Toothbrush

Learn more >

Stocking Stuffer

SunnyBunny Snowflakes 20 LED Solar Powered Fairy String

Learn more >

Teac 7 inch Swivel Screen Portable DVD Player

Learn more >

Christmas Gift Guide

Click for more ›

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Tom Pope

Dynabook Portégé X30L-G

Ultimately this laptop has achieved everything I would hope for in a laptop for work, while fitting that into a form factor and weight that is remarkable.

Tom Sellers

MSI P65

This smart laptop was enjoyable to use and great to work on – creating content was super simple.

Lolita Wang

MSI GT76

It really doesn’t get more “gaming laptop” than this.

Jack Jeffries

MSI GS75

As the Maserati or BMW of laptops, it would fit perfectly in the hands of a professional needing firepower under the hood, sophistication and class on the surface, and gaming prowess (sports mode if you will) in between.

Taylor Carr

MSI PS63

The MSI PS63 is an amazing laptop and I would definitely consider buying one in the future.

Christopher Low

Brother RJ-4230B

This small mobile printer is exactly what I need for invoicing and other jobs such as sending fellow tradesman details or step-by-step instructions that I can easily print off from my phone or the Web.

Featured Content

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?