Samsung's Galaxy Gear smartwatch won't work with existing Galaxy phones until 'lead up to Christmas'

Samsung Galaxy Gear to retail for $369, available to purchase from Thursday, 3 October

Samsung has confirmed today that its new Galaxy Gear smartwatch will cost $369 when it launches in Australia early next month, but an update to allow the device to work with Samsung's existing Galaxy smartphones won't be available until closer to Christmas.

The Samsung Galaxy Gear smartwatch will retail for $369 in Australia.
The Samsung Galaxy Gear smartwatch will retail for $369 in Australia.

The company officially unveiled the smartwatch, along with the Galaxy Note 3 smartphone today at a media event in Sydney.

The Galaxy Gear will have an official retail price of $369, and will be available to purchase from Thursday, 3 October.

The smartwatch will initially only work with the Galaxy Note 3 smartphone, which also launches in October, and the Galaxy Note 10.1 2014 Edition tablet, which will be available in Australia from November.

Samsung Australia's vice president of telecommunications, Tyler McGee, says a software update will allow the Galaxy Gear to eventually work with the Galaxy Note II, Galaxy S III, and Galaxy S4 smartphones, but confirmed the update won't be available until "the lead up to Christmas".

"At launch this will be available with the Galaxy Note 3 and we'll be expanding to other device in the Galaxy range including the Galaxy Note II, Galaxy S III and Galaxy S4."

"The Galaxy Gear companion software update for this device will be available in Australia in the lead-up to Christmas."

McGee described the Galaxy Gear as a "companion device" and said Samsung has targeted a fairly wide market with its first smartwatch.

"The Galaxy Gear is an exciting companion device that gives consumers new ways to experience our products.

Our goal with the Galaxy Gear is to be embraced by a wide range of consumers, from a tech fan to fashionistas, business people, athletes, music players, both young and old."

The Galaxy Gear allows users to make and answer calls using an on-screen dialler and wrist strap speaker, will display notifications from a connected, compatible smartphone, and will allow users to read and send text messages.

However, while the watch will display email notifications, it doesn't allow users to read or respond to emails.

Other features of the smartwatch include an S Voice function that allows you to use voice commands to access certain features, the ability to cycle through upcoming calendar appointments and display multiple clock faces.

A Find My Device feature will also make your smartphone ring, illuminate and vibrant if you misplace or lose it.

Samsung's Galaxy Gear smartwatch was officially unveiled at a media event in Sydney today.
Samsung's Galaxy Gear smartwatch was officially unveiled at a media event in Sydney today.

The Samsung Galaxy Gear has a 1.63in super AMOLED touchscreen and is constructed from stainless steel. Samsung officially quotes a battery life of 24 hours for "regular use".

The Gear comes with a 1.9-megapixel camera built into its wrist strap for still capturing photos and video, has a speaker in the wrist clasp, and uses a single-button on the right side that will open the home screen.

The Galaxy Gear smartwatch will be available for pre-sale purchase today at the Samsung's Experience retail stores in Sydney and Melbourne, and will also be sold through "selected" Samsung retailers from October.

Are you interested in the Samsung Galaxy Gear smartwatch? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below!

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Ross Catanzariti

Ross Catanzariti

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