Hands on with Samsung's Galaxy Gear smartwatch

A quick play with Samsung's Galaxy Gear shows a fairly responsive device

By , IDG News Service |  Mobile & Wireless, Samsung, smartwatch

Samsung Galaxy Gear

Samsung's Galaxy Gear smartwatch

Image credit: IDG News Service/Martyn Williams

Samsung's Galaxy Gear is here, launched on Wednesday at Germany's IFA electronics show.

I got a chance to try it out for 10 minutes. Here are my initial reactions.

The device -- a Samsung representative said they're not calling it a smartwatch, just the Galaxy Gear -- is a little bigger than those calculator watches that were popular in the eighties but its 1.6-inch OLED screen and bright color make it a lot prettier.

There's a fairly rigid plastic strap that clamps around the wrist. The watch with its strap wasn't heavy enough to weigh down my wrist, and didn't feel excessively heavy, but I did know it was there.

With the exception of a single button on the right side of the watch, all interaction is done via the touch screen.

A swipe down the screen launches the camera app. The camera is embedded in the wrist strap on the side that faces away from the body. Snapping a picture is as simple as aiming and tapping the screen, although there was a lag of about half a second between the tap and the picture being taken.

It didn't appear to have a particularly fast shutter and the resolution is fairly low at 1.9 megapixels, so it's probably fine for quick, simple shots but you'll want to rely on your smartphone for anything better.

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