Samsung’s Galaxy Gear Smartwatch: BYOD Play?Samsung’s Galaxy Gear Smartwatch: BYOD Play?
Samsung showed off its long-awaited Galaxy Gear smartwatch on the first day of Berlin’s IFA event, and, yes it takes pictures, keeps track of workouts, serves as a control center for your phone and runs some nifty apps, but, for enterprises, what’s the BYOD play for the new hands-free, wearable, kind-of computer?
September 9, 2013
Samsung showed off its long-awaited Galaxy Gear smartwatch on the first day of Berlin’s IFA event, and, yes, it takes pictures, keeps track of workouts, serves as a control center for your phone and runs some nifty apps, but for enterprises, what’s the BYOD play?
Inasmuch as Gear serves as a control console of sorts for Samsung devices, which themselves are equipped to access corporate data and apps, how will enterprises deal with the new wrist device? Obviously, it’s too soon to tell—and the number of Gear smartwatches Samsung sells may not be enough to warrant a separate BYOD policy to account for them, but, nonetheless, should the category take off, business organizations will need to figure this out.
Now, as for the Samsung Galaxy Gear itself … is it a match for Dick Tracy's 2-Way Wrist Radio/TV—because that's the highwater mark for this new mobile device category. Cartoonist Chest Gould first drew Tracy’s 2-Way Wrist Radio in 1946, upgrading it to a 2-Way Wrist TV 18 years later—and, let’s not forget that Tracy used his watch to make calls.
In the 50 years since Gould drew the smartwatch, Samsung’s Gear maybe isn’t up to Tracy’s standards but the wearable device does have a host of other goodies:
1.63-inch, 320×320 resolution AMOLED display
512MB of RAM
4GB internal memory
800 MHz single core Exynos CPU
Weighs 73.8 grams
1.9 megapixel built-in camera (includes video)
25+ hours of battery life
Microphone and speakers
70 preloaded apps
Notifications on texts, calendar, incoming calls, apps
Works with Samsung Note 3 and Note 10.1
Comes in six colors: lime green, oatmeal beige, wild orange, mocha gray, jet black and rose gold.
U.S. Release date: October 2013
While Samsung undeniably beat Apple (APPL) to market with the Galaxy Gear, on its own the device isn’t a phone—it uses a Bluetooth connection to Samsung’s Note 3 and Note 10.1 for calls, so it's not exactly Tracy-like just yet. Still, people who are tired of looking all over the place for their Samsung phone, tablet or phablet might love the Gear, but those who can locate their phone a little more easily might consider it an unnecessary, and pricey, accessory.
Reviewers have complained about the speakers (they’re too quiet), the interface (swipe gestures are hard to figure out) and the fact that it doesn’t actually play music—it just gives you wrist control over tunes stored on your smartphone or tablet.
Most who have played around with Gear are saying it’s a pretty good start, setting the stage for Apple and others to bring something better to the table whenever that happens. But at this point, Dick Tracy’s 2-way watch is still the target for someone to step up and make real. Afterall, the design specs have been out there long enough.
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