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No Love From Ars For Samsung's New Smart Watch

timothy posted about 6 months ago | from the too-little-too-early dept.

Cellphones 236

Despite the number of companies shipping or promising them, smart watches aren't the easiest sell, and Ars Technica's review of Samsung's entry illustrates why. Despite all the processing power inside, the watch is "sluggish" even for the kind of at-a-glance convenience features that are touted as the reason to have a phone tethered to an (even smarter) phone, and for the most part seems to weakly imitate features already found on that phone. There are a few features called out as cool, like a media control app, but for the most part reviewer Rob Amadeo finds little compelling in the Galaxy Gear.

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236 comments

Yo dawg (4, Funny)

ArchieBunker (132337) | about 6 months ago | (#45053213)

So I heard you like phones so we made a miniature phone for you phone so you can talk while you call.

Re:Yo dawg (0)

antdude (79039) | about 6 months ago | (#45053781)

I want a smartphone that doesn't relies on phones. It seems impossible to make one these days. Oh well.

Re:Yo dawg (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#45053889)

Pretty sure it can still tell the time on its own.

Re:Yo dawg (2)

mspohr (589790) | about 6 months ago | (#45053923)

Here's one:
http://omate.com/ [omate.com]
Complete Android phone on your wrist... waterproof too!

Re:Yo dawg (1)

antdude (79039) | about 6 months ago | (#45053993)

Ooh, nice but it seems to be lacking details like weight, battery life, etc. Also, it is brand new so I would wait for reviews and cheaper prices. :(

What if Apple.. (5, Interesting)

drewsup (990717) | about 6 months ago | (#45053241)

Was bluffing all this time, how ironic would it be if just the rumor of Apple coming out with this caused multiple vendors to blow all that R&D and production on a product no one really wants.
Hate Apple all you want, but there really is no substitute for being the king of the hill...

Re: What if Apple.. (3, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#45053303)

Excellent point. Apple hints, companies shoot their wad, consumers are "yawn", Apple learns from consumer reaction, releases killer product, samsung pays for Apple's consumer research, silly samsung!

Re: What if Apple.. (1, Interesting)

ozmanjusri (601766) | about 6 months ago | (#45054391)

Excellent point. Apple hints, companies shoot their wad, consumers are "yawn",

Except Apple aren't king of the hill any more, they have less than 20% of the smartphone market.

And they've repeatedly missed the boat on what smartphone buyers really want. Copy-paste, big screens, folders, notifications, etc etc.

Of late, Apple has done well at recognising a game-changing technology (1.8" HDDs, capacitative screens etc) early and releasing a niche-defining product based on it before everyone else. They can then ride the first mover advantage into the growth phase of the category.

That's not the situation with smart watches. There has been a steady trickle of smart watches on the market since the '80s, and I have no doubt there'll be (some) demand for a good one. But Apple be playing in a far more aware field and will have to take their chances just like anybody else.

Re:What if Apple.. (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#45053487)

Apple hasn't come out with a new product in ages. Samsung came out with the smartwatch just to deflate anything Apple could hope to come out with. Long term things are looking bad for Apple if they can't innovate anymore.

Re:What if Apple.. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#45053635)

Samsung fanboy responds with complete non-sequitur. "+4 and mentions Apple? Fire up the bot!"

*ahem*

Failed Apple failure hasn't come up with a new product in ages. Glorious supreme Samsung comes out with all-mighty smartwatch to steal failure failing Apple's thunder. Long term things are looking bad for bad bad Apple bad if they can't innovate (like glorious Samsung did!)

Re:What if Apple.. (0, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#45053697)

Innovate anymore? When did Apple ever innovate? They didn't invent the concept of the PC, nor did they invent the GUI. They didn't invent the portable music player (those had been around for years), nor did they invent the smartphone. Truth be told, Apple has never created a completely new and untested product from scratch and been successful with it. They merely went into markets where existing products had major room for improvement, and then made the best version of that product that anyone had seen up until that point. It's an admirable skill, but I wouldn't call it innovation. Also, marketing. They have really good marketing.

Re:What if Apple.. (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#45053791)

What you are suggesting--creating something completely new out of thin air--is "invention," not "innovation." There is a reason why we use two different words to describe these concepts.

Re: What if Apple.. (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#45054025)

"When did Apple ever innovate? "

Please learn the difference between innovation and invention.

And FYI : Apple owns many many thousands of patents.

"They didn't invent the concept of the PC"

Oh quite the opposite. They did exactly that. The Apple ][ was the very first PC. What you think of a PC was scrambled together by IBM with leftovers in a hurry when they saw the wild success of the Apple ][.

Apple ][ was released in 1977. 3 years before the IBM PC.

", nor did they invent the GUI. "

They did indeed invent the modern, working GUI.

The concept they bought from Xerox was not completely developed and lacked many key features. It was not really usable.

The first usable GUI computer was indeed the Macintosh in 1984 when all others used CLI.

"They didn't invent the portable music player (those had been around for years), "

No. But they innovated A LOT. Guess why the iPod captured 77% of the market in an instant and never dropped below that level.

Have you seen one of the train wrecks they sold back then? Like the Nomad. Plain awful. MP3 players only became mainstream due to the iPod.

"nor did they invent the smartphone. "

No. But just like the iPod there was a time before the iPhone and one after the iPhone. They innovated what a smartphone is. Not with a stylus and resistive display, no more plasticky keys.

"Truth be told, Apple has never created a completely new and untested product from scratch and been successful with it. "

Wrong. Just plain wrong. Your bias and lack of knowledge is showing.

". It's an admirable skill, but I wouldn't call it innovation. "

But exactly that IS innovation. Improving a product substantially is the epitome of innovation.

"Also, marketing. They have really good marketing."

Their marketing budget is tiny compared to MS or Samsung.

Re:What if Apple.. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#45053673)

How was Apple "bluffing"? Show one single, verifiable sentence where Apple said they were making a watch? To bluff, Apple must have said they were making one, but in fact was never planning on it.

It's the media, and rumor-mongers that said it. Apple has nothing to do with all the gossip, yet someone everyone thinks Apple behind all this.

Is anyone surprised? (4, Insightful)

0123456 (636235) | about 6 months ago | (#45053249)

Hands up all those who've been desperately waiting for a 'smart watch' to stick on their wrist?

Yeah, thought not.

Re:Is anyone surprised? (5, Interesting)

Nerdfest (867930) | about 6 months ago | (#45053289)

I was, and bought a Pebble. Damn close to everything I'd want, and definitely worth the price. Yeah, it would be nice to have a 'smart' watch but I don't think the battery and screen tech currently exists to do it right. The Pebble as a second, low-power, always-on screen with a few controls is pretty much the best available right now.

Re: Is anyone surprised? (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#45053329)

Dude, strap on a fitbit flex and what a surprise. I was in your camp but seriously, a watch that does what a fitbit does and more, sign me up.

Re:Is anyone surprised? (0, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#45053345)

What next, smart cockring to stick on your gimp?

Re:Is anyone surprised? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#45053511)

Ever since Dick Tracy. A childhood dream that can now be a reality.

Re:Is anyone surprised? (1, Interesting)

AuMatar (183847) | about 6 months ago | (#45053527)

Hell, one of the advantages of even a dumb phone was that it had a clock on it. I threw out my watch the day I brought home my first cell phone. Why would I want a fragile piece of electronics on my wrist where it will just get bumped, damaged, and catch the hair on my wrists when I can keep something in my pocket? Watches are dead and good riddance.

Re:Is anyone surprised? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#45053543)

Why would I want a fragile piece of electronics on my wrist where it will just get bumped, damaged, and catch the hair on my wrists

Most people don't buy crap garbage quality watches. You're essentially saying you don't want a BMW because your childhood mountain-bike was terrible.

Re:Is anyone surprised? (1)

AuMatar (183847) | about 6 months ago | (#45053679)

No, because I have better things to spend my money on. I have a device that tells time on me at all times. Why pay for a second? And why pay hundreds or thousands for a "good" one when you can get one that tells time just as well for $20?

I also don't want a BMW. I have a 12 year old Ford that still runs great (40K miles on it). I plan on keeping it for another decade unless it starts breaking down. If I had to replace it I'd be looking for reliability and cost, which aren't BMWs strong points.

Re:Is anyone surprised? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#45053845)

Right, we get it, you're purely utilitarian and very careful with money.

Re:Is anyone surprised? (1)

Gavagai80 (1275204) | about 6 months ago | (#45054441)

At least 95% of people do buy garbage quality plastic watches which they regularly lose or find eaten by the dog. Luxury watches are very popular with a small number of wealthy people, mainly as status symbols, but if you're trying to make a mass market product out of expensive watches you have to convince masses who are skeptical of that.

Re:Is anyone surprised? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#45053585)

Chronograph (mechanical) watches are works of art that are acceptable for guys to wear. I'll keep wearing and winding mine. :p

Re:Is anyone surprised? (1)

Concerned Onlooker (473481) | about 6 months ago | (#45054157)

Ditto for me. But I don't bother challenging people who like to believe that they are completely logical and utilitarian. You know, the function over form guys. That is, until it comes to members of the opposite sex.

Re:Is anyone surprised? (1)

DanTheManMS (1039636) | about 6 months ago | (#45053801)

Watches are dead and good riddance.

Personally I feel naked without my watch. It's nothing fancy, just something my parents gifted to me from Kohl's 10 years ago for around $50 I believe, but it's held up well and functions the same today as it did 10 years ago. Pulling out my smartphone and fumbling to find the button just to check the time feels clumsy to my mind. I'm a very time-oriented person so I like having that information available as easily as a quick downward flick of my eyes. Well, that and I can wear it in the shower so I can determine the exact moment that I MUST turn off the water before I'll be late to work, heh.

At the same time I fully understand why people would abandon watches in favor of cell phones. I hardly ever use my dedicated GPS unit anymore because my phone is "good enough" at fulfilling those needs. In the case of telling the time and date, I still prefer to have the dedicated device for its simplicity and long-lasting battery life. To each his own, eh?

Re:Is anyone surprised? (1)

mspohr (589790) | about 6 months ago | (#45053953)

Lots of people have very expensive watches on their wrists and don't seem to worried about them getting damaged or catching hair.
Carrying a phone in your pocket to tell the time is like carrying a pocket watch.
Do you like pocket watches?

Re:Is anyone surprised? (1)

patniemeyer (444913) | about 6 months ago | (#45053753)

If Apple releases a smartwatch it will probably be about as much a watch as the iPhone was "just" a phone...

I've never worn a watch in my life but I can *imagine* a wearable computer that is cool and useful enough that I might consider it... Can't you?

Pat

Re:Is anyone surprised? (1)

byuu (1455609) | about 6 months ago | (#45053813)

I'd like to have one with an SRS (selective repetition system) for memorizing foreign language vocabulary. A quick glance down while stopped at a red light, waiting on an elevator, standing in line at a fast food restaurant, etc. Grab a word, put it in working memory, move on. Much more convenient than pulling out a phone, unlocking it, opening up an app, then putting it back in your pocket.

I'm not really interested in a mini-remote-control for my cell phone. E-mail isn't that important that I need to speed up checking it significantly, nor is it vapid enough to be consumable on a 320x320 1" screen.

Re:Is anyone surprised? (1)

mspohr (589790) | about 6 months ago | (#45053931)

I think people want a smart watch for the same reason they want a wrist watch... they don't want to have to keep taking the phone out of their pocket to check for messages, etc.
How many people do you know who still use a pocket watch?

Re:Is anyone surprised? (1)

RyuuzakiTetsuya (195424) | about 6 months ago | (#45054401)

I want something that connects me to the rest of the world with out requiring me to break out my phone.

whether it's a watch, glasses, or whatever...

Steve Jobs famously stated that there was a space between laptops and phones, and then he unveiled the iPad.

is there a space between me and my phone? Hopefully something that doesn't require me to bring it out every now and then?

Alternatively, we could just live lives and work jobs that don't require us to be connected 24x7, but... Until -that- sea change happens...

Not that I'm suggesting becoming a digital hermit is a better solution mind you, there are massive advantages to having always available connectivity. But there has to be something we can do to bridge the gap between people and technology that augments life instead of getting in the way of life.

Wearable computing... (4, Insightful)

larwe (858929) | about 6 months ago | (#45053255)

... is like home automation. It's always "just about to explode out of a niche market and go mainstream". Specifically to the wristwatch: this device has more or less ceased to fill its original segment of "functional timekeeping, optionally alarm-playing device that's always with you because it's on your wrist" - that functionality is filled by the cellphone, which is also always with you and has a lot more functionality. Watches these days are considered jewelry, not tools - you wear them occasionally to go with nice clothes to achieve a specific aesthetic effect. (This line of thinking is not original to me, by the way, I first heard it when reading some strategic marketing training materials, and have since heard the same story - with credible market research justifications, several times. It seems to pass the sniff test, especially once I walk down the street and look at a few hundred wrists to see what's on them). Given this, the market segment that actually finds the "80s calculator watch" aesthetic to be appealing is pretty limited, and I say that as someone who owned and loved my calculator watches, FM radio watch, "space invaders game" watch, and B&W TV watch in the 1980s. It certainly isn't close to the size of the cellphone market, by orders of magnitude. This whole activity of creating smartwatches is simply a saturated market flailing around to create the Next Big Thing. Throw some hardware out there, see if someone (probably a startup) comes up with a use case that sets the world on fire, acquire startup, profit. In the meantime, hype the widget and milk it for PR exposure time.

Re:Wearable computing... (1)

xtal (49134) | about 6 months ago | (#45053307)

I'd be interested in a high end watch with silent alert and biometric functions that communicated with my smartphone.

That'd be about it.

Re:Wearable computing... (1)

GoodNewsJimDotCom (2244874) | about 6 months ago | (#45053501)

I think a smart watch is anti-fashion to high priced jewelry watch. I think an ap that would be commonly run on them would be a display that simulates the red-led watches of old because they were also eventually became anti-fashion.

Re:Wearable computing... (1)

GoodNewsJimDotCom (2244874) | about 6 months ago | (#45053517)

My grammar, lol, it is pretty bad here. I edited my sentences then didn't check to see if they actually formed something known as English.

Re:Wearable computing... (4, Interesting)

jez9999 (618189) | about 6 months ago | (#45053539)

Specifically to the wristwatch: this device has more or less ceased to fill its original segment of "functional timekeeping, optionally alarm-playing device that's always with you because it's on your wrist"

Believe it or not, I still wear a digital watch as well as have a smartphone. It's just quicker to glance at the time on it (which I do quite regularly) than take a few seconds taking out my smartphone from a pocket that also has keys in it.

I quite like the simplicity of the watch, though; a smartwatch kind of defeats the point.

Re:Wearable computing... (2)

bosef1 (208943) | about 6 months ago | (#45053819)

As I seem to recall from back when the History Channel showed history, the original function of the "wrist watch" was jewelry, especially for ladies. Men wore pocket watches, and wrist watches were women's bracelets with a built-in timepiece. From what I remember, wrist watches weren't really appropriate fashion items for men until World War 1, when mass troop coordination required everyone to have an easily accessible timepiece, and wrist-watches fit the bill. So having the wrist watch return the status of jewelry isn't too unprecedented.

I find I prefer to wear a pocket watch at the office. I'm not a good typist, and wearing a wrist-watch bothers me when I use a keyboard. The pocket watch lets me have a convenient timepiece that stays in my pants. Plus you can get some really fancy pocket watches.

Re:Wearable computing... (4, Insightful)

hey! (33014) | about 6 months ago | (#45053833)

I disagree. It's lot quicker and easier to glance at my watch than it is to dig my smartphone out of my pocket and wake up the screen. For that matter living in New England, when it's winter I've got to figure out which pocket the phone's in.

What having a phone with you means is that it's no longer *compulsory* to have a watch for telling time. A watch is still a heck of a lot more convenient than a phone. I think that a phone companion watch that did caller id and notified me of incoming messages and upcoming appointments would be awesome, provided that it could go a couple days between charges. The Samsung device, I think, is a bit over an overreach; it tries to do too much and does some of it not so well.

I do agree that people aren't wearing watches as much as they used to. My daughter carries a pocket watch. One day at school she popped it open to check the time, and a girl asked, "What's that?"

"A pocket watch," daughter answers.

"What does it do?" the girl asks.

Re:Wearable computing... (4, Interesting)

fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) | about 6 months ago | (#45053871)

Also, it's arguable that Samsung's stab at 'Smart Watch' utterly bungles the separation of labor in ways that make the result far less compelling than it could be(which, for the reasons you describe, is still somewhat limited).

We have 'wearable computing', even your $100 'eh, some kind of android phone' that you get with prepaid plans is quite wearable, and pretty punchy computationally. Until we have the nigh-miraculuous/power density enough to blow your hand off battery tech to get the whole phone onto your wrist, that's where the compute power is going to have to live(there are a few novelty 'dumbphone-on-wrist' watches you can get, and they do work; but the only reason they get reasonable-ish battery life is because they are nth-generation minimalist GSM implementations cut to the bone).

Instead of recognizing this, and building just enough intelligence to save bandwidth by crunching and formatting messages (rather than using a less power efficient, relatively high speed, RF link to drive a 'dumb' framebuffer style screen or a relatively dumb RFB/VNC style screen), which would actually be doable in a smaller watch, or one with better battery life, or both, they dumped an entire cellphone in the thing, just one without the 'phone' part, or enough power to make Android pleasant, or enough battery to get good runtimes... Brilliant.

Ironically, Microsoft is probably best positioned (technologically, based on past behavior I'll give them a 90+ percent chance of either not doing it or fucking it up really badly) to do the 'smart watch'+ cellphone combo properly. They've been thinking about peripheral screens connected to more qualified systems since at least 'Windows Sideshow' debuted with Vista back in the day (uptake, approximately zero...) and they also have, for actual application support on the resource constrained peripheral devices, all the work they've done on .NET. .NET Micro runs on next to no resources (no 8-bit stuff; but the memory footprint is under 512k and the target architecture is ARM microcontrollers). .NET Compact is more capable; and of intermediate size, and then full .NET. All use the CLR, and run CIL bytecode applications, all are either quite similar to one another or subsets of one another, and so on.

Again, MS being MS, they'll fuck this one up in some baffling fashion; but that's a very strong (relative to other companies' portfolios) set of options for building 'smart watch' type devices. Want a really watch-like smartwatch, possibly with adequate battery life? A .NET Micro device will run on just about the feeblest 32-bit ARM microcontrollers you can buy, and would support 'faces' and notification-processing/display engines on the CLR, with WCF-based communication with the handset. Want something a bit punchier? Compact is that, if you can satisfy its hardware requirements.

Outside of that, you have Samsung's rather pitiful 'take an entire Android phone and gimp it until it fits on your wrist' approach, or Pebble's 'do something totally custom; but more reasonable on resources, and provide a decently sane mechanism for developers to use when approaching your totally custom thing'.

Re:Wearable computing... (2)

dinfinity (2300094) | about 6 months ago | (#45053875)

Specifically to the wristwatch: this device has more or less ceased to fill its original segment of "functional timekeeping, optionally alarm-playing device that's always with you because it's on your wrist" - that functionality is filled by the cellphone, which is also always with you and has a lot more functionality.

No, it hasn't and no, it isn't.
Rotating your arm slightly is still much easier than pulling something out of your pants, unlocking/waking it and putting it back in again. I never do the latter to check the time. Because I have a fucking watch.

In addition to a wrist being a much more accessible location, the idea of something wearable instead of something you carry is that you don't have to worry about losing it or where to put it. Tell me: do you go swimming with your cell phone? Even if it was water proof, you very probably wouldn't.

Wearable personal computing devices make complete sense. The current implementations are just not very good.

Re:Wearable computing... (1)

mspohr (589790) | about 6 months ago | (#45053965)

The wrist watch was created because it was a pain to keep taking your pocket watch out to check the time.
We've regressed... now we have to take our phones out of our pockets to check the time.
Hence, the smart watch.

Samsung Proprietary (2)

markdavis (642305) | about 6 months ago | (#45053273)

The first major problem with the Samsung is that it is proprietary- working only with Samsung phones. This is a huge no-no for lots of us. In addition to that, it has very low functionality for something so expensive.

The Omate, on the other hand, is far, FAR more interesting. Being not only compatible with all phones, but also even being a real phone, itself if you want. And it is a full Android device with Play access and lots of local CPU/RAM/Storage with bluetooth, GPS, gyro, vibe, and WiFi. And also a better camera, better display, and much better face (a sapphire crystal) and it just has my wallet itching...

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Omate_TrueSmart [wikipedia.org]

Re:Samsung Proprietary (1)

93 Escort Wagon (326346) | about 6 months ago | (#45053319)

I don't think most consumers care about "proprietary" at all. But they do care about big and clunky, they do care about a sluggish interface, and they really don't want to charge their watch every night.

Now, speaking only for myself... if it has to be tethered to my phone in order to function, that's a non-starter all by itself. It's not particularly onerous to pull my phone out of my pocket - there's not a whole lot more to that motion than to looking at something on my wrist.

Re:Samsung Proprietary (1)

Nerdfest (867930) | about 6 months ago | (#45053807)

I care far more about the proprietary nature of the Galaxy Gear than how it looks, or whether it's a stand-alone phone, and I would guess a decent percentage of others to as well. If I have an HTC or LG phone and was interested in this I'd be out of luck. It's a pretty arrogant or stupid move on Samsung's part.

Re: Samsung Proprietary (1)

Anthony Ondre (3385073) | about 6 months ago | (#45053375)

Apple can do the proprietary ecosystem thing because they are the world's #1 brand name. Samsung is just another electronics company running somebody else's operating system and somebody else's apps. Samsung: "we strap other people's sh*t together and modify it so it's mo longer open!"

Re:Samsung Proprietary (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#45053409)

You can always tell when someone is going to have the answer, and you are no different. Go to hell you ignorant fuckwit.

Re:Samsung Proprietary (4, Informative)

guises (2423402) | about 6 months ago | (#45053537)

The Galaxy Gear actually exists. You can criticize it, fine, but you can't come along with a reference to a Kickstarter project and say, "I wish the Galaxy Gear was more like this one - imaginary."

Re:Samsung Proprietary (1)

markdavis (642305) | about 6 months ago | (#45053757)

That is a fair assessment with Kickstarter stuff, although the Omate isn't really imaginary...

They are far past concept, past design, past prototyping, past beta, have apps already up, and are in pre-production and with an over one MILLION dollar project. Of course, something might happen, and it could be a total crapwad when it comes out. But there are lots of videos and photos and information on their sites to show it is not imaginary and what you can see simply blows the doors off everything out there.

So because they have video and photos (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#45054223)

.... everything they show is 100% true and working.

Its not like companies have never created any fake product videos or use CGI or any kind of green screen tech to turn a static image into a simulation of what they would like to see working.

Nope ... it must be all true ... and how dare you question the reality of vaporware.

Re:So because they have video and photos (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#45054373)

I love conspiracy theories as much as the next guy, but you're just arguing for the sake of arguing at this point. Back off dude, you're making yourself look foolish.

Re:Samsung Proprietary (1)

DanTheManMS (1039636) | about 6 months ago | (#45053737)

Hey, just wanted to say thanks for linking to the Omate. I've actually never heard of it before, and it seems really intriguing (I've spent the past hour reading the wiki and browsing the forums). I think I'll hold off for a month to see if it does manage to become Google Play certified, but it's definitely on my radar now.

The one common complaint I see about it is the screen resolution only being 240x240 versus the 320x320 of the Galaxy Gear. Admittedly most Android apps aren't scalable down to that small of a resolution, but I want to point out that you can do some amazing stuff with that resolution if given the chance. Using classic videogames for my analogy, the Game Boy Advance only had a 240x160 resolution, the NES was 256x240, the SNES is usually 256x224... you get the idea. A lot can be done with that space if used wisely.

Missing the point, folks. It's not for you. (4, Insightful)

Frosty Piss (770223) | about 6 months ago | (#45053283)

Folks, like many expensive watches, this is a fashion item, not a solution to any particular problem (other than how to fleas money from rich yups). Like a Rolex. It's jewelry.

Re:Missing the point, folks. It's not for you. (2)

the_B0fh (208483) | about 6 months ago | (#45053309)

That piece of garbage is jewelry? *puke*

You're just taking a piss on this aren't you?

Re:Missing the point, folks. It's not for you. (1)

binarylarry (1338699) | about 6 months ago | (#45053387)

I'd say the exact opposite. It's not particularly nice looking.

I'm interested in a device with this form factor, mainly for exercise purposes. But sadly Samsung hasn't included any of the popular fitness apps with the watch, opting to write their own crappy imitation that no one will use. :(

Re:Missing the point, folks. It's not for you. (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#45053593)

other than how to fleas money from rich yups

YEAH LIKE EDUCASHUN.

I dunno if I need skool in my 'merika.

First ? (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#45053305)

In the article he says that Samsung are the first - what about Sony Smartwatch 2? Seems like it was out before Samsung

Re:First ? (1)

nurb432 (527695) | about 6 months ago | (#45053555)

And tons of generic Chinese ones for several years, that are a *complete* system, not tied to a phone..

Ars Apple bias (-1, Troll)

tuppe666 (904118) | about 6 months ago | (#45053371)

Its difficult to take anything seriously from Ars. They are unashamedly a pro Apple site. They have a dedicated Apple section(seriously they only make 5 products) , but no Android/Linux/Google One they actually closed there open source section. They outinely publish articles redefining "open"...meaning closed. Their latest discovery on benchmark *cough* optimising was to to call *all* manufacturers cheats...and Apple a saint??? It was insane. I am really interested in a smartwatch...and there are lots of options with great ideas, but Ars won't find any of them as good as the vapour-ware Apple product.

Re:Ars Apple bias (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#45053481)

Well it might be a pro-Apple site but it doesn't mean what ARS said about Gear is inaccurate. I think this is a case of Samsung making a strawman product for the world to pick-on and determine what's to be improved. Not doing so is a disservice to the company. Let's see what Gear 2 will bring.

Re:Ars Apple bias (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#45053485)

Hey there, they actually said all, except for Apple and Motorola, were caught doing it. Have you found any independent third party site saying anything different? Just because a site seems biased (and probably are) it doesn't mean they are wrong, just that you don't like their bias (probably because it differs from your own). No offense, I'm biased, too, as I think nearly all people are, towards to away from certain groups, even if they don't admit it.

Re:Ars Apple bias (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#45053653)

Nice of you to slide a relevant comment in right at the end, since the bulk of your screed has fuck-all to do with the topic at hand, which is that Samsung created a shitty product and people are calling it shitty.

So what do we call this new breed, the anti-fanboy? Where, if someone has a negative opinion about a product it's because they're a fanboy in the other direction supposedly? Maybe - just maybe - the product really *does* just suck, and it sucks all on its own with no bias involved!

Re:Ars Apple bias (1)

the_B0fh (208483) | about 6 months ago | (#45054181)

Wait. If Samsung and other Android vendors cheated on benchmarks, and Ars found out and reported it, that is a bad thing?

And if they pointed out that Motorola, Google and Apple didn't cheat, that is also somehow a bad thing?

Talk about a fanboy.

This Mike Royko Classic Never Goes Out of Style (1, Offtopic)

Austrian Anarchy (3010653) | about 6 months ago | (#45053391)

Time to get ticked off by Mike Royko [google.com]
Rolex wearer vs. Mike Royko's Casio Databank.

Re:This Mike Royko Classic Never Goes Out of Style (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#45053407)

Make that "Rollex"

Re:This Mike Royko Classic Never Goes Out of Style (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#45054413)

Amusing article! :D

I typed in a personal copy as I couldn't find a HTML'ed version on the web.

Had to 'click and drag' to read/copy it. =/

Couldn't Google just convert all their archived newspaper articles to text and store that along with retaining scanned images of the comics, editorial cartoons, and article photos and get rid of everything else in the paper?

CAPTCHA: violence (somewhat appropriate if Google follows thorugh on this suggestion.... :D )

Predictable (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#45053415)

Considering how much funding Ars gets from Apple, this is not a surprise at all.

Re:Predictable (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#45053507)

Care to show some independent sources for your claim? I say you're getting money from Samsung to blast Apple. My proof is your ridiculous post.

no love for Ars (1)

Gravis Zero (934156) | about 6 months ago | (#45053417)

they didn't even mention the single most important part of this device: battery life.

gizmag at least tells you (~20 hours): http://www.gizmag.com/samsung-galaxy-gear-review/29288/ [gizmag.com]

oh yeah, Ars also floods my "back" buffer. wtf?

Re:no love for Ars (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#45053605)

I think there are some things to be expected in a watch-like device. My non-smart watch lasts 12 months. Around 20 hours is ridiculous for a device that's slightly smarter. It's another device to charge along with your smartphone.

Re:no love for Ars (1)

Zumbs (1241138) | about 6 months ago | (#45053687)

Thanks for posting that link. I looked all over TFA to get an estimated battery time, and, strangely, found nothing. I would find that a pretty important piece of information when it comes to wearable computing.

Re:no love for Ars (1)

the_B0fh (208483) | about 6 months ago | (#45054217)

Could it be that other reviewers couldn't even get it to last that long? Other reviews say 5 hours. Another one claimed that during the launch, the camera app wouldn't even start at the end of the launch presentation because the battery was dead.

Re:no love for Ars (1)

the_B0fh (208483) | about 6 months ago | (#45054199)

Uh, what about the reviewer who couldn't get the camera app to start, at the end of the launch party, because the battery was down?

20 hours seems a bit far fetched. Wonder what other reviews say.

I know why... (1)

Lumpy (12016) | about 6 months ago | (#45053435)

1 - non of you cheap bastards will pay $600 for a real smartwatch.
2 - because of this they make them as cheap as possible with a decent profit margin.
3 - battery technology is not there yet, so get used to charging your watch, people dont want to charge their watch nightly.
4 - app writers all refuse to follow a standard data or alert API so it's impossible to make the watch do what people want.
5 - ....
6 - Profit.

Innovative Samsung (1)

Trogre (513942) | about 6 months ago | (#45053447)

A smart watch that connects to your smart phone? What a great idea.

How strange that no one ever thought of it before [amazon.com].

No Love For Samsung... (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#45053461)

Period. If i want crap like region-locks on a ~800$ Phone, i'll let myself get ass-raped by Apple.

the size of a normal watch? (1)

edxwelch (600979) | about 6 months ago | (#45053489)

Anyone notice the slight flaw in Ars Technica report? Very funny thing - in the article they say its normal thickness of a wrist watch, right after a photo, which clearly shows it to be about 4 times thicker than a normal watch. I don't know what Ars considers to be a "normal" watch, but to me it looks like about the size of a small minibar.

Re:the size of a normal watch? (1)

Misagon (1135) | about 6 months ago | (#45053985)

Much thicker than my digital Casio, for sure... but it is about the same thickness as many analogue and mechanical watches from Tissot and more expensive brands.

Watch ! What is it good for ? (1)

obarthelemy (160321) | about 6 months ago | (#45053547)

I'm still wondering what I'd want to go back to carrying a watch for. Alarms and notifications seems kind of not enough for the trouble, and I really can't imagine what else a piddly screen can be used for. As a headset it'll seem weird (the hand ! the hand ! talk to the hand !) and they'd need beam-forming for my conversations to be private... but maybe that will get accepted ? I keep hoping someone will come up with something compelling, but so far...

Re:Watch ! What is it good for ? (1)

Zumbs (1241138) | about 6 months ago | (#45053703)

Give it a few years, then the foldable screens will arrive, giving you the convenience of a wrist watch along with the smartphone sized screen.

iWatch (2)

thestudio_bob (894258) | about 6 months ago | (#45053563)

Wouldn't it be funny, if iWatch was for the name for the rumored TV product that Apple is supposedly working on.

Like in "Watching TV", not "I wear a watch".

Re:iWatch (1)

AuMatar (183847) | about 6 months ago | (#45053731)

TV product? You mean the already existing (and nobody much buying) AppleTV?

Re:iWatch (2)

thestudio_bob (894258) | about 6 months ago | (#45053805)

Have you been living under a rock? You seriously haven't heard any of the gazillion rumors about Apple's rumored secret TV project they've been working on. And no, not the (Even Apple calls it a hobby) AppleTV.

Re:iWatch (2)

ToastedRhino (2015614) | about 6 months ago | (#45053809)

You're gonna have to define "nobody much." Five million sold in 2012 [engadget.com] seems like quite a few, especially when compared to the number of set top boxes everyone [engadget.com] else [gigaom.com] has announced selling. Would be interesting to see Chromecast number, though. If Google would release them, of course.

Arstechnica = WEAK CHUMPS! apk (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#45053773)

It was truly MY pleasure kicking their ASSES all over @ Windows IT Pro years ago circa 2003!

Primarily that obese stooge Jay Little whose ass I utterly KICKED on memory fragmentation stalling Exchange Servers, which HE claimed he was "expert in", lol, some expert - what stopped it? Memory Optimization program techniques, & funniest of all, using Microsoft's own documentation to prove it, an MS tool, clearmem was suggested & works for it (precursor to GUI models of the same, & I wrote the 1st one of those which sold early on thru ServerExtras for that very purpose + reviewed well in Windows Magazine too for those purposes)).

Secondly - in doctoral candidate Jarrett DeAngelis, who is a member here (StarKruzr) who tried to LIE about his name too (which he had to admit I had him, nickname/handle online or not) notwithstanding who ended up AGREEING with my points that the wannabe STOOGE Jeremy Reimer brought in!

Best of all, was seeing that to this very day, Jeremy Reimer is still living off his stripper wife (makes no sense, he's a bony wuss & weasel - he probably blackmailed her or "bought his wife' from overseas now that I think about it remembering she looks Oriental) attempting to be a "writer" via a pay for yourself to be published press for lol, $2 per "novel" (what a joke) & not even a home of his own & the punk's gotta be near 45 or so! Guess that's what you GET for impersonating others (on his own forums) as he did myself & libeling me... police in Vancouver abruptly put a halt to that & so did Shaw of Canada his ISP.

* They are, as they were known then, "the underachievers of the internet"... & WEAK!

Then again, so was a former 'co-worker' of mine now @ MS, in Dr. Mark Russinovich, who wouldn't even face me, face-to-face, to debate my points noted above (with 15++ others not only on Exchange, but also Terminal Servers, FireFox, VM's & more)... so much for PhD's built up to be "legends" too (Sorry Mark - it's only truth, but I don't hold YOU in contempt like I do the puny fleas @ "arsehole" technica!).

Then, there's PeterB (one of their forums mods now), whose IRC servers also got KICKED INTO THE DIRT, gee, I wonder by who, & they were run out of their own chatroom on it, by a floodbot...lol - some "experts" (not).

HOWEVER: This IS truly, ONLY 1 thing they're expert in or MY superiors in as far as the art & sciences of computing? GETTING THEIR ASSES KICKED!

* Like I said - they're chumps.

Their "reaction" to all that?

Email harassing me, stalking me site-to-site, impersonating me on their personal forums + ars forums itself, & then being caught in it, kicked from their hosting providers + more (for death threats, altered libelous photos of myself, etc. that a wounded wench might do, which says MUCH about 'em (a bunch of little bitches))... lol - THAT was the single easiest thing to "waste them" on since their ISP's, hosting providers, & even law enforcement agreed with me on, snuffing them out.

APK

P.S.=> I don't listen to wannabe amateurs like them - they are, as I put it equating the event to Star Trek TOS' "Balance of Terror" episode, the Romulans (since they too have titles like "Centurion" on the ars forums) who myself (as one of my childhood heroes, Capt. Kirk) destroyed, with ease... how could I not? They are, as he put it "LIMITED IN RANGE" (and WEAK)... apk

WTF? (2)

Maynard Handley (2819371) | about 6 months ago | (#45053775)

"smart watches aren't the easiest sell, and Ars Technica's review of Samsung's entry illustrates why." Ars' review has nothing to do with whether or not smart watches are a hard sell; it is all about the fact that THIS PARTICULAR smart watch is a piece of garbage. You may disagree with Ars' conclusion, but don't try to pretend that it is something it is not --- it is a very pointed criticism of the Galaxy Gear and of NOTHING else.

Ars isn't alone (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#45053905)

David Pogue called it a "human interface train wreck. All of it."

I kinda wanted one (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#45054475)

I kinda wanted one but I have a few issues with it overall before I ever jump in. Has to handle impact well and has to have a decent battery life.

I personally don't need something that does everything my PC does, that is what my PC is for. I just wanted one that has the phone built in, a watch, and maybe a calculator and possibly GPS and compass for if I go out and explore. I don't need it to do anything beyond that really.

Oh yeah, and needs bluetooth support cause I am not trying to do the James Bond thing for phone calls. They nail these points right here and they may have something decent so long as it comes at a decent price and doesn't have a cloth strap or something that ends up smelling like a foot after you wear it too long and makes your wrist burn from the stuff that never seems to wash off.

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