Samsung has revealed the rumored smartwatch officially- Galaxy Gear, but does it meet our expectations? The answer is flat NO. It’s a good wearable accessory, but it doesn’t deserve the title – smartwatch. Watch has always been more than wearable time-reading device. Watch is a piece of jewelery for many people, a fashion statement. There are many reasons or say, disadvantages, demerits, cons of Samsung Galaxy Gear. We’ve had high expectations from Samsung, but it appears as Samsung rolls out anything it completes, even if it is not fully finished, in haste trying to make early grab of the market as possible. SO, let’s see top 10 reasons why Galaxy Gear is not the smartwatch you want:
- Battery backup – Samsung promises 1 day of battery life, but it doesn’t make it manifest in hours exactly and how the usage pattern is going to affect battery life. If there is more usage of the smartwatch, it might not even survive a day as the manufacturer promises battery backup under standard test conditions which are not usually practical. Are you going to wear a watch which might last just 8 hours? Who needs a watch during night, but what if you’re visiting any remote place where you may not be able to charge it? Can you bear the necessary hassle of charging smartwatch every day, or the fear of loosing battery juice before you come to bed? It might be that Samsung has thought that since its smartphone is not going to last more than a day, so its smartwatch should follow the similar pattern ;) Atleast 2 or 3 days of battery life for smartwatch like device would have made more sense. Also, battery life is known to reduce with time, so if galaxy gear gives about 1 day of battery backup in the start, with degradation of battery after few months, the condition might become pathetic.
- Sluggish UI – As reported in hand-on with the smartwatch by several major press that the smartwatch is not lag-free. The UI is sluggish. There are hiccups here and there. One may say that all these will be fixed in software/firmware updates, but the same might take ages, and the same might not happen. I’m speaking this from my experience. I have Samsung Galaxy S4 and this handset has had similar problems. Though, most of the problems have been fixed, yet not all. There are still several problems in the software department on Galaxy S4. So, the promises of manufacturer should not be taken for granted. Also, why buy unfinished, unoptimized product? You might feel that it’s ok to buy product with such problems in the hope that it’ll be fixed in near future; but when you experience those problems yourself in reality, then the frustrating experience will make you repent your decision on purchase. Samsung should not expect customer to pay premium amount for testing their device so that it could make revision in future edition rather than on the current edition.
- Design – The watch’s frame is of stainless steel. Does the watch look like a great piece of jewelery, or a fashion statement? Do you find it attractive? The answer to this varies from person to person as people have different taste, likes, choices; and so there should be option for changing the band of the watch so that users could personalize it to their likes. A user might like chained band, and so he would have been able to replace the band of galaxy gear smartwatch, but since such option is not there due to peculiar design of the smartwatch, user will be disappointed. The 1.9-megapixel camera is located in the band. So, this peculiar design of galaxy gear makes it not-customizable and therefore, the user is forced to stick with the factory design; which is not that appealing in my opinion.
- Outdoor visibility – This is another prime concern. It has Super AMOLED display, but this display is also not known for good outdoor legibility. So, in sunny days, you may find it eye-stressing to digest info presented on your smartwatch. Also, the display is fingerprint magnet which means that smudges and print of your fingers will block perfect vision and so you need to keep rubbing the display against your pants to keep it fingerprint-free. Samsung should have used a different kind of display which could offer great legibility outdoors and at the same time very friendly with battery.
- Speaker : There is inbuilt speaker in the smartwatch, but as per hands-on its volume is so low that it could be heard in quite place only. Those who don’t know, the smartwatch could be used to take phone calls if it is paired with your smartphone.
- Compatibility : At launch, galaxy gear is compatible with just two devices – Galaxy Note 3 and Galaxy Note 10.1 tablet (2014 edition). Software update for galaxy s4, s3, note 2 will make the smartwatch compatible with these handsets as well, but what about compatibility with the rest of Samsung handsets? What about compatibility with the rest of android smartphones? Compatibility could be a big issue as many smartphone users change their smartphones a year or two and they don’t want to be locked to a specific brand like Samsung for their future smartphones. I’m not pressing for compatibility with iPhone, but what about other android phones? When you’re spending a good deal of money on buying this, you don’t want to change it every year, do you? You want it to last as many years as your regular watch does! If not those many years, at least few years. (Samsung may fix compatibility issue soon making it compatible with other android handsets as well, but at the time of writing this article, it’s not yet compatible..)
- Where is innovation? Galaxy Gear doesn’t introduce anything new on the table. It doesn’t introduce new kind of display better suited to such kind of wearable device. It doesn’t introduce new mechanism of charging or new type of battery management so that it could serve more than just a day. It doesn’t introduce surprising element, something more intuitive or practical, something persuasive to consumer so that consumers could edit their shopping list to include this in their priority. So, my question is – What happened to innovation? Where is innovation in hardware?
- High Price – It’s not a cheap device, rather a premium and expensive. It costs about $299 USD. It’s really costly. So, the question is – Do you want to spend this much for a smartwatch with so-limited usage, such design, not-fully finished, rather rushed-in product? Or would you rather wait for something more appreciable, appealing, more practical, fully finished and polished product reviewed on feedback, maybe second generation of galaxy gear or some other deserving smartwatch from some other brand? The choice is yours!
- Not Waterproof – Waterproof feature is not very pressing for every user, but had it been there in galaxy gear, it would have been more attractive. Unfortunately, Galaxy gear is not reported to be waterproof.
- A better alternative – There may not be a better alternative yet available in the market. SO, I’d rather suggest you to wait. Sony SmartWatch 2 is not that appealing watch either. It too has its own set of pros and cons. Pebble smartwatch is also very basic. So, you should wait for few more months so that other brands could jump in the emerging, evolving smartphone market and show their prowess, as this is not the best time for buying smartwatch owing to lack of the same, and as the competition increases, these brands will come up with a better product, even Samsung may come up with a much better smartwatch in the next gen of galaxy gear as it gets ideas from market and consumers.
We’d love to get your opinions so do express your sentiments and views in comments!