With a Berlin launch instead of a New York debut, we understand why this isn’t getting the attention, here, that it deserves, but still, Samsung’s release this week of a viable, multipurpose smartwatch is big news. The wearable tech does more than any competitor to come before it, and certainly anticipates the eventual emergence of Apple’s iWatch.
Samsung’s Galaxy Gear watch is built to complement the company’s new Galaxy Note 3 phone, so the piece isn’t for everyone (yet). Here’s a rundown of what it can do, though: track your health (à la the Nike FuelBand), take pictures, take 10-second-long video, take dictation (via S Voice, Samsung’s answer to Siri), run third party apps, and act as a phone. That’s right, you can put away your actual mobile phone and talk into your wrist, instead. Awesome? Weird? Awesomely weird? At any rate, it’s not any worse than holding your mobile and yelling into speakerphone while, say, driving.
At $299 and facing some criticism for being kind of clunky, Samsung’s Galaxy Gear watch probably won’t be mainstream anytime soon. But with the debut version shipping on September 25, it firmly stands as the first true smartwatch on the market.