I’m sure I’m not the only one who wondered what would happen if Samsung took a crack at a consumer electronics product category without having an existing Apple product as a reference design. The Korean copycats showed off their answer today at Berlin’s IFA 2013: the Galaxy Gear.
You don’t have to be a genius to deduce what happened here. Sick of being tagged as a company that shamelessly and willfully copies Apple’s design, the geniuses at Samsung got a hold of the rumor (which can be traced back to a single blog post) that Apple may be releasing an “iWatch”, took some half-baked proof of concept, pushed it through their manufacturing grist mill and squeezed out this brick. Take that Apple.
Take that indeed. In addition to this thing’s gargantuan dimensions, it’s saddled with a bunch of crap that Apple would never include in a wrist-bound offering: a 1.9 megapixel camera – because – and a mic/speaker combo that will make you look like Dick (Tracey). The price comes in at a perfectly reasonable $299. But as awkward and expensive as this expectoration is, The Verge was impressed with the watch’s performance and features:
There are a couple of significant downsides that temper my enthusiasm for the new Gear. First and foremost is the speed and intuitiveness of the user interface — or rather, the lack thereof. There’s a tangible lag to anything you do with the Gear, while the swipe gestures are hard to figure out and do different things depending on where you are in the menus.
Samsung promises “about a day” of endurance from the Gear, but by the end of our briefing with the company, the cameras on most of its demo units were refusing to turn on due to the watches running low on power.
Sounds awesome, but is anyone really surprised? At least Samsung apologists will be able to say their guys released something first in case Apple ever does enter this market – in the sense that it’s a device that tells time and wraps around your
forearm wrist, anyway. I’d personally be more than content to let Samsung play their part in a hilarious Apple rope-a-dope.