So Samsung tried to pull a quick one and beat Apple to the first smartwatch. And it failed, miserably. Here are some reviews:
David Pogue at New York Times. A Watch That Sinks Under Its Features.
“The Gear is a human-interface train wreck. All of it. The software design, user guide, English translations and design consistency…Here’s how you navigate this watch:…Tap four times with six fingers in the rhythm of Beethoven’s Fifth to call a mental health professional.”
Vlad Savov at The Verge. A perfect companion for your life companion?
“A smartwatch the Galaxy Gear is not. Frankly, I’m not sure exactly what it’s supposed to be. Samsung describes it as a companion device, and the Gear is indeed chronically dependent on an umbilical link to another Samsung device, but it never left me feeling like it was a helpful companion. The notifications are Orwellian, the media controls are exiguous, and the app selection has no substance to underpin the hype.”
Zach Epstein, BGR: Aims for the future, but gets stuck in the past.
“In the end, the Galaxy Gear feels like a product that Samsung rushed to market in an effort to get a head start in the category many are calling the next big thing. Had rumors of Apple’s forthcoming “iWatch” not popped up late last year, the Galaxy Gear would almost certainly not exist. And if it did still exist, it wouldn’t exist as it does today.”
AnandTech’s Brian Klug, in his review of the Galaxy Gear, pointed out that this sort of thing isn’t out of line for Samsung. “If we look at Samsung’s history in nearly every market we’ve followed it (SoCs, SSDs, smartphones), the company has a tendency to show up early with the wrong solution, but iterate aggressively to the point where it ends up with a very good solution.”
But this rush to first punch is infantile, and justifies the dedication that so many show to Apple. Because when Apple does come out with a smartwatch, you can bet it’s going to be the best on the market. As CNBC’s Jim Cramer observed, “Don’t you feel that shift in favor of Apple? It’s changed. I think that Samsung suddenly becomes what we used to think of Samsung, and Apple has become what we used to think of Apple.”