Well, there we go ladies and gentlemen. After much anticipation, Samsung’s Galaxy Gear is here, and, at first glance, it’s not quite as strange as some earlier reports made it out to be. In case you don’t care about any of the following information and just want to own one (you weirdo), the Galaxy Gear will start its world availability tour on September 25 — it’ll cost $299 when it makes its October debut in the U.S. and for now you can only use it with the Galaxy Note 3 or the revamped Galaxy Note 10.1.
In a brief press address delivered before Samsung’s New York live-stream event kicked off in earnest, Samsung Telecommunications America president Gregory Lee very briefly flashed the Galaxy Gear on his wrist. That’s all it took to confirm suspicions that the images leaked over the weekend were of a very early version of the wrist-worn gadget. That said, it’s still not exactly a petite device so those with slim wrists should approach with a bit of caution.
“I believe it will become a new fashion icon around the world,” said Samsung chief JK Shin, after confirming that the device would let users make and receive calls, notify people about their SMS updates, and snap photos. Curiously enough, Shin only talked about the Galaxy Gear for a few moments (and basically used it to prove that the Galaxy Note 3 runs Android 4.3), but Samsung’s IFA team circled back around to share a little more about the wearable timepiece.
For now, here’s what we know about the Galaxy Gear: it sports a 1.63-inch AMOLED display, and (as suspected) users will be able to issue S Voice commands to their connected Samsung phones. As seen above, the Gear will come in six colors for you chromatically conscious types, and under the hood there’s an 800MHz processor and 512MB of RAM. For those of you worried about having to charge this thing too frequently, Samsung says the 315 mAh battery is enough to last a day on “regular” use — whatever that means.
Most importantly, Samsung has managed to drum up some serious support from third-party developers — health-conscious apps like MyFitnessPal and RunKeeper will be available when the Gear launches, along with social services like Path and Highlight. According to Engadget, some 70 applications tailored for the Gear will be available by the time it starts hitting store shelves later this month.
Now this is all well and good, but there’s still one question Samsung’s little presentation couldn’t answer: What is it actually like to use this thing? Stay tuned for our hands-on impressions to find out.