The 2014 smartwatch rush, deluge redux

click to enlargeIn the breathless coverage (watch that pulse and respiration!) surrounding the Galaxy Gear, Samsung’s entry into the smartwatch/wearable computing race yesterday at Berlin IFA, this Editor sensed a certain air of…deflation. The consensus so far is that it is a solid first try for Samsung that does not fulfill the hype. The design limitations are obvious: function (scrolling screens likened to Windows Phone for time, notifications, voice memos, S Voice commands, photo gallery, music player, a pedometer and a few more), chunkiness (73.8 grams, 3″ diagonal), a tiny weirdly positioned camera.

In the 70 apps it will initially have is where it intersects with health. In addition to a pedometer it connects to apps like RunKeeper and MyFitnessPal–not a mention of S Health. It’s also a hefty price for a ‘nice to have’ at $299–and right now it is pairable only with the also soon-to-be released Galaxy Note 3. (Take that, S4 enthusiasts!)

The coverage: The Cnet review (favorable, plenty of pics including ours), the ZDNet review, Larry Dignan on ZDNet argues that it’s an accessory that is not filling the convergence need, VentureBeat muses on watches as wearables. Oh yes, GigaOM reveals the SCOOP that Google, not Apple, bought the obscure smartwatch WIMM Labs last year, more for their developer-friendly ‘micro apps’ than for their watch.

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