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A VERY Busy Watch


The Samsung Galaxy Gear smartwatch ($300) is one busy watch. It goes so far as to redefine a watch, since its as much computer as time-teller. (Does it even tell time? It has to tell time, right?)

Among a few of its features?

TAKE PICTURES AND VIDEOS These aren’t what you’d call National Geographic quality. The photos are 1.9 megapixels and the watch holds only 50 of them. Videos are tiny and short (15 seconds long); you can’t shoot more than three in a row, and the watch holds only 15 of those. But let’s not quibble — it’s a watch.

But if you thought it was creepy that Google Glass lets your conversation partner film you without your knowledge, you ain’t worn nothing yet.

FIND YOUR GADGETS If you’ve misplaced the phone or tablet the watch is paired with, the watch can make it chime to help you find it. And vice versa. Just be sure to lose them within 25 feet of each other. That’s the range of Bluetooth, which is what keeps the watch and device connected.

AUTO-UNLOCK YOUR DEVICE If you’re wearing the watch, you don’t have to enter your password to unlock the companion phone or tablet. Clever, smart and effortless.

ALERT YOU OF INCOMING MESSAGES The watch lets you know who’s calling, and even shows you text messages right on its 1.6-inch, 320 x 320-pixel touch screen.

Goofily, though, it can tell you only that an e-mail message has arrived; it can’t show you the text. (It instead sends a signal to the device to display the message there, which sort of defeats the purpose.)

TAKE AND MAKE CALLS Believe it or not, you can make phone calls on the watch, via the phone in your pocket or wheelbarrow.

It actually works, and it means you can be hands-free in all kinds of life situations besides the car. The sound quality is truly impressive, considering it’s a watch.

But there’s not much volume. If there’s a lot of background noise, you have to hold your wrist up to your head. You thought Bluetooth earpieces made people looked deranged, walking down the street talking to themselves? Don’t look now. If Samsung has its way, everybody will walk around talking into their sleeves like Secret Service agents.

CONTROL MUSIC PLAYBACK Your remote is now strapped to your wrist.

Source: New York Times

And yes, it also tells time!