Samsung Announces the Gear Live, an Android Wear Smartwatch – Available NOW
Covering Every Base
This is big reconciliation news for Samsung, who recently ported their smart watch lineup off of Android and onto the relatively untested Tizen open source platform. I guess they want to cover all their bases.
Or, perhaps Tizen doesn’t offer the app development resources required for Samsung to remain the #1 smart watch in the market.
Why This Matters
In case you don’t know why Android Wear matters to smart watches in general, here’s a recent 5 minute video intro that Google put together. It shows you how easy it is to build new custom apps for Wear-based wearable devices:
In short, the existence of Android Wear in a smart phone market dominated by Android OS means that a LOT of contextually-aware alerts and apps will be developed for smart watches and other wearable tech. This, in turn, means smart watches will probably offer a wider variety of device-specific functionality.
More details about Android Wear are available here.
For Samsung this is a particularly important announcement because to date, Samsung has sold over 1/2 of the smart watches in the market. No doubt they want to maintain that lead, and offering a wide variety of apps for their devices is critical to staying in the lead. Tizen is an interesting and battery-efficient platform, but it simply doesn’t have the army of app developers that Google can muster.
Finally, Samsung is effectively getting their device into the market ahead of the other two important Android Wear-based watches announced earlier this year, the LG G Watch and the unique Motorola Moto 360.
It pretty clear now that Samsung plans to dominate the smart watch/wearable tech market globally, and they are putting their money and engineers where their mouth is!
The Samsung Gear Live sports a 1.63-inch display with a 320 x 320 resolution. It runs on a 1.2GHZ processor with 512MB of RAM, with 4GB of storage.
Battery life isn’t great: the 300mAh battery is only good for about a day of use, according to Samsung. We’re hearing the same is true of the LG G Watch, although the G Watch is an always-on device.
The Gear Live comes with a rubber strap, which is in keeping with its relatively low price tag.
Availability and Price
The Gear Live is available now on the Google Play marketplace, on Amazon.com and other online retailers for $199. Shipments are scheduled to begin on July 7.
We’ll post more details about the latest Samsung on our site as soon they become available.