The first time I laid my eyes on the Galaxy Gear fit during the Samsung Galaxy S5 launch, it was love at first sight, Samsung’s newest wearables claims to approach the market from a different angle all together. If you ask me it resembles many Smartwatch concepts that have been flying around the ‘internets’. But the most astonishing thing is that this new gadget is neither running Android, nor Samsung’s Tizen-based mobile operating system. The Gear Fit, is their simple fitness wearable that is slender and form-fitting.
Did Samsung just beat Apple to the real Smartwatch Game?
The curved Super AMOLED display makes its look elegant as its gently conforms to the curvature of the human wrist. The Fit brings to the smartwatch table an uncomplicated and beautiful futuristic look. The company claims that this display coupled with a non power hungry OS is a good way to preserve battery power and delivers the excellent viewing angles that a glanceable device requires. Indeed, without sounding like a Samsung fanatic, I have to say that this is what all smartwatches should look like. Something tells me Samsung has finally nailed the smartwatch concept, probably beating Apple to the game. I cant be too quick to judge until Apple shows its long rumored ‘iWatch’ or whatever ‘i’ prefixed wearable it’s set to launch sometime this year .
No OS means no app ecosystem
The first Galaxy Gear launched last year, was running Android and was criticized for its poor battery life among other things. Other two smartwatches, the Gear 2 and Gear 2 Neo were also launched last week at the Mobile World Congress were running Tizen OS and now the Gear Fit comes in ‘OSless’. Basically Samsung is trying to do what they do with smartphones, throw everything out there and see what sticks (aka Sells the most ).
Leaving the endearing lovely looks of the Gear Fit, Samsung tells CNET that their device [the Gear fit] eschews both operating systems for a more proprietary utility. Meaning they basically cooked up a new power saving OS for the smartwatch but the company is too uptight on disclosing exactly what OS is powering the device, but note it’s going to be pretty severely locked down. The implications of this that there will be no API or SDK for it, with Samsung instead opting to work with Developers directly to get working on the device. No OS means no app ecosystem, which means it will likely be a Samsung wearable with little to no third party apps coming to it.
The Samsung lockdown
The company claims that the new nameless OS for the gear fit will reach 3-4 days of battery life, however the limited utility is concerning. The biggest ‘put off’ about the gear is its limited pairing to other devices as its available only to Samsung devices (and a limited lineup at that). Basically all the Gear devices still remain a thwarting for those who may want a Samsung wearable without the Samsung handset. Basically the Korean company has locked you down, in order to use the Galaxy Gear you must have a Samsung Phone.
By the time the Galaxy s5 launch was done, one thing was for sure, the Gear Fit managed to overshadow the mild smartphone upgrade that the company originally intended to show us, giving us the best of Samsung. I have to admit am in love with it and I think the company has learnt from its own mistakes and those of others, managing to quickly come back with a new better device. We are yet to know how much this device will cost and also test the quality of the software, all I took home with me is that Gear Fit has stirred up the wearable market in 2014 in both it’s looks and design we are yet to see if the same will happen for sales.