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Samsung Galaxy Gear smart watch doesn't impress in full review

We've given the Samsung Galaxy Gear smart watch the full review treatment. In short, we're not best keen.

Andrew Lanxon headshot
Andrew Lanxon headshot
Andrew Lanxon Editor At Large, Lead Photographer, Europe
Andrew is CNET's go-to guy for product coverage and lead photographer for Europe. When not testing the latest phones, he can normally be found with his camera in hand, behind his drums or eating his stash of home-cooked food. Sometimes all at once.
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  • Shortlisted for British Photography Awards 2022, Commended in Landscape Photographer of the Year 2022
Andrew Lanxon
2 min read
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I've given Samsung's smart watch, the Galaxy Gear, the full review treatment. In short, I'm not exactly thrilled about the mobile giant's first push into wearable technology.

The Gear sits on your wrist like any normal watch. It connects to your phone over Bluetooth in order to be able to show incoming calls and texts without forcing you to pull your phone out of your pocket every time it rings. In theory, it's a great idea but the Gear is far from perfect.

First off, it's very expensive -- around £300 here in the UK -- and at launch it will only be able to connect with the Galaxy Note 3, and at £650 that's not cheap either. Samsung said it will update the watch to work with its Galaxy S4, S3 and Note 2, but if you have any other Android phone then you're out of luck.

While it's easy to take a call on the watch, it doesn't really let you do a whole lot else. There's no email support and with no ability to send and receive Tweets or Facebook updates, I'm not exactly sure where the name 'smart' comes from.

It has a minimalist interface, with each tool given a separate screen. Although that makes it easy to see what you're looking at, it makes finding individual apps quite time consuming, which sort of defeats the point of having a 'quick-look' device on your wrist.

It's a shame that I'm not more excited as physically it's quite a good looking piece of kit and the concept of a fully-fledged smart watch is an idea I'm keen on. But fully-fledged this is not. With a lack of app support, not to mention the need to use a separate charging cradle every time it needs juice (once a day with heavy use) and a voice control system that can be hit and miss, the Galaxy Gear falls short of expectations.

Check out my full review now and make sure to leave your thoughts in the comments below and over on our Facebook page.

Watch this: Samsung Galaxy Gear Review