Some years ago, no one really talked about smartwatches. A few attempts at producing such products were made, but most of them were ignored by the mainstream public.
But a year ago, Samsung introduced the Galaxy Gear watch and the boundaries were broken. Permanently.
A year later, we have a multitude of smart timepieces to choose from, but most of them have one thing in common – they have to be paired up with a smartphone to be of any real use.
Samsung, however, is looking to challenge this dogma. As we told you in an earlier piece, the company has just launched the Gear S, which is a Tizen-powered smartwatch coming with a curved display and a SIM card.
The Gear S uses the 3G network for texting, emailing and web-browsing, but phone calls are also possible by pairing the timepiece with a Bluetooth headset called the Gear Circle.
This is an interesting concept to behold. Could the new Samsung smartwatch obliterate smartphones entirely with this product that’s capable of handling the things your handset would be in charge of?
Let’s think about it. There are a lot of Pros and Cons to behold here, but the first thing that jumps to mind is that you won’t have to carry two mobile devices anymore. This will surely come in handy when you’re going out for a run or if you’re at the beach, because compared to the Gear S, any smartphone is way larger and bulkier.
There’s also a coolness factor related to owning a smartwatch, and you’ll surely stand out as being that smartphone-less fellow who owns hip tech. But coolness is a double edge sword.
Some people might consider you just plain crazy or ridiculous when seeing you place phone calls with this thing.
Interestingly enough, Samsung mentions the watch’s battery life should last up to two days, which is more than we can say of most smartphones, so we'll mark this as a positive aspect.
In addition to that, the Gear S will make you feel lighter, and this is something most active people will certainly appreciate, but there’s one problem.
Most of us will surely miss having around the large screen of a smartphone. Let’s face it, a 2-inch display with a low resolution of 360 x 480 isn’t suited for gaming and media activities. So you’ll end up relying on your tablet or notebook to fulfill those needs and cravings.
Moreover, we have to wonder why Samsung chose to put its own Tizen platform on the first SIM-enabled smartwatch. After all, Android Wear has way much more apps than Tizen and the community is developing at a super fast rate.
Also, if you’re one of those people who like to tinker with their devices, you probably realize a smartwatch won’t give you that many options in this direction. Couple that with the fact that you’ll be given modest amounts of storage and the specs aren’t all that mind blowing either.
Last but not least, typing messages on a 2-inch display will certainly turn into an annoying experience soon, regardless of how svelte your fingers are.
Sure, the idea of ditching the smartphone to rely solely on the smartwatch and on a tablet/notebook, might appeal to some people, but we get the feeling their numbers are quite limited.
Maybe in the future, when we’re going to see smartwatches arrive with better specs, higher res display and bigger storage capacity, the scenario where timepieces completely replace smartphones will be given another chance. Until then, the Gear S will most likely remain a companion device to help us maximize our mobile lifestyle.