Wearable tech moved past niche Kickstarter projects Wednesday as Samsung unveiled the Galaxy Gear, its answer to the smartwatch. The watch, which has a face made of stainless steel and sensors within the straps, connects to Galaxy devices to notify wearers of incoming notifications like calls, texts, emails, and calendar alerts with a preview on the Gear screen.
Phone calls can be made from the Gear itself, using a built-in speaker. Though it's technically "hands free," to make or answer a call on the Gear, a user must channel their inner Secret Service officer and raise hand to ear. Placed on the outward-facing strap is a camera with still and video capabilities. The smartwatch will first debut to 149 countries on Sept. 25 with out-of-the-box compatibility with the just-announced Galaxy Note 3, Galaxy Note 10.1, and Galaxy S4.
In the US, pre-orders are now available for a Galaxy Gear plus Galaxy Note 3 bundle on Verizon ($600 with 2-year contract, ships. Oct. 10), and it will hit T-Mobile Oct. 2 for $300. Also look for the watch at retailers including Amazon, Fry's, RadioShack, Sam's Club, and Walmart, among others.
Take a deeper look at the Galaxy Gear's specs, fitness use, app store, and device compatibility in the gallery.