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Samsung introduced a dumbwatch

September 6, 2013

Philip Elmer-DeWitt on the Samsung’s event:

But I’ve seen enough product introductions to know that Samsung co-CEO J.K. Shin is no Steve Jobs. Or even Phil Schiller. And that Samsung still has a lot to learn about making a splash in high tech.

The products are bad, and the showmanship was poor, but you got to admit the curved huge screen on the stage was pretty cool.

The dumbwatch, also called as Galaxy Gear, was not even turned on when Shin showed it the first time. Speaking of odd, there’s a small physical button on its upper-right side for turning on/off the display, which beg a question: why the upper side but not down so it’s nearer, better yet if it’s located on the front.

And its thickness, my goodness, who would want to put that on and feeling stylish? Worst is, not everyone have big wrist, I noticed from most of the video hands-on I’ve watched, the dumbwatch slips up and down whenever the users move their hands.

Samsung now put its name logo on the back of the dumbwatch and on the metal clasp, another design aesthetic it copies from Apple, which beg another question: why not put it on front like it usually does? Why different this time, it’s not like there isn’t enough space on that big chunky front of the dumbwatch to put Samsung’s ugly logo. I’ll get into that later at the bottom of this post, the answer is simple just one.

And as for its performance, here’s Zach Honig’s (Engadget) take on Samsung’s dumbwatch quick hands-on:

The prototype devices we used were noticeably sluggish and occasionally unresponsive, S Voice is not entirely hands-free, and battery life has been pegged at a full day, at best.

Combine those with $300 price tag, only compatible with Note 10.1 and 3, and no WiFi. What you get is a dumb-fucked-watch no one need and want, how dare Samsung calling it as “the future”. Besides, it need to be paired to those two new devices via Bluetooth 4.0, and it doesn’t even play music, it just used as controller.

But Samsung deserves to get some credits, it creates a new way to awkwardly make/receive calls with the dumbwatch. First, you need to put your mouth close to the metal clasp located under your wrist. Secondly, even though the built-in speaker is not loud enough, still it’s enough for other people to over hear every conversations you’re having. Maybe you could paired it with a Bluetooth headset, so you’ll be carrying three devices at once, that’s what Samsung described it as “smart freedom.”

So why did Samsung decided to launch such crappy device like the dumbwatch? Here’s a list of why:

  1. It’s Samsung’s tradition, to launch a bad first generation device, and gradually make it better next time.
  2. Apple doesn’t make the real smartwatch (yet), so Samsung is dumbfounded on how to make one.
  3. Since it’s widely expected Apple is set to launch an “iWatch” soon, Samsung need to launch one first even though it’s crap.

The last one there brings us to the conclusion of the dumbwatch launch; all Samsung care about is to introduce it first because Samsung doesn’t want to be viewed as “Apple copycat” anymore, Samsung desperately just wanted to say “beat you to it” to Apple. Because of reason no. 2 above, Samsung is clueless on what a real smartwatch should do, so what was left for Samsung was it took wild guesses on how Apple will design one, including putting the company name on the back.

That’s all this dumbwatch is about.

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