When Samsung’s Galaxy Gear smartwatch launched earlier this month, it was met with some criticism due to its lack of compatibility. Now, however, anyone owning a recent Samsung smartphone including the Galaxy S4, Galaxy S3 or Galaxy Note 2 can use the watch to its full capability.
Until this point, the Galaxy Gear was only fully compatible with the newly launched Galaxy Note 3 and Galaxy Tab 10.1 (2014) since they both come with Android 4.3 out of the box. But as of Wednesday, Samsung’s other recent flagships will be updated to Android 4.3 as well. Galaxy Gear compatibility will be extended to the Galaxy S4 Mini, S4 Active, S4 Zoom, Mega 5.8 and Mega 6.3 in the near future. Samsung says the update for these devices will come in a separate release “at the end of October,” but warns that schedules will vary by country and carrier.
The $299 Galaxy Gear features a 1.63-inch touch screen display with a 320 x 320-pixel resolution. Like many smartwatches on the market, it allows you to view notifications including SMS, Evernote and path among others, and includes a built-in pedometer for tracking your steps. Since there’s an integrated speaker, you can also answer and initiate phone calls via the watch as long as its paired with your smartphone. There’s also a 1.9-megapixel camera for snapping photos -- a feature that’s less common among other smartwatches on the market.