Samsung has officially unveiled the highly anticipated Galaxy Gear smartwatch, a device that delivers everything from notifications and voice calls to fitness features and a camera to your wrist. At launch, the Gear will only work with the Galaxy Note 3 and Galaxy Note 10.1 (2014), but older devices like the Galaxy S4 should work with the watch once Samsung rolls out Android 4.3 updates. For such a tiny device, the Gear packs in a lot of features. Here are our favorites.
With the built-in speakers on the Galaxy Gear, you can make hands-free calls from your wrist. There's even a built in dialer on the watch. And with S Voice support built in, you can check the weather, draft messages, set alarms, add appointments and more.
When you’re looking at a notification on your smartwatch and want to see it on a larger screen, the Smart Relay feature will allow you to view that content on your phone or tablet just by picking it up.
The Galaxy Gear's 1.9-MP camera won't replace the shooter on your smartphone, but it might come in handy for shooting images on the fly. Swipe down from the top of the Gear’s face to launch the camera app. With 4GB of onboard memory, you can take up to 50 pictures and 10-second videos that are then downloaded automatically to your linked device. The camera also comes with a shutter sound to prevent sneaky shots. Samsung says the camera is there so you don’t have to reach for your device to capture a fleeting moment that will be lost by the time you get your phone out. This feature could come in handy for news hounds orpaparazzi.
The Galaxy Gear's elegant design is complemented by its wide range of colors. We really like the Rose Gold version of the Galaxy Gear, but other colors like Oatmeal Beige, Jet Black, and Mocha Grey look great too. The other two colors in Galaxy Gear's lineup at launch are Wild Orange and Lime Green, perfect for those who want a splash of color in an everyday accessory.
Use your smartwatch as a basic remote control for your music so you don’t have to reach for your device just to skip to the next song. The music controls on the Galaxy Gear allow you to play, pause and browse through the songs on your paired device from your wrist.
More: Best Smartphones 2013
The Galaxy Gear will track your physical activity via a built-in sensor and will automatically monitor your calories burned, steps taken and distance covered so you can manage your personal fitness data.
Constantly misplacing your phone? With the Galaxy Gear, you can easily locate your handset with the Find My Device app. The Gear app helps you find your paired device by making it beep, light up and vibrate. Better yet, if you misplace your watch, you can also use the Gear Manager app on your phone to find it.
When enabled, Auto Lock Device is a feature that locks your phone when you move more than 1.5 meters (approximately 5 feet) away from the Galaxy Gear with your paired device. And when you're back within that range, the Galaxy Gear will unlock your paired device.
More: Best Android Security Apps 2013
Apps like Evernote, TripIt, ChatOn, Path and Pocket are among some 70 apps already that will be available for download via the Gear Manager app on your paired device. Samsung is setting up its own app store for the Gear, which should make it easy to discover options.
More: 25 Best Android Apps