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What does the Samsung Galaxy Gear smartwatch do?

Posted on 2 October 2013

The Samsung Galaxy Gear is a smartwatch, designed to link to specific Samsung smartphones and tablets and enable you to control their functions remotely, from your wrist. Here's Carphone Warehouse's guide to what the Samsung Galaxy Gear can do.

Which phones does it work with?

Right now, the Galaxy Gear works with the Samsung Galaxy Note 3. When the Samsung Galaxy Note 10.1 2014 Edition is available for purchase in late October, that will also be compatible. Then, in November this year, the Samsung Galaxy Note 2 (3G & 4G), Galaxy S4 mini, Galaxy Mega 6.3 & 5.8, Galaxy S3 (3G & 4G) and of course the Samsung Galaxy S4 will all receive updates to make them compatible too. We'll be focusing on the Note 3 in this guide, for simplicity.

Voice recognition.

Along with the touchscreen, which allows you to navigate through the features by swiping, the Galaxy Gear has S Voice installed, Samsung voice recognition app. It lets you control many of the smartwatch's features with just your voice. You can make calls and redial a number or command it to read messages, and dictate and send new ones. Using just your voice you can add new events and tasks, and check your schedule for the week. It'll also let you open apps, set your alarm, create a stopwatch timer, check the weather forecast at home or internationally, and get the time – locally or abroad!

Phone calls.

When your Note 3 gets a phone call, the Galaxy Gear will also ring. You can answer the call, and then speak through the smartwatch to talk to the caller. The speaker on the clasp of the watch means you can hear what they're saying without headphones too. It's perfect for hands free calling. Making calls using the watch just means opening S Voice and just saying call, plus the name of your contact John. Or, say call and read out the number.

Contacts and logs.

Of course, all the contacts on your Galaxy Note 3 are available straight from the contacts app on your Galaxy Gear. So are your call logs, so you can easily ring back anyone who called you recently.

Send and receive texts and emails.

Whenever you get a text or email on your Note 3, you'll get an alert on your smartwatch too. Then you can just press the notification and read them right on your wrist. To respond, just speak into the watch, and it'll transcribe all you're saying.

Smart relay.

Smart relay is a feature that automatically pops up the notification you're looking at on your smartwatch, on your smartphone. So, if you get a text, and begin reading it on your Galaxy Gear, when you pick your Note 3 up, the message will also appear on the phone's screen.

Take photos.

The 1.9MP camera on the Gear is on the outside of the strap. It's actually surprisingly easy to aim. Access the app by swiping up on the home screen, then tap the screen to take a shot. You can take close up macro shots, Sound & Shot photos, and then share your images on social networks.

View your photos.

The Gear has access to all the photos you've taken with your watch. You can then transfer them to your Note 3, or of course share them on social networks like Twitter and Facebook.

Find my device.

If you've temporarily miss place your Note 3, you can use the Find my device app on the Galaxy Gear to quickly locate it. It makes the phone ring, even if it was on silent, so you can quickly find it. This only works in close range though, as it uses Bluetooth. Range is approximately 50m.

Control your music.

The Media Controller app lets you play songs on your Note 3, plus pause, skip forwards and backwards. You can also control the volume, although right now it's not possible to view which track is playing.

Calendar reminders.

If you've a reminder on your phone, it'll pop up on your Galaxy Gear. You can also view today's schedule, and, using voice recognition, add new events and tasks.

Get fit with a built in Pedometer.

The pedometer tracks how many steps you've made. You can alter the target distance, and link it up with S Health. This means it will know how tall you are and how much you weigh, and you can send the pedometer information to your Note 3's S Health app for extra accuracy.

Gives you the weather.

The weather app is pretty handy and it lets you view todays outlook, plus a five day forecast. Using S Voice, you can also ask it the what the weather's like in other places around the world.

Tells the time, with multiple clock faces.

Of course the Samsung Galaxy Gear is pretty nifty at telling the time too. There are loads of clock faces to choose from, from traditional clock faces to digital clocks with shortcuts including things like camera and settings. There's also a stopwatch and countdown timer.

Interestingly, the clock will turn off after a few seconds to save power. When you naturally turn your wrist up to view the time, the gyroscope within the watch will activate the screen. With a metal design, crisp screen, it's a good looking device that packs loads of features for its size.

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