When the Galaxy Gear wristwatch launched last fall, the results looked like a Samsung panic move. Someone at the company must have thought there was a race to beat the other mobile-world titans—namely, Google and Apple—to a wearable, phone-like accessory for mass consumption, so they assembled a watch with some decent ideas and rushed it to market. Touchscreen, microphone, camera, pedometer, and more, all within wrist’s reach.
To this date, Google and Apple haven’t launched their own watches yet, but Samsung hasn’t capitalized on that vacuum with its debut Gear. The watch wasn’t sloppy by any stretch, but it was slow, bulky, and limited enough to encounter the common consumer complaint: What do people need a “smart” watch for? Isn’t a phone enough?