By Salvador Rodriguez, Los Angeles Times
Samsung has kicked off the smartwatch race by unveiling the Galaxy Gear.
The South Korean tech giant introduced the device Wednesday morning in Berlin. Users wear the Galaxy Gear on their wrists like any other watch, but this watch is capable of making voice calls, running apps, taking photos, displaying alerts and more.
Here are 10 things you need to know about the Galaxy Gear:
1. It connects with Samsung devices.
Samsung said the Galaxy Gear connects with the Galaxy Note III and 2014 edition of the Galaxy Note 10.1 tablet, both of which will come out in the next few weeks. The Galaxy S 4 will also soon receive an update to be compatible with the Galaxy Gear, and in the future, other Samsung devices will too.
The Galaxy Gear connects to those devices using Bluetooth in order to perform its numerous functions.
2. It has a small touchscreen.
The Galaxy Gear uses a small 1.63-inch touchscreen. The display has a 320 by 320 pixel resolution.
3. It will show you notifications.
Whenever you receive a new message, email or alert on your smartphone, the Galaxy Gear will display a notification. If you want to see the full message, simply pick up the Samsung device that the Galaxy Gear is connected to and that smartphone or tablet will automatically open to the message.
4. It can make calls.
The Galaxy Gear will also alert you when you have an incoming call. But you don't have to pull out your phone to pick up; the smartwatch has a speaker and microphone on its wristband that you can use to talk.
5. It responds to voice commands.
You can use that microphone to also give the Galaxy Gear instructions. The device runs S Voice, which is Samsung's version of Siri, so you can give voice commands such as "Is it going to rain today?" or "Set a reminder" and the Galaxy Gear will respond appropriately.
6. It can also take pictures.
Besides a microphone and speaker, the Galaxy Gear's wristband also has a small 1.9-megapixel camera attached. The camera can be used to quickly take pictures or shoot video.
7. It runs apps.
Like a smartphone, the Galaxy Gear is also capable of running apps. For now, there are only a handful of apps specifically designed for Samsung's smartwatch - they include the Path social network and read-it-later app Pocket - but the company said more will come soon.
8. Its battery lasts a full day.
You won't have to worry about charging the Galaxy Gear often _ Samsung said the smartwatch can last 25 hours on just one full charge.
9. It comes in six colors.
Trying to appeal to all kinds of consumers, Samsung will release the Galaxy Gear in black, gray, orange, beige, rose gold and green colors.
10. It won't come out until October, and there's no price for it yet.
Although 149 countries will get the Galaxy Gear this month, US customers will have to wait until October. Samsung also did not disclose a price for their new product.