Samsung Galaxy Gear Falls Flatter Than a Pancake

NEW YORK ( TheStreet) -- Samsung's Galaxy Gear is the company's new line in wearable technology, and its first attempt at a smartwatch, falls flatter than a pancake.

The watch, which reportedly costs $299, has a 1.63-inch screen, a 1.9-Megapixel camera, with a microphone and speaker in the clasp that can be used to make phone calls a la Dick Tracy. The device comes in six, mostly gaudy, colors - Jet Black, Mocha Gray, Wild Orange, Oatmeal Beige, Rose Gold, and Lime Green.

The watch only works with the Galaxy Note 3, despite Samsung having more phones in its lineup than one can possibly imagine. For the watch not to work with any other Galaxy product, including Samsung's Galaxy S 4, its main phone, is incredibly short-sighted by the company, and something that either gets resolved REAL quick, or Samsung winds up having egg on its face. No one is going to buy another smartphone just to have a companion watch. The watch should work with ALL existing products.

The watch will have 70 apps at launch, many of them fitness-related, as well as some social media apps too (although no Facebook and Twitter at launch). However, the thought of taking low-quality photos and speaking into a watch doesn't appeal to me. Especially if Samsung doesn't allow the watch to be used with other Samsung Galaxy smartphones, which is a very real possibility.

It doesn't seem like Apple ( AAPL), Google ( GOOG) or even Microsoft ( MSFT), for all its shortcomings, would be so short-sighted as to unveil a product that works with essentially nothing else the companies offer.

Samsung does deserve credit for being the first of the behemoth tech giants to market a smartwatch, though Sony ( SNE) also unveiled a smartwatch that works with ALL Android phones (what a novel idea!!). However, if wearable technology is going to be as big a market as many believe it will be, Samsung will need to do a better job if it's going to be as big a hit as it SHOULD be.

Otherwise, Samsung needs to go back to the drawing board with its Galaxy Gear.

Grade: 5/10

-- Written by Chris Ciaccia in New York

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