We've heard some rumblings about Samsung's upcoming Galaxy Gear smartwatch and what it may or may not be. But VentureBeat got its hands on what it claims is a real prototype, complete with Bluetooth, Wi-Fi radios, a 4-megapixel camera, and even speakers. This could be the real deal.
According to VentureBeat, the Gear is a beefy machine. The screen is a relatively large (for a wrist) 3-inch OLED display but the clunky exterior packs a whole lot of features that would make it useful even without being paired to a smartphone. With Wi-Fi, the watch is apparently able to function on its own for email, social media, and whathaveyou. And there's a camera and speakers in there. It's practically one data connection short of being an actual phone.
It's not clear what kind of operating system the watch runs, but VentureBeat claims it comes pre-loaded with actual Android apps of some sort. Presumably they are massively modified ones, for both CPU and UI reasons. Don't expect to get everything on your wrist (like you would even want to). As for other specs, VentureBeat is detailing a 10+ hour battery life and the ability to be used as a hands-free device on calls.
The Gear is intended to work best with other Samsung devices (of course) but will be able to connect to any Android device. There aren't any details on whether or not there's an accelerometer or other fitness-tracking-type hardware inside, but it looks like Samsung is going whole-hog with features, so it seems likely there is. Why skimp there? And if that's the case, the Gear won't only be making a play as a phone-companion, but also a fitness-tracker replacement.
This is a leak, of course, so nothing is certain. While VentureBeat claims to have had hands-on time with an actual unit, the photos come from a internal video which show a prototype version. Things may have changed on the way to the actual announcement, especially the outward appearance. It'd be pretty incredible if they hadn't.
We'll have to wait until the (almost certain) September 4th reveal to get an official look at the finished product, but we wouldn't be surprised if this is a pretty accurate feature run-down. [VentureBeat]