Don’t believe your eyes: leaked Samsung Galaxy Gear images could just be a prototype

3 Sep 2013

The Samsung S9110 watchphone, unveiled in 2009

Images circulating on the web this weekend revealed a Samsung Galaxy Gear smartwatch that left a lot to be desired in terms of aesthetics. However, new claims have arisen that the photos in question depict a prototype, and that the real deal could look much more refined.

Website VentureBeat published images on Sunday that were reportedly snapped from an internal promotional marketing video. The wrist-worn device in these photos is quite large, with a 3-inch display and wide bezels, inspiring words like ‘chunky’ and ‘blocky’ to describe its unwieldy design.

GigaOM now claims these images are of a prototype that has been released to a number of developers ahead of the official final device’s launch.

Specs expected from the upcoming Galaxy Gear include Android’s latest 4.3 operating system and both Bluetooth and NFC for connecting to smartphones and other devices. Phone calls may be possible on the device, which could have a camera, microphone and speakers built in.

The high-quality OLED display will likely be about 2.5 inches diagonally, but hitting 3 inches when the case is included.

It may need to be paired with a smartphone or other device in order to connect to the internet and this will provide access to an app store dedicated to compatible apps.

GigaOM’s sources have discouraging reports on the Galaxy Gear’s battery life, though, claiming that 24-hour usage will only apply to light users and that this can drop dramatically to just 10 hours of battery life with intensive use.

The Galaxy Gear is also said to have built-in sensors, such as an accelerometer, making it useful as a fitness tracking device, and it’s expected to run on a dual-core processor.

The Galaxy Gear smartwatch is expected to be unveiled at the Samsung Unpacked event ahead of IFA in Berlin on Wednesday, 4 September. Stay tuned for details from this event.

Elaine Burke is the host of For Tech’s Sake, a co-production from Silicon Republic and The HeadStuff Podcast Network. She was previously the editor of Silicon Republic.