Keeping the SmartTime: a Brief History of Samsung Gear

For the businessperson of today, having the right tech can mean the difference between overwhelming success and corporate embarrassment. The smartwatch is a fusion of fashion and function, with modern devices performing on-par with advanced smartphones and some computers, but they are compact enough to be unobtrusive, and convenient.

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While the most widely known smartphone was made by Apple Inc., there is a multitude of companies that produce them. Not the least noteworthy of these companies is Samsung, makers of the highly-praised Samsung Gear series of products.

The first in the Gear series was the Samsung Galaxy Gear, which was unveiled in September of 2013. It was designed to function as a companion to Samsung's Galaxy-line smartphones and tablets. It initially ran Android 4.3, but was later updated to run Tizen, a Linux-based operating system managed in part by Samsung. It features a 1.6-inch display, 4 GB storage, 512 MB of RAM, ad a built-in 1.9-megapixel camera. Prior to the switch to Tizen, the Gear series ran Android apps, but after the conversion the series gained access to a new set of applications specifically designed for smartwatches.

The Samsung Gear 2 was revealed in February of 2014, as a successor to the Galaxy Gear. The most significant change from the previous model is the permanent change to Tizen, allowing for further refinement of the gesture-based control scheme, but it also features a slightly stronger processor and a higher-quality camera. The other specs are essentially identical, with the RAM and storage capacity being the same, though the improved OS and processor made the Gear 2 and it's offshoot, the slightly smaller Gear 2 Neo, significant improvements over the older models.

The Samsung Gear S made its appearance in August of 2014, following up on the success of the Gear 2 with a number of notable improvements. The multi-point touchscreen is larger, at 2 inches, and has a convex curve allowing for a larger, more comfortable display. It also saw the addition of a 3G mobile data chip and was the first wifi-capable smartwatch. It also features several interesting devices, such as a heart rate monitor, various light sensors, barometer, compass, gyroscope, and accelerometer, the latter two of which contribute to the device's motion-based input. As is considered standard for the series, it runs the latest version of Tizen.