Samsung Gear Fit: World’s first modern smartwatch

So this is what Samsung thinks the iWatch will look like. It’s calling its newly-announced curved-touchscreen smartwatch Gear Fit, and billing it as a fitness tracker with a watch on board.

Never mind Samsung’s other clunky wrist computers (the cumbersome brandspam Gear 2 and Gear 2 Neo) it’s hocking at the Mobile World Conference 2014 (MWC) in Barcelona — this is the watch to watch.

Why’s that? The precious 18-to-49 demographic hates wearing watches anyway, so the smaller the better. The 1.84-inch curved Super AMOLED touchscreen display, the most compelling feature of this new device, looks a lot like design concepts depicting Apple’s upcoming iWatch:

iWatch Concept by Fuse Chicken

Best of all, Gear Fit weighs half of what Samsung’s other blunderbuss watches weigh — the Gear Fit is relatively light at just under an ounce.

The Gear Fit does what any respectable smartwatch can do these days, including notifying you of calls, emails, texts and upcoming appointments, alarming you with its buzzes and generally making a nuisance of itself unless you really want to know what time it is without glancing at your smartphone.

Speaking of smartphones, early smartwatches circa 2014 require pairing with a smartphone. Samsung is more than happy to oblige with its upcoming Galaxy S5 handset. In fact, it only works with Samsung Galaxy devices.

Along for the ride — and the raison d’être for its “Fit” name — is a heart monitor, gyroscope and accelerometer, counting your steps, logging your runs and monitoring your sleep time. Best of all, Samsung says it solved that battery problem, bragging about 3 to 4 days of battery life per charge. We’ll see about that.

I think svelte wristbands similar to this will rule the roost when it comes to smartwatches. That’s why I called it the world’s first modern smartwatch in this post’s headline. The lame Samsung Galaxy Gear watch was a mess, looking clunky, gobbling battery power and weighing down the wrist.

Samsung apparently agrees, abandoning that smartwatch and its Android brain, replacing the OS with the open-source Linux-based Tizen OS (Samsung and Intel are part of the steering group for that software). Who knows whether it’s going to suck or not, but changing horses during the precious months before Apple rolls out its wrist juggernaut can’t be a good sign.

What’s missing? Price and availability info. Any huge multinational techno-peddler can create a one-off demo of a wearable play-toy like this. It’s an entirely different matter to create them en masse for gadget aficionados worldwide.

And the price? If this trinket costs $100 (and actually works), Samsung will sell zillions of them, but if it costs $800, not so much.

Images: Samsung, Fuse Chicken