VentureBeat has what it claims are pictures of the Galaxy Gear smartwatch that Samsung is expected to unveil at IFA in Germany this week, showing a chunky device with a full-color display, Bluetooth for connecting to a smartphone, and a Wi-Fi radio for connecting directly to the internet. This is essentially a full-on computer on your wrist: VentureBeat says wearers will be able to check email and post social network updates directly from the watch. It's said to have a 4-megapixel camera built into the strap and its own speakers near the clasp, perhaps for use as a hands-free calling device.
It's important to note that Samsung has an established track record of keeping its upcoming devices inside fake shells prior to their public unveiling, so this may not be the final shape — but odds are high that the size of the screen, a claimed 3 inches, won't change. That makes this a chunky wrist accessory that many won't likely consider as a replacement for a standard wristwatch. It may not take the place of your timepiece, but Samsung's smartwatch could appeal to fans of fitness trackers like the Nike Fuelband and Jawbone Up. VentureBeat says it features a built-in heart rate monitor and includes health-oriented software capable of tracking your steps and caloric intake. Screenshots captured from an alleged marketing video offer a glimpse of Samsung's design on some of these fitness apps.
The Galaxy Gear will reportedly accept voice commands via Samsung's S Voice app, and VentureBeat puts the device's battery life at over 10 hours on a single charge. It's unclear whether the watch will only function alongside Samsung-branded smartphones like the Galaxy S4 and Note II, or if it instead can sync with any Android handset. With Samsung's IFA presser just days away — and leaks increasing as the event draws near — we should know the full story before long.
Update: Om Malik of GigaOm cites multiple sources who tell him that VentureBeat's Galaxy Gear is a developer prototype, and that the retail device is a "different, more finished product."