Whether or not you like Samsung, Tizen or smartwatches, we would all have to agree that the new Samsung Gear S is the most ambitious smartwatch made to date. It has full 3G/2G, Bluetooth and Wi-Fi connectivity, a huge 2-inch curved Super AMOLED display and even a full QWERTY keyboard option. Not anything this feature ridden, yet easy to use, happens on its own – it was a real job for the product managers and engineers to bring the Gear S to market… after all, this is the first of its kind.
Samsung set certain priorities that they insisted be a part of the design – the first was to give users the freedom to be disconnected from their smartphone. The Gear S has to be a standalone device so connectivity via Wi-Fi and 2G/3G was essential and a first for a smartwatch. Samsung engineers had to squeeze the innards of a smartphone into the size of a smartwatch and in order to implement notifications, Samsung had to institute its own relay server to forward these smartphone notifications to their smartwatches… all seamless to the user.
The curved Super AMOLED display may look cool, but the Gear S posed multiple challenges – there are many curved displays, but adding the smartphone-like experience made it a challenge to mate the correct screen size that had to be usable, comfortably wearable and maximize the user experience. There were the problems of reflection to solve, as well as the antenna and battery needed to be curved. The optimal point to absorb information is different going from a flat display to a curved display.
The appropriate size of the display required a series of trials – it needed to have a comfortable fit for all age groups and ethnicities from all parts of the world. They gathered their information, made 3D models and decided the best ratio and size of the Gear S. Viewing the data both in the daylight and at nighttime had to be taken into consideration before they finally decided that 2-inches would be the best size. Samsung wanted the QWERTY keyboard to fit into those dimensions, so they had to determine how to fit it in those space constraints and yet make it usable at the same time.
The 2-inch display gives the user the most real estate and still allows it to be comfortable to wear. The clock face is large enough to offer a variety of displays, alarms, date, pedometer, notifications, and battery life and much more – a simple glance is all that is needed to absorb the details. Samsung did a lot of work to make the Gear S a great mobile experience. Please hit us up on our Google+ Page and let us know if you have a Gear S, or would like to own one, and what you think of the complete standalone smartwatch… as always, we would love to hear from you.