Samsung Gear Live and Smartwatch Growing Pains: Readers React

by Reads (484)

Samsung’s new Gear Live smartwatch is now available to the public, and our review prompted mixed reactions to the new device from all around. Here’s what you folks had to say about it.

Gear Live wristLike the review, much of the reader criticism of the Gear Live centered around the watch’s display, which can be difficult or impossible to read in direct sunlight. You pulled no punches on this count, with user Hook putting it thus:

Seems to me that a display that is clearly visible in sunlight is a minimum requirement for this class of device. Even that doesn’t guarantee that it is useful or that people will adopt it, but without an always visible screen there doesn’t seem to be a point.

This led into a wider discussion centered on the effect of the screen’s brightness on battery life for such a tiny device. Mitlov compared it to one of Samsung’s other high profile models.

Agreed on the brightness issue. That’s a baffling omission. Though the auto brightness adjustment on my [Samsung Galaxy] S3 absolutely kills the battery life (I keep auto-brightness off as a result), so I wonder if Samsung’s software for it is less efficient than it could be, and they left it off to improve the watch’s battery life.

EdmundDantes also chimed in on this note.

This seems to be a Catch-22: the OLED display is bad in bright outdoor light; but good for battery life. A more conventional display (which I prefer) might not be possible until battery tech gets better.

This prompted a longer discussion of the perils of battery capacity on mobile devices, as well as questions about what future technologies there might be to increase battery capacity without significantly increasing the bulk of a device. I lent my own insights into the matter:

The best chance may still be lithium ion batteries using silicon nanowire anodes. These are supposed to allow for storing 2 to 10 times the power of conventional graphite anodes. But commercialization has kept getting pushed back; they were supposed to start manufacturing in 2012, then 2014, now they’re aiming at 2015.

These are just a few of the many discussions going on in the Brighthand forums. Got a tech problem you need help with? An opinion on the latest news? Or just something you’re curious about and want an answer to? Sign up for our forums and join the conversation today.



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