The Verge's Vlad Savov gives Samsung's (SSNLF.PK, SSNGY.OB) $299 Galaxy Gear smartwatch a score of just 4.0/10. He likes the device's display, voice calling abilities, and camera, but not much else. The Gear is deemed too dependent on paired smartphones, and its battery life (one day under normal use) too short. In addition, its notifications are called "uninformative;" and its apps "buggy or substandard."
Savov: "A smartwatch the Galaxy Gear is not. Frankly, I’m not sure exactly what it’s supposed to be."
Engadget's Brad Molen is a little more positive. He calls the Gear comfortable to wear and its performance adequate, but is just as critical of its notifications, and doesn't like the lack of touchless controls. "The Galaxy Gear is a solid effort from Samsung, but it needs time to grow and develop." AnandTech's Brian Klug reaches a similar conclusion.
Meanwhile, a Korean site reports Apple's (AAPL +2.2%) much-rumored iWatch will feature a flexible OLED display, and that Apple is working on 1.3", 1.4", and 1.5" prototypes. The 1.5" prototype has reportedly "already been made." The Gear has a rigid 1.6" OLED display.
The FT reported in July Apple's iWatch hiring activity is picking up, and points to a 2H14 launch.