Samsung's entry into the mainstream wearables market will begin Oct. 1, when AT&T begins shipping the Galaxy Gear and Note 3.
The Samsung Galaxy Gear is coming.
It appears that AT&T will be the first to offer the Samsung smartwatch. The carrier is now accepting preorders
online and promising that the accessory will ship Oct. 1.
Available in beige or black, the Gear is priced at $299 and is a companion device to the Galaxy Note 3—a phablet with a 5.7-inch display that AT&T began accepting preorders for Sept. 6 and also promises to ship Oct. 1.
With a two-year contract, the Note 3 is priced at $299.99 and offered in Classic White or Jet Black. (Introducing the Note 3
at simultaneous press events in Berlin and New York City Sept. 4, Samsung also showed off a blush-pink version.)
Alternately, through AT&T's new Next program, users can pay $35 a month for the device (the data plan is separate) for 20 months.
T-Mobile will follow a day later, selling both the Galaxy Gear and the Note 3 Oct. 2.
The "un-carrier" is selling the Note 3 for $199 down and 24 payments of $21 with a Simple Choice Plan. (There's no two-year service contract, but if you cancel your Simple Choice Plan, you'll have to pay the remainder that's due on the phone; same goes for AT&T's Next.)
T-Mobile will begin accepting preorders for the Note 3 Sept. 18.
The Galaxy Gear will sell for $299.99, plus taxes and fees (no un-carrier business there), and interested parties will need to wait until Oct. 2 to place their orders.
Third in line, Verizon is now accepting preorders for both devices, which it says it will deliver by Oct. 12.
Subscribers can buy the Note 3 with a two-year contract for $299; via Verizon Edge for $0 down and $29.31 a month; or packaged together with the Gear for $599.98 with a two-year contract.
Verizon is offering the Note in black only and the Gear in choices of black, gray or orange.
Sprint announced Sept. 4 that it will offer the Note 3 "this fall," and Samsung has said that in October, U.S. Cellular will also carry the Note 3 and that the Gear will be available through carrier channels, including Best Buy, Amazon, Fry's and Radio Shack.
The Note 3 features a 5.7-inc full-HD Super AMOLED (active-matrix organic LED) display, a 13-megapixel rear-facing camera with 1080p HD video capture, a 2-megapixel front-facing camera, and an S Pen stylus for taking notes, navigating the device and generally making several tasks simpler. With the upgrade from the Note 2 to the 3, Samsung significantly improved the S Pen's capabilities. Hovering it over the display now produces a fan-style palette of options, from the ability to search the device to make smarter use of notes—such as the ability to call a number jotted down in handwritten mode.
The physical device also received a makeover, and now features a leather-like fabric and revealed stitching, in lieu of the "nature-inspired" colors and materials of older Galaxy devices.
The Gear runs a version of Android, includes Bluetooth and WiFi connectivity, has a 1.63-inch AMOLED display, a 1.9-megapixel camera in its plastic wristband and generally behaves as a smaller complement to the Note 3, offering a way to answer or place calls, view emails, listen to music, and perform other small tasks without bothering to take the nearly 6-inch device from your bag or pocket.
Samsung executives have called it "the future of the digital world." Come early October, consumers can decide whether they agree.