Galaxy Gear

Best Buy documents leaked to show Gear support slated for Galaxy S4, Note 2, S3 and S4 Active by end of year — but return rate could be higher than 30 percent

It's fair to say the Samsung Galaxy Gear smartwatch has had a mixed reception, with early reviews, including our own, complaining of poor support for non-Samsung apps and the fact that the Galaxy Note 3 was the only phone supported at launch. Today newly-leaked documents from a major retailer show that Samsung appears ready to bring Galaxy Gear support to other U.S. handsets before the of the year, while also revealing a potentially troubling return rate for the wearable gadget.

The internal Best Buy documents obtained by show that like their international counterparts, U.S. Samsung phones will get Galaxy Gear support with their Android 4.3 updates. They also show tentative launch dates for the Gear-enabling updates on the Galaxy Note 2, S3, S4 and S4 Active across all major carriers. The documents underscore the fact that these dates are subject to change, so don't consider them set in stone just yet. But as it stands, it looks like Samsung wants these devices up-to-date with Android 4.3 and Galaxy Gear support by the year's end, in line with its earlier statements.

Galaxy Gear support dates

Perhaps more intriguing, the leaked material also states:

The Galaxy Gear attachment rate within Best Buy is the highest among all channels; however the overall return rate is trending above 30%

That means Best Buy is selling a lot of Galaxy Gears to Note 3 customers, but almost a third of them are returning the smartwatch. In today's report, says Best Buy "have asked that Samsung employees on site help try to figure out why this is." Samsung has yet to release any Galaxy Gear sales figures, but if accurate, a 30 percent return rate at a big-name retailer is far from ideal.

Elsewhere, Samsung began rolling out the international Galaxy S4's Android 4.3 update in the past week, which includes Galaxy Gear connectivity. The international Galaxy S3, S4, Note 2, S4 Mini, S4 Active, Mega 5.8, Mega 6.3, and S4 Zoom are also set to receive updates with Gear support, with some devices' updates slated for the end of October.



Reader comments

Leaked docs show U.S. Galaxy Gear support rollout dates, concern over high return rate


Hello,What nationality are you?
I was inadvertently came to this website.
Here seem to be very busy.
I am a man of china,and I really want to make friends.

Thank you Ly, that post was really great user friendly and smooth.

If Samsung made penis implants, would they have TouchWiz? - dchawk81

我觉得兄弟不喜欢三星呀?我也不喜欢,不喜欢三星手机的外形。还有,朋友买了一个galaxy s3,用了几天芯片就被击穿了,在网上一查,结果这种情况在三星的手机上挺普遍的。然后我就对三星的手机不怎么放心了。

Lol, I'm not sure everyone caught this..if they did I'm not sure why I'm the one laughing at it.

Posted via Android Central App

Hello there. my name is Paul. and I'm from a place called Blackpool in Great Britain. Your English seems remarkably good! what part of China are you from?


I have a Gear, and while I love the idea, I am on the verge of returning it. The reason you ask, is no real useful apps. The samsung app store they have for the device is also a joke at this point. When they do actually have a useful app in the store, it doesn't work, no developer responses, and no updates. I knew buying this i was overpaying for a first gen product, but really it doesnt deserve to be called first gen I do LOVE my note 3 though.

Sony smartwatch 2 has google play. Until smartwatches can be used as a stand alone device I don't know how they'll ever be popular. Personally I'd love to see Samsung make these smartwatches for medical uses like medical alert bracelets that list everything, and like diabetes testing and other conditions. Also add a panic button for the elderly and disabled that sends to their phones and dials 911. At least they should add a music player, a barometer for weather changes, pedometer, and other features that would be useful when not tethered to your phone.

Yeah I might nerd out with a geekwatch if I could carry it instead of my phone. My phone kind of gets in the way a lot.

I initially tried the watch out at Best Buy about 2 weeks ago. I will agree with you that if this thing had some apps or health-related functionality baked into the OS, this would sell a lot more. It also doesn't help that you have alienated a good chunk of your potential market by pulling an Apple and making this watch only compatible with it's own products and only one phone (GN3) initially at that. I didn't think it would be a great seller based on the reviews I have read, but 30% return rates? That's very damning. And if this doesn't turn around soon, don't be shocked if the price is cut in half by December.

Maybe buy a refurbed to play with now that there is a bunch .......I stopped wearing watches in the late 80's......

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PFF, you assume VZW will happen on time...

If Samsung made penis implants, would they have TouchWiz? - dchawk81

Verizon may get the update first, but it doesn't have to push it out first. Their "vigorous" testing is always 6-8 weeks long minimum. The fastest OS update was with the Galaxy Nexus getting 4.2 in 4 1/2 weeks and that was it's last update. And remember Verizon's Famous Quote of "Subject to Change" in every release they make

Not lately. T-Mobile still hasn't released an update for the S4 since it launched. Still no App-to-SD support, and lag all over the place. Everybody is ahead of T-Mobile on the update front lately.

Verizon has to ok the update first, so they probably will be last. The only time Verizon moves fast on a update is if it is to fix a root loop hole. And the only reason Samsung is pushing 4.3 out so fast to other phones is to make them compatible with the galaxy gear. they hope to revive the galaxy gear, its dying on them.

"That means Best Buy is selling a lot of Galaxy Gears to Note 3 customers, but almost a third of them are returning the smartwatch."

More likely it means that uninformed Best Buy employees are selling them to even more oblivious iPhone owners who thought it would work and then return it.


My S-Pen went through hell to deliver this important message to you

Yeah, the kids working at Best Buy may not be the most knowledgeable but I find it hard to believe this when there's only ONE phone that supports the watch. I'm leaning more towards the side that it's a sh**ty product.

Every review I've read suggests mediocre or shitty product.

If Samsung made penis implants, would they have TouchWiz? - dchawk81

uninformed bestbuy employees....REALLY. Most of the mobile employees are very well trained. Just because someone is not a developer or likes to run cyanogen mod or root their devices does not make them uninformed. These employees are trained on three carriers, multiple platforms and multiple operating systems. Their training is actually quite good to be honest.

I cannot wait. Only thing that sucks is I got mines on boost. But I imagine the boost model will get the update around the same time as Sprint. $400 for a s3 on boost, THERE BETTER BE A UPDATE

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And this

My S-Pen went through hell to deliver this important message to you

I am. In order to have a return you need to buy one in the first place, which I find very surprising.

" Best Buy 'have asked that Samsung employees on site help try to figure out why this is.' "

Because Best Buy employees rarely know wtf they're talking about and probably have propped up the device to be some magical device that works with every apps' notifications.

When people use it and find out that it doesn't work with much at all, doesn't last a day, and pair those problems with probably how bulky and stupid looking it is, I'm surprised it's as low as 30%

You do know that Samsung has stores in Best Buy right?

My S-Pen went through hell to deliver this important message to you

Best buys customer service is not that bad. Not to mention the fact that there a store they want to sell product whatever it takes. This is obviously because of people that don't know what the heck there talking about and not necessarily best buy's customer service's problem

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I hope they can at least make it look better and cost less. The camera nipple on the wristband of the Samsungwatch is terribly ugly.

Abosolutely. If I may paraphrase Boris The Blade from Snatch:
'You made a watch with a camera?'
'Then take off the camera and give me the watch'

I have to say this is good medicine for Samsung. Android updates take too long and they know it but have been apathetic to it. If Sammy wants Gear to be successful fix your update problems.

GOOD!! i hope they get a 50%+++ return rate. Maybe an expensive lesson will teach these a-holes to remember that Android got them where they are and make things compatible with ANDROID not SAMSUNG. You know, even if they make it compatible with other phones (which it should have in the first place) the price is still almost double what it should be. I will be waiting to see what others bring to the table. I really want a smart watch but with added health sensors so it will work like a fitbit or fuel band as well.

I dont understand this sense of entitlement. Samsung can make the watch compatible for whatever they want. Its their brand and their watch.
So quit pouting and stomping your feet like a child.

I'm guessing you want Xbox controllers to work on your Playstation too right?

You're correct that Samsung can do what they want with their products, but consumers are also free to dislike and express distaste for Samsung's decisions. It works both ways.

Doesn't apple get criticized for making things only compatible with the Iphone. Why shouldn't Samsung get the same treatment. The way Samsung is going, they are the apple of android. I thought the same thing as others when reading this report, why is Samsung just updating to work with the other Samsung devices, I would think with that high return rate, maybe open it to all devices.

Well, if 4.3 is coming around November 6 for Sprint GS3, guess I should start prepping for the follow up hard reset.

Note: not a complaint about having to do a hard reset, just a comment that it will likely be needed.

Posted via my GS3 with the Android Central App

And how many of these returns are because people who didn't know it was only compatible with the Note 3, and that wasn't the phone they owned? Unless the salesperson told them this fact or they are on tech websites, most consumers won't know that fact.

Posted via my GS3 with the Android Central App

Even if they are informed, if they don't think to mention it, then it isn't going to help the consumer.

Though you are right, most are very uninformed and just don't know.

When my wife was ready to upgrade she wanted the Rugby Pro. The Samsung representative actually asked me who made that phone. Told him Samsung and he didn't believe me.

Posted via my GS3 with the Android Central App

I was in my best buy today and saw that Samsung has its own section with separate employees. Their main goal is most likely commission and if someone returns it they already got their money. Best buy is on the hook for it at that moment, not Samsung.. Either way I think people should be informed of what the gear is compatible with.. Not just a sale.

Posted via the AC app on a nexus 4

I wish people would stop blaming the sales rep. Nowadays you can't really blame the sales people. People have to blame themselves for not doing their own research before going into a store to buy a product. There is a thing called the internet aka Information Superhighway. The internet is not just for chatting or looking up stupid videos it's also supposed to be used for researching stuff that you might want to buy.

They don't make commission, neither does any Best Buy employee. Most of the Samsung Experience Consultants are very well trained, also realize that Best Buy has a no questions asked return policy for 15 days, plus 3 months during the holiday, you would be surprised how many customers abuse this.

I see that and just shows how bad Android updates are. GS4 is just getting its 4.3 update right as 4.4 comes out. Google really needs to use its best weapon to force updates faster. Have Moto X be updated in say end of Jan at the lasted to 4.4.

It taking almost 6 months to get 4.3 on the GS4 is unacceptable.

I dont see how its Googles fault that the OEMs and Service providers take their sweet time pushing the updates.

funny how carrier are lambasted for being just dumb pipes then the same for not continuing to update something that works ok on their system

read it again. I am attacking Google because they refuse to use their best weapon to force the OEMs to shape up.
Google could force it by using Moto to do it.

You are right I am going to attack Google because they pretty much have not done anything to speed things up.

The Nexus doesn't force carriers so why would the Motorolas?

The carriers just don't give a crap and that's because most users just don't give a crap.

first off, as I said earlier, Samsung is doing the update to sell more watches. Its a benefit to them. and second, phone manufactures don't like releasing the new software for phones because that does not sell phones. This is where apple kicks android's butt, when they release a update, most all of the Iphones out there are able to update also, unless you have a real old one now days that the phone could not handle the update. If apple was more customizable and not so locked down I would have a iphone, then I would know I will always get the update, wake up google, this is one area your lagging in.

Best Buy seems to forget that its new 14-day return policy
isn't helping the high return rate.

For most people, 14 days really don't give them enough
time to decide. My next-next-next-door neighbor's
daughter is the store manager at the local Best Buy.
She was telling me that many customers are rushing to
return stuff in order to meet the 14-day return period.
Instead of really figuring out if they want to keep the
product, their first thought is usually "oh... let me
return it first or else I won't have a chance on the
15th day" The sales figures this Best Buy store has
dropped dramatically right after the new return policy
was implemented and hasn't picked up yet. (as compared
to 2012 and 2011)

Agreed. You know after a few days if you are going to return or not. It's just nice to have an extra couple days to get back there to do it.

I disagree. This is a luxury item. For you to decide if you really want it, it takes a month.

My S-Pen went through hell to deliver this important message to you

I decide if I want it BEFORE I drop $300 on it. There's plenty of websites to research and gather information. I get that under a few particular circumstances you'd have to return an item but I don't go to the store and purchase before knowing if I actually want it. Luxury item or not, that's absurd.

Wanting it and needing it are two different things.

I dropped 150 on a cheap tablet because I wanted it. Didn't know if I actually needed it. I just wanted to see how much use I would get out of it. Turns out I use it a lot. So I went and bought a Nexus.

Would I have returned the first one, more than likely not. But I can understand a test run

My S-Pen went through hell to deliver this important message to you

Funny, I actually just returned mine to a Best Buy here in Columbus Ohio. Yes they did tell me it only worked with a Note 3. I returned it because i thought that it didn't do enough. I didn't like having to use the Samsung Apps for email etc. just so I can utilize the notifications feature. I didn't like that with non Samsung apps I would just get a notification saying see device. I didn't like how it dealt with getting wet. NO I didn't take it in the shower, didn't take it in the rain and I didn't take it swimming. I washed my hands and a little bit of water hit the speaker on the bottom side of the wrist band. It muffled the speaker for a good 20 minutes. I was a bit worried that I had messed it up. Now it was only a few drops from a splash. I didn't submerge the thing. There were things that I liked but I couldn't justify the large price tag for what I view as limited function.

Also, I'm a watch guy. I have been since my first watch 25 years ago when I was 8. Since then I have always worn a watch. I have many today that I wear. I found that the Gear didn't give me that feeling of style that I get with the 10-11 watches that I have today. It felt more like a toy to me and not a fine piece of craftsmanship. While the gear would be fine running around town or hanging with some buddies, it really isn't for a dressy occasions or even business casual work environments.

I applaud Samsung for what they have created and see much promise just not at this time and at this price point.

A very good idea with a very sloppy implementation!! Staying away from this because of price and its a first generation device. Also, it seems RUSHED!!! Samsung should have waited to make a play at CES! they would have had more developed software with better hardware (CURVED DISPLAY!!!!), with better notifications compatibility with more devices.

Call me when the second generation gear comes out that fixes the mistakes with the first one.

Well I'm anxiously waiting for 4.3 to rock on my Awesome Note 2.. the thing that gets me worried is the "will Samsung port note 3 features to its highest selling phablet??"

You don't read enough, they are coming. This isnt HTC who updates the os but not the skin

My S-Pen went through hell to deliver this important message to you

Just when I thought 4.1.2 would be the last update my AT&T GS3 would see, I see this! Hopefully it's true and it smooths out some of the scrolling issues Android seems to still have.

Android will never be smooth. They keep saying it will be but it never is nor will it ever be. "Project Butter" proved this to me. Every time a new super phone is released all you see is people saying how smooth it is yet every phone I have used shows noticeable stutter when doing something as simple as swiping home screens, especially if the phone has not been used for awhile. Once you get into settings menus or app menus it's a stuttering mess. If you want smooth go with windows or iPhone. Android has many other great things going for it though so I have learned to deal with the minor stutter and accept it will always be present.

The Nexus devices are very smooth. Samsung... Well, they load it with bloat, what do you expect?

If Samsung made penis implants, would they have TouchWiz? - dchawk81

^^^^^^^This is a personal experience however refines the gear well, There is that market for such tech and on styke its not that bad but doea need refined as does the whole concept, the fitness aspect needs to remain, better integration with phone in regards to email, social media, but i think simplicity and a novel idea is apt, The camera element is not required, more refined hands free and the likes is what i believe would make the smartwatch more appealing oh and battery life and design tweaks, i think Samsung will try again but will take input from this and the Gear 2 or as i would name it the Samsung Galaxy Gear Round lol will be more like what the consumer requires :-)

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I'm going to say that one reason for the high return rate is that people don't know the limited device compatibility before purchasing...

I have a small watch collection and still wear them daily. I like having the time quickly available without having to pull out my phone every time. I've spent more on a watch than the Gear is currently going for and have a wishlist of watches that cost considerably more. The Gear holds no appeal for me. I have yet to see it do anything I need from a watch. The apps look gimmicky. I'm not sure I want alerts popping up on my wrist every few minutes, and I don't know that I would use the watch as an extension for communications. I definitely wouldn't use the camera, and would probably have at least some interest if the camera were to disappear completely. It looks horrendous, the tech is low grade, and I can't imagine a situation where I would want to use a watch to take a picture. I think some of the returns are coming from people with the scifi notion that this thing is the ultimate in communication devices, and the commercials seem to try and germinate that idea, but it's a gimmick, and an overpriced one. It may get better over time and as people start to make apps that are geared (no pun intended) specifically to a smart watch format, but right now, it just looks like neutered versions of basic phone applications, and that's not enough of a draw to spend that much money on an aesthetically dull and cheap looking accessory.

Just 30% return rate??

Considering return policies in US, I think Samsung will consider this as a minor success. That means like more than 50% is keeping it.

I am sure towards Christmas, Gear will come down to 199-ish range. With more phone support, they should be able to sell decent numbers by then.

wow, the update is scheduled for end of the time Verizon will sort out the mess created after the update, it will be February on 2014. (as we all know, they screwed up the last update for SG3)

I think all these smart watches are a solution looking for a problem. So far the problem has been elusive.

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How many times does the average cell phone user pull out their phone to look at it? They claim over 250 times a day, this would save you from doing this and save battery life of you phone

Or you could buy a watch that you don't have to recharge on a regular basis.

If Samsung made penis implants, would they have TouchWiz? - dchawk81

I'm curious... will/does the Galaxy S4 Google Edition work with the Galaxy Gear? Or is this a TouchWiz only gadget? Seems kind of annoying that there would be this "only works on ...." phone problem in the first place. I like my Sony SmartWatch and am considering getting the SmartWatch 2 but both of Sony's smart watches only require Android and that you install the control app from the Play Store. That is the way to do it, IMO.

Even if I paid firesale prices (or $100 - a fitting price), I think I'd still be too embarassed to wear a failed product. I would cut the camera out/off aswell.

I'm willing to bet a lot of non Galaxy Note 3 owners bought this device expecting it to work on it's own. Even though I'm a Galaxy Note 3 owner, I'll wait for a decent smart watch that doesn't require another smartphone to be functional.

I think the general opinion is that the smartwatch is a novel idea, however it needs refined, back to the drawing board kinda thing, I have noticed that many share what i believe that a camera on a watch is not required, My take is subtle apps and software that will make tasks easyier and adopting the fundamental principle that its base is a watch and take it from there, would notifications be of use, yeh i believe that is handy aswel as quick voice to text replies for social media eg facebook, messaging, keep the hands free calling that is handy whilst driving, haha wee idea's like unlocking your car hmm maybe not, what about when you book a hotel room your watch could have a code that woukd be the radio frequency deal the NFC where you could unlock and lock you room door ( would save them keys and cards). If they can cut out the pointless crap and keep it to design and making things easier by having such a device then we can all say or most that we want one.

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I was so happy to stop wearing a watch once I got my cell phone. I would definitely not go back.

$300 is just to much for what it does. The price vs function is just way off.

The battery life is impressive for a watch that takes pictures, communicates with your phone all the time, acts as a speakerphone, etc. But having to charge is (in a special case on top of everything else) is not appealing.

$200 may make more people decide to buy and keep it and hope that something really cool comes out, and they would be one of the first to try it.
$100 would be the impulse buy price.

At this point I think I'll just wait for some of the refurbs to put up for sale in the $100 - $150 range.

Meanwhile, Apple is lurking in the bushes waiting for everyone to release there first gen watches, so they can see what works and steal from all the good ideas.

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Nothing bad though... Let others make the expensive work and then pickup the fruits. But when they do it on a way "We have something amazing!" and then they show a watch that is already seen and quite limited compatibility, it sounds a bit stupid, or should I say it sounds so Apple, nowadays...

What I dont understand it is Samsung. I have a huge, yes huge!... phone ;) Note 10.1 phone model, and it has only Android 4.1.2. Barely a year old device and it doesnt work with Gear!? Unfortunately. People like me have been waiting Gear and then it was released but they made it imcomptible with my device or havent offered an update to Note 10.1. Who would be the right or better customer to buy Gear: A people who has a phone sized 10.1 or a people who has for example Galaxy Mini? Ehm... Mini is getting Android 4.3 and hence working with Gear. Mini that is already carried in a pocket and easily taken out, like s3 and s4 etc... I cant carry my phone in a pocket, it has to be kept in a bag and I definitely need a smartwatch. But what does Samsung do? They offer updates for phones that are easy to carry and take out. How many of these customers even need Gear or will buy it anyway? I dont say that they shouldnt get the update or shouldnt buy Gear, I just say that Samsung has forgotten totally the idea of smartwatches and the fact that customers having tablet sized phones were waiting Samsung to release their smartwatch.

So what can I do? I always could buy the new 10.1 phone model with Android 4.3. No, that is not going to happen. If I buy a new phone/tablet, it is not from Samsung anymore. They are loosing me as a customer. And it's not only the Gear, but they also made SNote versions imcompatible together and barely a year old devices are nowadays impompatible to share SNote files and we cannot share our project files anymore at work for example. Other thing that I could do, it is to buy a smartwatch from other company. That is propably the thing Im going to do. Samsung just showed one thing to us, you cannot rely on Samsung. If barely a year old devices cannot be used at work anymore because of the imcompatibility issue with SNote files, what is the idea at all? It is better to stay away from devices made by Samsung. What the hell did they think? Propably nothing... The whole Note-serie, so called premium concept, is now impompatible to use at work. Nice work Samsung...

Posted via Android Central App

Because they did didn't they? O well if it resembles a iPhone they must have!

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Apple cannot simply keep making iphones and ipads in the years ahead, those products have had their impact and Apple needs some new home runs, so they will absolutely pick up the pieces from the smartphone watch disaster that exists as a whole, and make something with all of the good bits.
I wouldn't rule out them making an android supported/specific model too, to try and get a foot in the door of winning over some android folk.

I used GEAR SUPERFIXER from google play so I didnt have to wait, almost everything works without needing a the upgrade or a samsung phone