Android 4.3 Devices to Be Only Ones Compatible With Galaxy Gear Smartwatch

The new Samsung Galaxy Gear smartwatch will only becompatible with devices that run Android 4.3, JellyBean and up.

This means that the only compatible device at launch for the Gear will be the Galaxy Note 3 and the Note 10.1. Other handsets such as the Galaxy S3 and Galaxy S4 are expected to receive Android 4.3 sometime next month.

The reason for this is that Android 4.3 adds native support for Bluetooth LE. Gear support for other versions of the software could come in the future; however, nothing has been confirmed at this time.

Samsung unveiled both the Galaxy Gear and Galaxy Note 3 at its "Unpacked" Episode 2 event earlier this week.

The new device features a 1.63-inch display with 320 x 320 resolution, a 800MHz processor, 512 MB RAM, 4GB of internal storage, a 1.9-megapixel build-in camera, speakers and a mic, 720p video playback and recording, NFC, Bluetooth 4.0, and a 315mAh battery.

In terms of design, the Galaxy Gear features a metal frame and comes in two colors including silver and rose gold. Its band will come in many more choices such as Oatmeal Beige, Rose Gold, Jet Black, Mocha Grey, Wild Orange, and Lime Green. There is no information on third-party bands being made at this time. The device itself will run software based on Android, JellyBean. However, it will be heavily modified.

The Gear will have a touch screen. Swiping left or right will bring up notifications similar to the way the Google Glass interface does. People will also be able to see texts or emails from the parent device that the smartwatch is paired with.

The Galaxy Gear will cost $299 at launch and will start shipping on Sept. 25 with worldwide roll-out planned for October.