Galaxy Gear To Get Competition on AT&T from Pebble Smartwatch

The Samsung Galaxy Gear will get some new competition for potential smartwatch buyers this Friday. AT&T says that on that date, it’ll begin selling the Pebble Smartwatch in its stores.

In a statement elaborating on both the device, AT&T says that it’ll offer the smartwatch to users for $150. That is the same amount that users can purchase the device from local Best Buy locations. Although, AT&T will sell the device as an add-on accessory for users looking to enhance their Android and iOS experience and thus won’t require a two-year contract for the device, AT&T says that it has signed an exclusivity agreement with Pebble, and is the only carrier that can offer the Pebble smartwatch directly to users.

iOS 7 offers access to the Notification Center to smartwatches like the Pebble, and possibly the rumored iWatch in the future.

The Pebble Smartwatch paired with an iPhone 5.

While the device will appear at some of the company’s stores on Friday, users won’t see broader availability until October.

GottaBeMobile found the device to be disappointing in its review earlier this year. Specifically where app compatibility and actual usefulness are concerned. However, at $150, it is much cheaper than the Samsung Galaxy Gear. That device starts at a hefty $299.

Read: Pebble Review – Disappointing With Limited Apps, Especially for iPhone

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That being said, the Samsung Galaxy Gear’s elevated price also comes along with added benefits. Instead of the e-ink screen the Pebble has, the Galaxy Gear includes a 1.6-inch AMOLED touchscreen display. The device also has built-in speakers, a camera, and support for the Samsung S Voice assistant built into most of the company’s high-end and mid-range smartphones.

Right now, only the Samsung Galaxy Note 3 is compatible with the device, though Samsung says it’ll add support for more devices over time. Meanwhile, the Pebble Smartwatch is compatible with most iPhones and devices running Android.

It seems AT&T is hoping to make a strong showing in the new smartwatch category ahead of its rivals. If so, it’s likely a play to corner the category early on. While smartphone sales are expected to continue growing  for some time, many analysts believe that the category will be upended by  smartwatches and other wearables that could one day do most of the things users now expect from their phone. 

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