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They say the best technology fades into the background, working so quietly and simply that you stop noticing it. By that standard, the new Galaxy Gear smartwatch by Samsung Corp. counts as a solid success. I stopped noticing it almost as soon as I put it on; rarely have I tested a more forgettable piece of hardware.
That’s bad news for Samsung, which spent millions to develop the Galaxy Gear and is splashing out millions more on excellent TV ads aimed at persuading us that its smartwatch is the next big thing. Well, the chunky 2.6-ounce device is fairly hefty, as watches go. And at $299, the Gear’s price is flat-out monstrous. But the Gear will never play a major role in anybody’s life; it’s just not very useful.