What makes a smartwatch these days? Is it something that simply sits on the wrist and buzzes when the phone does something in the pocket? A fully-fledged phone it itself? Or, like the Galaxy Gear, something in between?

We've got all kinds of devices pretending to be a smartwatch, and there's definitely an interest from consumers, if not a desire, for such a thing strapped to the wrist.

There was clamour for the LG GD510, the real 'Dick Tracy' smartwatch that was essentially a feature phone on a wrist, allowing you to make calls and send texts.

It was thoroughly rubbish as a phone replacement, yet sold out the world over.

And then there's the Pebble, a watch that's meant to sit neatly next to your smartphone and give notifications and extra information when needed - a huge hit on Kickstarter, it's been met with tepid reviews yet the makers still struggle to meet demand.

Galaxy Gear review

So when Samsung, the world's biggest supplier of smartphones, makes a device that supplements the Galaxy Note 3 and the Galaxy S4 (thanks to the latest update) we should all sit up and take notice, right?

The Gear is certainly an attractive device, a clever mix of metal and rubber that gives it a really solid feel. It has to do that, as you'll be forking out £299 (although the price has dropped to around £250 if you shop around in the UK) or $299 (Around AUS$324) for the privilege of owning one.

And given it won't function without it, you'd be a fool to pick up a Gear without a companion Samsung device.

Some retailers have taken the Gear off sale it seems since its launch too - don't hold out a lot of hope for this being a device with a rich support history.

Despite also packing a 1.9MP camera, the Gear doesn't feel overly cumbersome on the wrist. It's a little on the large side to accommodate the 1.6-inch Super AMOLED 320 x 320 resolution screen, which means it will catch on most clothing, but it's not in the realms of sports watches that runners love to lug around on marathons.

Galaxy Gear review

The clasp is strong, so the fit is generally snug enough, although it can get a little tight over the course of the day - but that's an issue most watches struggle with. The problem there is that you can't change the strap on the Gear as it has the camera stuck inside - so best make sure it's a decent fit before purchase.

There's only one button on the outside, which is the power / function key. A tap of this will turn the device on, but a long press or double tap will also make the Gear perform other tasks, which you can choose yourself. These are a little limited, but we like that Samsung has tried to maximise the lack of tappable space on the screen in this way.

We were a little surprised by the method of charging: the Galaxy Gear comes with a plastic case which you strap the watch into and plug a standard microUSB cable into the back of. This means that you have to remember to bring the charging case with you at all times, and can't rely on anyone having a spare charger when caught short.

However, the addition of a port on the watch would have likely increased size too much, so we can get on board with this compromise, although it can still be incredibly frustrating.

The case also comes with NFC connectivity, so when pairing your Note 3 (or Galaxy S3 and Galaxy Note 2 in the coming weeks... the former's Android update is being particularly troublesome) you just tap the handset to the back of the case and the pairing is taken care of simply, which again reduces heft in the watch.

Galaxy Gear review

Do we like the design of the Galaxy Gear? It's a little chunky and the screws on the front of the watch look like they're trying a little too hard to make it look like an expensive wrist-watch... which we suppose it is.

But Samsung needs to give a premium air for something that costs so much to buy, so we'll say the design makes a lot of sense here.