The Samsung Gear Live was the surprise smartwatch at Google IO and yet it's already priming to become the one of the first available Android Wear watches.

Sure, Samsung has made Android-compatible smartwatches before. Its Samsung Galaxy Gear even ran Android until it was updated to Tizen, and the Gear 2, Gear 2 Neo and Gear Fit followed suit.

But this one is different. It's a Google Now-powered wearable that instinctively beams location and context-sensitive messages to your wrist.

This is on top of porting smartphone-linked notifications and, of course, showing the time. Best of all, it works with more than just a few Samsung devices this time around.

Release date

Samsung loves being "the world's first," even when it's often tied with its day-one South Korean rival, LG. That's exactly the case here.

The official Samsung Gear Live release date was announced to be July 7, the same day the LG G Watch is set to ship, or at least that was said at Google IO.

Samsung Gear Live release date
Looks a bit like the Samsung Gear 2 but with Android

Pre-orders through the Google Play Store tell a different tail. In the UK, Gear Live is expected to be "dispatched from the warehouse by July 4."

However, in the US, Samsung's smartwatch won't be ready to leave the warehouse until July 8. This may have to with that US holiday in which Americans celebrate their independence from Great Britain.

Price

Gear Live matches the LG G Watch with the official, albeit inconsistent July 7 release date, but Samsung undercuts the competition with a slightly lower price in the US at $199, not $229.

In the UK, it's actually a bit more money. Samsung Gear Live is going for £169, while LG's watch costs $159.

This reflects the fact that smartwatch pricing is all over the place as the product category is just taking off. This may be one of the many reasons the Moto 360 launch date and price are still veiled in secrecy.

Motorola's smartwatch is said to be $250, which would make it a bit more than its Android Wear-powered competitors.

Specs

The Google Now-influenced Android Wear platform is the major reason to own one of these new watches, but the hardware of course needs powerful enough specs to be wrist-worthy.

Samsung Gear Live lives up to that requirement with a 1.63-inch Super AMOLED display and a 320 x 320 resolution that is 278 ppi.

Samsung Gear Live wine red color
Via the Samsung store, it comes in wine, wine red

Its screen size is a hair smaller than the LG G Watch, which is 1.65 inches on its face. But LG's take on Android Wear won't have as sharp of a display. It's resolution is 280 x 280.

Everything else is pretty much the same. There's a 1.2GHz processor, 4GB of internal storage, 512MB of RAM and Bluetooth 4.0 LE on board.

Is Samsung Gear Live waterproof?

Samsung touts that you can "wear Gear Live in all conditions." To that point it's water resistant, though not exactly "waterproof."

Officially, it's another IP67 water and dust resistant device from the South Korean manufacturer, which says you can "keep it on when you wash your hands, take a shower, or do the gardening."

This is the same "International Protection Marking" that the Samsung Galaxy S5 received, so it'll hold up in most cases, but it's not recommended to wear when swimming in the pool or ocean.

Battery life

As small as you want a smartwatch to be, the battery needs to be big enough to hold a full day's charge. Samsung says it pulled that off here.

The Samsung Gear Live contains a 300mAh battery that's said to provide a charge for exactly one day. The LG G Watch adds a few extra milliamps with a 400mAh battery.

Samsung Gear Live smartwatch clasp
The rear of the watch makes room for a pogo charger