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In what may be Samsung’s best commercials yet, the company has figured out a way to successfully sell failure.

Samsung is positioning it’s new Galaxy Gear as “the next big thing” in its first two ads, coyly tapping into our nostalgia for smartwatch tech from properties like Dick Tracy, Knight Rider, Star Trek, and even the Power Rangers. There are only a few brief glimpses of what the Galaxy Gear actually does in these ads — it’s mostly relying on the hope of a smartwatch powered future you’ve always dreamed of.

As my hands-on time with the Galaxy Gear showed, it’s clearly not ready for prime time. It offers a few features that existing (and unimpressive) smartwatches don’t have, like the wristband camera and third-party app capabilities, but it’s expensive at $300 and only works with Samsung’s Galaxy Note 3 and Galaxy Tab 10.1 at launch. (An update is coming to let it work with the Galaxy S4.) I didn’t find it very useful for reading texts and emails, and taking calls with it was just plain awkward.

In the end, all Samsung has to sell the Gear with is its impressive marketing budget and our sci-fi nostalgia.

At the very least, the ads show us Samsung is getting better at marketing. I just wish it was for a halfway decent product.



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