Amid Reports of High Return Rates, Samsung Expands Galaxy Gear Smartwatch Compatibility

PHOTO: Galaxy Gear smartwatch is held next to the new Galaxy Note 3 smartphone
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Samsung is eliminating one of the major complaints about its Galaxy Gear smartwatch, which launched last month for $300. In the coming weeks, the watch will work with more Samsung phones, the company announced today. Instead of working only with the Galaxy Note 3, it will be updated to work with the Galaxy S4, Galaxy S3 and Galaxy Note 2 smartphones.

The added compatibility will surely make the watch available to a greater number of people -- the Galaxy S3 and S4 are the most popular Android smartphones around. But it will likely still not appeal to them. The update won't address a number of other complaints that reviewers (ABC News included) and users have had about the device, including its dependence on the phone, short battery life and confusing interface.

According to a report from technology website Geek.com, one in three buyers -- or 30 percent -- who purchased the smartwatch from Best Buy have returned it. Samsung did not respond to ABC News' request for comment on the return rate of the new wearable device. Still, the broader support of the Gear should help drive sales of the device.

Samsung's Wacky Gadgets: Galaxy Round Just One of Many

This week Samsung will hold its first developer's conference in San Francisco to encourage software makers to build apps and software for its growing number of mobile devices, including its latest Galaxy Gear.

Still, the Gear is just one of many smartwatches currently on the market and expected to arrive. Pebble sells its smartwatch at Best Buy and Sony recently released its Smartwatch 2. Apple, Google and Microsoft are all rumored to release smartwatches over the next year or so.

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