Samsung's Note 3 and Gear smartwatch make a pricey package

Price range from $1,000 at T-Mobile unsubsidized, and $600 at Verizon with a two-year contract

Early adopters who want to get their hands on the latest Samsung smartwatch and phablet will have to plunk down some major coin based on what U.S. carriers announced today they will be charging for bundled deals.

Note 3 smartphone and Galaxy Gear smartwatch
Carriers are selling Samsung's Note 3 phablet and Galaxy Gear smartwatch as a package. (Photo: Samsung)

T-Mobile USA and Verizon Wireless are sticking to Samsung's recommended price for the Galaxy Gear smartwatch of $300. The smartwatch won't function on its own and must be paired with a recent Samsung device such as the Note 3, or the Galaxy Note 10.1 2014 Edition coming in October.

At T-Mobile, it will cost a cool $1,004 to buy the new Galaxy Note 3 phablet with 32GB bundled with the Gear smartwatch, the carrier said in a statement. That includes $704 for the unsubsidized T-Mobile version of the Note 3, which can be had for $199.99 down and 24 monthly payments of $21. The devices will be available Oct. 2.

At Verizon Wireless, the price for the pair drops to $599.98, or $299.99 for the Note 3 alone, but requires a two-year contract. The devices will ship by Oct. 10. Verizon has a zero-money down option under its Edge service plan for the Note 3, which costs $29.16 a month, or $699.84 over 24 months. There's also a $699.99 price for buying the Note 3 upfront with a month-to-month service deal.

Analysts suggested that U.S. carriers would make it more affordable to own the Galaxy Gear smartwatch by discounting the $300 price for a bigger wireless contract, but that hasn't occurred thus far.

At AT&T, only the Note 3 has been placed on sale for $299.99 with a two-year contract, with shipping promised for Oct. 1. AT&T said it will carry the Gear, but hasn't announced pricing or availability.

Sprint on Thursday said it plans to offer the Note 3 this fall, but didn't give a date or price and didn't mention its plans for the Gear.

Samsung said that AT&T, Sprint, T-Mobile, Verizon and U.S. Cellular will carry the Note 3, although there was no mention of a price or shipping date on U.S. Cellular's Web site on Friday. Samsung didn't commit to individual carriers that will also have the Gear smartwatch, however, saying only that it will be available through carrier channels.

The prices stated y the carriers apply to an LTE-ready 32 GB version of the Note 3, which sports a 5.7-in. touchscreen, Android 4.3, a Snapdragon 800 quad-core processor as well as a 3,200 mAh battery and more powerful stylus capabilities than its predecessor.

The smartwatch includes a 1.6-in. square touchscreen face and a camera lens and a microphone on the wristband for making calls. Its battery will last a full day, Samsung said. Calls and other Internet connections are made through a pairing of the watch via low power Bluetooth 4.0 to the Samsung smartphone or tablet.

This article, Samsung's Note 3 and Gear smartwatch make a pricey package, was originally published at Computerworld.com.

Matt Hamblen covers mobile and wireless, smartphones and other handhelds, and wireless networking for Computerworld. Follow Matt on Twitter at @matthamblen or subscribe to Matt's RSS feed. His email address is mhamblen@computerworld.com.

See more by Matt Hamblen on Computerworld.com.

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