First, I don't have any reactions regarding the Gear since I've not seen enough of it to make even a preliminary judgment or form an opinion. However, I wonder what the whole point of releasing it now do for the mobile audience. Frankly, I'm in the camp that regardless of who makes it, folks don't in general don't wear watches now.
Some argue that, well, with a smartwatch, you see something important, you can then go to your smartphone and do whatever it is that needs to be done. Or you might even be able to, say, answer a text right from the watch. That being said, the Gear doesn't let you do that at this time. Maybe Gear 2 or 3 but not this year's gear.
Also, if I get a message and I was not expecting anything important, I probably would just ignore it. And if I happen to see anything on my phone that require my attention, the phone is already in my hand - negating the extra step of turning my wrist to a better viewing angle of the screen on the watch and then deciding if something important require my attention.
I suppose what I'm saying is that there has to be a better implementation of wearable computing and, so far, whatever smartwatches on the market, they're not it. We are not even close to seeing anything on the market that suggest to the mobile warrior that "this is it! This isn't a watch but a real wearable device that makes it a great compliment to my mobile life and my smartphone". And this includes the Pebble as well.
And given the specs and what you still cannot do on the Gear, the Pebble makes a better buy since it can actually last longer on a charge than the Gear's 1-day battery life.
If anything, the Gear feels like a prototype than a good finished device. Comparing it to the Pebble is unfair to Pebble. If you want an analogy to what the Gear is, think Google Glass at $1500. And even then, Glass offers greater possibilities and inspires greater imaginations as a device than Gear has so far.
So far, Gear is just $300 experiment also looking for beta testers.
Also think Balmer at CES holding up a slate in 2010 in anticipation of Apple's iPad introduction.