The Samsung Galaxy Gear is definitely an attractive device. It features an attractive combination of rubber and metal that makes it feel solid and also stand out of the crowd when compared to other smartwatches. When the Samsung Galaxy Gear first launched it was worth $299, but now the price has dropped to around $150.
However, the Samsung Galaxy Gear won’t function without a smartphone from the same company. While it’s no longer the case to only to pair the Samsung Galaxy Note 3 with Gear, there still aren’t many devices that can match with the smartwatch, despite all the recent updates.
Samsung Galaxy Gear: Design
Even though the Samsung Galaxy Gear has a 1.9MP camera, it doesn’t feel all that uncomfortable on your wrist. On the plus side, it is quite easy to get used to the big 1.6 inch Super AMOLED screen. You should be aware that this device is probably not suited for you if you are a big sports enthusiast.
You won’t be able to change the strap of the Samsung Galaxy Gear as the camera is built into it so you must choose it carefully and make sure it fits when you buy it. The device has only one button that is used both as a power switch and as a function button. To turn the Samsung Galaxy Gear on you will only need to tap the button once and double tapping the button will make the device perform several tasks.
While you won’t have a vast selection of functions that can be accessed by double tapping the button, we do appreciate that the company chose to address the problem of space by adding the tapping feature.
The Samsung Galaxy Gear charges through a plastic case that you will have to strap to the watch and plug an ordinary microUSB cable in its back. We understand that Samsung had to take this decision for fear of making the device too big (if it were to put a port on the watch it would have become extremely uncomfortable). However, this means you will have to remember to bring the case with you wherever you go.
The case also comes with NFC so you will be able to pair the Samsung Galaxy Note 3 Gear quickly. All you will have to do is gently tap your Samsung Galaxy Note 3 and Gear together (or the Galaxy Note 2, Galaxy S3 and Galaxy S4), and the two will pair without any problems.
The Samsung Galaxy Gear will wake itself up the moment you raise the device up to your eye line and while this is interesting it may cause some issues with movements done by accident. For example, it will most likely annoy everyone if you’re at the movies and move your hand the wrong way.
Samsung Galaxy Gear: Interface
The Samsung Galaxy Gear is very easy to use, and you won’t have any problems getting used to its interface. You can control many things on the device by swiping on it. Swiping left and right will enable you to have a look at your notifications: start S voice to create a note, control the music and more. Swiping up will reveal the dial pad that you can use to make calls and swiping down will open the camera.
Even though the processor inside the Samsung Galaxy Gear is usually powerful enough for all the apps, it will hiccup at times. You will experience some lag issues between your commands and the actions, but it’s nothing to fret over.
The app layout may seem like it’s not very intuitive, but you can use the Gear Manager app on your phone to move things around a bit. That being said, some things can’t be customized, such as the notifications that will always be to the right of the clock.
We understand that Samsung is trying to keep things neat regarding the interface, but it would have been a lot better to be able to customize everything. Samsung released an update that allows you to replace Android with Tizen, and this will bring your experience with the Samsung Galaxy Gear closer to the Gear 2. This update will give you access to more apps, a better interface, better fitness and health tracking, a lot more customization options and a better battery life. However, you should be aware that you won’t be able to change back once you update to Tizen.
Samsung Galaxy Gear: Calling and Messaging
The Samsung Galaxy Gear was intended to be a device that had far more functions than any other smartwatch on the market at the time it was launched. For example, the smart watch from Samsung has a speaker, a microphone and the ability to read messages from numerous sources.
The contacts section on it is pretty good. It retrieves the contacts from your phone’s address book and navigating through the list isn’t very difficult. Tap on a person and you will see the profile from which you will be able to call that person.
However, there are some problems with making calls. The worse being that the speaker quality is not very high, and you will invariably find yourself moving the smartwatch closer to your ear and back to your mouth to have a decent conversation. Not to mention that people will be able to hear that conversation, so this makes privacy quite impossible to achieve when using the device to make phone calls. This isn’t a very useful feature, especially since you can simply use your smartphone to do this, as you’ll have to keep it close to the device anyway.
Getting text messages on the Samsung Galaxy Gear is kind of cool. The excellent bright screen is great for showing messages. You can’t reply to them directly from your smart watch, but this isn’t such a big deal as most people don’t respond to messages straight away, anyway.
Since its launch, Samsung made sure to constantly bring updates to the table and at the moment you can get notifications from almost any text messaging app. You will be able to use the Samsung Galaxy Gear to get notifications from Twitter, Gmail, Facebook Messenger and a lot more.
Samsung Galaxy Gear: Camera
The camera that comes with the Samsung Galaxy Gear is pretty good as well. It’s incredibly useful if you want to snap a picture, and while the image quality isn’t anything to get too excited about, it’s suitable. On the plus side, it’s better to have less image quality than none at all.
You can also easily transfer all your photos from the Samsung Galaxy Gear. You can either choose to do this manually or automatically when using the Samsung Galaxy Note 3 with Gear. There is also an option that will make the smartwatch transfer the images to your smartphone only when it’s charging, which is pretty useful and neat.
Samsung Galaxy Gear: Battery
The battery life of the Samsung Galaxy Gear is far better than the company advertises. Samsung initially estimated the battery life of the smartwatch at around 25 hours. But when put to the test, you can actually use the device for two days or so, and maybe more depending on what you are doing, without having to recharge it.
For example, we paired a Samsung Galaxy Note 3 with Gear and we constantly turned its screen on and installed several apps as well as uploaded all the images we took instantaneously on the smartphone and after around 35 hours of use we still had over 60% battery life left. It’s hard not to be impressed with its battery life.
Samsung Galaxy Gear: Gear Manager
The Galaxy Manager works pretty well on your smartphone. You can use this app to enter the Galaxy Gear section in the Samsung Apps, control third party apps, set whether social network notifications pop up or not and a lot more. It’s very easy to use and the variety of clock faces available inside the app only sweetened the deal. You can also use a nifty feature inside the app called “Find my Gear” which does exactly what the name says.
The Samsung Galaxy Gear is definitely a nice device. It’s also setting a new trend and clearly states that one of the world’s largest electronics company is ready to embrace the wearable technology and make things a lot easier for us all.
You should pair your Samsung Galaxy Note 3 with Gear as it was intended to be used to get the best results out of the device. However this doesn’t mean that you won’t be able to use the smartwatch with other Samsung smartphones.
While it’s still pretty expensive at around $150, Samsung is definitely trying to make up for this by bringing a lot of updates for it. It’s one of the best smartwatches available on the market right now and you should really consider purchasing it if you feel you need such a device and own a Samsung smartphone.
- It features a high quality design.
- It has a strong and beautiful Super AMOLED display with a resolution of 320×320.
- It’s still pretty expensive.
- The interface may be a little hard to customize.
- So there you have it. This was our Samsung Galaxy Gear review. We really hope you enjoyed it.