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Blurring lines, The Galaxy Gear S.

viridis
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Specifications:

 

Size:39.9 x 58.1 x 12.5

Screen: 2.0” Curved Super AMOLED at 360 x 480

Cpu: Dual core 1.0 GHz

Memory: 512MB Ram, 4GB Storage

Connectivity: WiFi :802.11 b/g/n, A-GPS/Glonass, Bluetooth® : 4.1, USB 2.0

Media support: MP3/AAC/AAC+/eAAC+, MP3, M4A, WMA, AAC, OGG

Sensors: Accelerometer, Gyroscope, Compass, Heart Rate, Ambient Light, UV, Barometer

OS:Tizen wearable 

 

There comes a time when something comes along and makes the distinction between accessory and host just that little bit more blurred, just that little bit more amazing, and can stand its own ground as a dedicated device. This is what Samsung have achieved with Samsung Gear S.

Having opened the box, i found myself switching on the watch, all whilst wearing my Sony SmartWatch, and one thing became instantly obvious, Samsung are so far ahead in the Smartwatch field it's scary.

The display burst into life with crisp, colourful images and text and was so, so much better than any watch display i've ever seen before. time to pop in a sim.

The first boot requires you to pair the watch to your Galaxy handset, which of course i dont have. A couple of tweaks later on my phone (dont ask, cant discuss) and we're all good, later on i found a simpler way to get it registered by just simply tapping repeatedly on certain parts of the screen, but never mind, already done by then.

After entering wifi info and mobile data selection, the watch face comes up and a guide pops up telling you which directional swipes will bring up various apps, menus, theme settings and controls. within minutes i knew exactly how to get to the items i wanted.

Now, without a Samsung phone, the watch was limited to only the provided apps (however i later paired it to my friends Galaxy, installed some apps and unpaired. The provided apps are more than satisfactory though, i dont need a watch to get on the web, i dont need a watch to stream netflix or most other pointless apps for watches. i had health monitors, nike fitness, Gmail, Email, video and music players, and of course, dedicated mobile functions from the built in 3G Sim Support.

That Sim support means that this watch will make you be able to be in contact wherever you are and whatever the situation(signal permitting). going for a jog? the watch will allow you to be in contact without carrying your phone in your pocket, and will give full health tracking and monitoring too, as well as GPS monitoring, as well as.. well you get the picture.

same with most outdoor activities, the watch will allow you to leave your big, bulky handset at home, allowing complete freedom.

I found the watch very quick and very responsive, the dual core 1Ghz processor never lagging or stuttering on Samsung's proprietary Tizen OS, which whilst is similar to Android, is much more suited to this watch than Android wear could ever be. This is the reason why the Gear S needs a Galaxy to offer full functionality, the App installs take place over Touchwiz and samsung's own installers, not Android. I would hope the next instalment of Gear S allows self install of apps, this would be a real stepping stone over a pointless hurdle imo.

I found the health monitors worked fantstic, keeping track of my daily steps, calorie burn, avg heartrate, even blood oxygen % (as an asthma sufferer, this is a very good function) and the app will also monitor your sleep patterns and suggest differences to your lifestyle to keep you more active and fit.

The personalisation options are Plenty, and allow you to download and install many different watch faces as well as change colour themes. Thankfully the themes and appearance is very recognisable as it is so similar to Samsung's Touchwiz overlay on Android, which we all know is as "pick up and play" as they come.

The price of the Gear S is a reasonable £19 per month on O2 Refresh, which equates to £264. This seems high but when you consider the amount of top draw tech inside this SmartWatch, it's actually quite reasonable.

I would quite easily recommend the Gear S to a friend and whilst using it, it reminded me just how good Samsung make mobile devices when compared with most others.

This watch is the pinnacle of wearable tech right now, and to answer the age old question, No! The apple Watch won't be as good as this, it won't come near it for features and quality,and that is Fact. This watch is what the apple Watch 3 will compete to be with, that's just how far Samsung have come in wearable tech since the original Gear.

 

Overall rating:

Quality: 5/5

Features: 5/5

Ease of use: 4/5

Wow factor: 4.5/5

Value for money: 3.5/5

 

Overall: 4/5

 

The Gear S can be purchased from O2 on the following link.

 

Galaxy Gear S on O2 Refresh

29 Comments
Cleoriff
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Excellent review @viridis Really full of information and made for an enjoyable read . A family member has this smartwatch and I was a bit mystified about all the functions till I read your review. So a personal thanks for helping me understand. It's no secret that I am not a fan of health apps. However reading your experience of the blood stats monitoring and how it was helpful in your personal circumstances I will admit to being a bit too cynical about some particular health app uses

I can't understand how you got synced without having a Samsung phone. I wont push though as I expect it's a secret known only to techy geeks. wink

A job well done.....Thanks for a very informative review.

jonsie
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 Excellent review and mirrors my experience of the watch... review hopefully to follow depending on the time factor. 

MI5
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Awesome review dude....
perksie
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Very good review which might help people decide whether or not to try these out.:smileyhappy:

Anonymous
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Great review - well written and comprehensive. However - I fail to see the excitement about smart watches personally, do they really expect people to share photos, do email and watch videos on a watch?!

 

Whilst I can see the health apps being a benefit I have always thought making watches do similar things our phones already do, and do very well, a bit pointless. 

 

Anyway that's my own personal opinion and if we all liked the same stuff the world would be a boring place!!

jonsie
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It's a novelty and all about street cred at the moment but one day everyone will be using them and they will be sold as an accompanied accessory with the phone. 

Poppysmum
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Enjoyed reading your review viridis slight_smile

Toby
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Fantastic job @viridis !

 

 

Anonymous
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Hey @viridis ! I've enjoyed so much reading your review that I'm now thinking on participating on TTT just to try the Galaxy Gear S. Great job! How about the size of the screen? Is it big enough to read clearly everything?
viridis
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It's more than big enough but slim and curved enough so as to not look bulky or ridiculous.
It's very very clear to read everything.
Anonymous
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Intresting review as I have the moto 360 so I am not really in the market for another andoid smartwatch unless they get the apple app they keet talking about up and running.

I was surpised to read about really needing a samsung phone ( I do have an s5) I didnt realise an  andoid watch would be so much like apple in holding onto the brand.

I personally am happy to pay about £200 for a smart watch thats upto date so its a bit out of my prefered budget and doesnt have anytihng I really want to tempt me yet. The apple watch is going to have to be a loit better to gwt me back though ther new phones dont look worth updating for so maybe a new watch for the festive season might get me in to the apple store though I havent even been for a look or play at them which is most unusal for me a big apple fan.

I ahte to think how you got it to work with your phone no doubt some major tech stuff that goes way over my head which is still in summer holiday mode, I cant think or get much done with the kids around roll on monday Confused

 

viridis
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It's not an android watch, it's Tizen
Anonymous
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so that means its even less likely to ever talk to my iPhone I gather ?sometimes I do wish apple would be a bit more open.
jonsie
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You buy into Apple you play by their rules...:smileywink:

viridis
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Beauty of Gear S.
It doesn't need to talk to any of them
Cleoriff
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@viridis wrote:
Beauty of Gear S.
It doesn't need to talk to any of them

True that....^^^^^^^ : But folk do look a bit freaky 'talking' to their wrist....Happy Dance

Anonymous
Not applicable

The Man From U.N.C.L.E. (the original version!) was ahead of it's time!

Anonymous
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@Cleoriff exactly I do talk to my wrist if I am out and about and people really look at me as if I'm totally nuts, plus half the time I'm frantically pressing the x as its misheard me and sending something totally inappropriate or just rubbish.
Cleoriff
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@Anonymous wrote:
@Cleoriff exactly I do talk to my wrist if I am out and about and people really look at me as if I'm totally nuts, plus half the time I'm frantically pressing the x as its misheard me and sending something totally inappropriate or just rubbish.

This made me laugh @Anonymous LOL

jonsie
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Don't worry @Anonymous , soon everyone will be walking round talking to their wrist....though some things are best done in private....:smileywink:

Anonymous
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it is really handy to be able to reply quickly to a txt, though I am very wary about moving my arm when driving as I wouldn't like to be accused of using my phone while driving, I actually pull over stop and take the keys out and undo my seatbelt before using my phone. I expect there will be new laws to cover watch use soon but for now I treat it as a phone just in case.
viridis
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You don't have to hold it to your ear lol.
It's mic is sensitive enough, seriously.
Speaker is pretty loud too.
Tomstar
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I'd stay well clear of the Gear S! Massive flaw with the charging cradle that also doubles up as a spare battery. The cradle/ battery is designed to clip onto the back of the phone. Problem is the clips that hold it in place eventually break. I'm on my second battery now and the clips broke a while back but I won't buy another until I absolute have to. I've resorted to strapping the battery/cradle to my watch with a cable tie! Not pretty.

 This is a common fault! Had this about a year now and consider this the worst Samsung product I've bought. Samsung are also refusing to  replace these under warranty because it's an accessory! Sure but it clearly has a design fault.

 

Avoid it. 

 

MI5
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Not had any problem at all with mine....
viridis
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Nor mine tbh.
Anonymous
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I bought the watch last year, after a comprehensive study of what the market offered. I find it to still be the best choice and i am surprised the watch is no longer offered by o2. here are a few pros and cons:
PROS:

  • 3g sim slot available, so i can use it as a backup phone when my phone battery drains or my phone has no reception (i use a different network sim)
  • gps (those maps were quite in handy one time i was searching my way to a train station through london)
  • get all notification from your phone in real time, including whatsapp and facebook messages, to which you can reply from your wrist!
  • see who is calling even when you are at work and cant have the phone with you
  • works perfectly with my s6 edge plus
  • has a built in speaker and you can take calls directly on the watch
  • big nice screen (usefull especially when typing)

CONS:

  • battery drains a lot faster when not connected to a phone
  • charging is sometimes a challenge not to break the plastic pins of the charger
  • not water or dust resistant
  • not so many useful apps
  • my watch came network locked although i payed it in cash! (i am using a roaming sim now...)
Anonymous
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Great Review! New Kudos is heading your way!

Toby
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Hi @Anonymous,

I've only just seen you mini-review here! Well done slight_smile

 

Glad you enjoyed it too @Anonymous.

Cleoriff
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@Toby wrote:

Hi @Anonymous,

I've only just seen you mini-review here! Well done slight_smile

 

 


Same here @Toby I missed it. Nice to have another perspective, Thanks for posting it @Anonymous