Samsung Gear S: Massive curved screen, 3G and Wi-Fi, too

Discussion in 'Android Watches' started by Jeffrey, Nov 7, 2014.

  1. Jeffrey

    Jeffrey Premium Member
    Premium Member

    Joined:
    Jan 30, 2012
    Messages:
    6,686
    Likes Received:
    3,548
    Trophy Points:
    1,578
    Location:
    Thailand
    Ratings:
    +4,036
    Current Phone Model:
    iPhone 7 Plus JB
    [​IMG]

    Samsung has added a new stablemate to the Gear smartwatch range -- the 3G-enabled Gear S. Can the sixth smartwatch in a year be the charm? I had a chance to try one up close, and...it's hard to tell. Beyond its eye-catching big curved screen, its success might hinge on price and whether or not anyone feels the need for 3G on a watch. But, it's a sign that curved smartwatches might be here to stay, at least for Samsung.

    Where this Gear is different from others before is it's also a full-featured 3G and Wi-Fi-enabled device: it can make calls, receive calls, check messages and be connected to GPS even without a phone nearby. But hold your horses: you'll need a Samsung phone running Android 4.3 or later to download and install apps. Strangely, it's not a totally self-sufficient smartwatch after all...but it comes close.

    Design

    Design-wise, the Gear S doesn't seem wildly different from the rest of the Gear family. It features a 2-inch curved Super AMOLED screen, with a 360x480 resolution, and runs on a 1GHz dual core processor. It's like an ultra-wide Gear Fit in a lot of ways: the rectangular screen is longer than it is wide, offering a sort of curved-portrait display.

    The vivid AMOLED screen is eye-popping, although the stock collection of Samsung watch faces didn't excite me. Scrolling through news headlines with photos almost felt like I was using a mini-smartphone. The extra pixel space does push this watch into uncharted wrist-worn screen-real-estate territory.


    [​IMG]


    The front face of the device also features a small physical button, like the Gear 2 and Gear 2 Neo. To get to apps and sub-menus, you swipe from different sides, or press the home button.



    [​IMG]
    Sarah Tew
    On the underside is a SIM card slot, along with an optical heart rate monitor -- the same as on the Gear Fit, Gear 2, Gear 2 Neo and Gear Live watches. The Gear S is IP67 water resistant like its 2014 Gear brethren, meaning it could be showered with, but isn't meant for swimming.

    Like the Gear Fit, the Gear S pops out of its band. The rubber white band I tried had a sporty feel, but a seriously wide band. You'd need specialized Gear S accessories, as opposed to any readily-available watchbands like the Gear 2 and Gear 2 Neo.



    [​IMG]
    Sarah Tew
    Battery life
    An onboard 300 mAh battery should provide up to two days of run time, give or take, depending on whether you have your screen always on: much like Gear Live for Android Wear, this Gear can power down into a low-light clock display that stays on constantly.

    The included snap-on battery charger has a bonus though: an extra 350 mAh battery built in that offers an extra boost on the go, for quick recharging while in a bag. Smart move, Samsung.

    Specs
    The Gear S has an accelerometer, gyroscope, compass, heart rate monitor, and ambient light, UV and barometric sensors. It also has 802.11 b/g/n Wi-Fi, Bluetooth 4.1, A-GPS, and can store music files downloaded locally on its 4GB of storage.

    Except for the added Wi-Fi, 3G and bigger screen, it comes closest to the Gear 2 Neo in terms of features: S Voice for voice commands, a speakerphone for making and receiving calls, a home button, and heart rate monitor...but no camera.



    [​IMG]
    Sarah Tew
    3G and calling
    The Gear S has both 3G and 2G connectivity, but both supported carriers and pricing plans for data aren't confirmed yet. It could work like other 3G-connected watches: as a separate device to folded into a connected data plan.

    The Gear S supports phone calls over 3G, 2G and Bluetooth while paired to your phone, but not over Wi-Fi. There's also a QWERTY keyboard that can help while writing short emails or messages, but that'll get frustrating in a hurry. Hopefully S Voice might be enabled to help aid with dictation, but I didn't get to try that out.



    [​IMG]
    Sarah Tew
    Fitness
    The Gear S feels a little more fitness oriented than the Gear 2 watches: its sleeker design, rubberized band, and ability to track runs with GPS without a phone make it feel like an answer to the recent Timex Ironman One GPS+.

    There's more good news, too: the Gear S runs a Nike+ Running App to turn it into a fuel-compatible fitness gadget. Or, you can use Samsung S Health, which is your conduit into checking and tracking heart rate.


    [​IMG]
    Sarah Tew

    Apps
    Samsung promises 1,000 apps on Tizen that will run on the Gear S when it launches. Unclear, however, is how many of them will actually be optimized for that extra-long display.

    The built-in collection of apps is already pretty comprehensive, though, including turn-by-turn navigation from HERE, and a 24-hour news service provided by The Financial Times.



    [​IMG]
    Sarah Tew
    Will it fit in?
    A 3G-connected smartwatch might be a bridge too far for a lot of people, unless Samsung shows how this device can be affordably linked into the average person's phone plan. Still, the Gear S shows that Samsung isn't giving up: on design tweaking, software, or Tizen.

    The average person might start to get tired, though. How many smartwatches can we hear about before we get watch fatigue before even buying one? That's a delicate path Samsung needs to walk right now with the Gear S and future watches: aggressiveness versus numbing overload. The Gear S feels like one of the best-designed Gears yet, but it might be way too sub-specialized for those not knee-deep in wearable tech to care.

    The Gear S isn't planned for U.S. release yet, but stay tuned for more details. We might hear more soon.


    Source
     
    • Like Like x 1
  2. Ollie

    Ollie Droid Does

    Joined:
    Apr 13, 2012
    Messages:
    3,442
    Likes Received:
    2,103
    Trophy Points:
    1,468
    Location:
    South Coast
    Ratings:
    +2,483
    Current Phone Model:
    Note Edge - iPhone 6 Plus
    This is the only smart watch that I can see being worth purchasing. All other watches simply leech off of your existing phone. Once this one is set up you can leave the phone at home and be completely independent of it. Coupled with a bluetooth headset this is win.

    But I don't wear watches so I digress. Lol
     
    • Like Like x 1
  3. Jeffrey

    Jeffrey Premium Member
    Premium Member

    Joined:
    Jan 30, 2012
    Messages:
    6,686
    Likes Received:
    3,548
    Trophy Points:
    1,578
    Location:
    Thailand
    Ratings:
    +4,036
    Current Phone Model:
    iPhone 7 Plus JB
    The only issue, you need to have a Sammy phone to add apps.
     
    • Like Like x 1
  4. Ollie

    Ollie Droid Does

    Joined:
    Apr 13, 2012
    Messages:
    3,442
    Likes Received:
    2,103
    Trophy Points:
    1,468
    Location:
    South Coast
    Ratings:
    +2,483
    Current Phone Model:
    Note Edge - iPhone 6 Plus
    I'm not understanding that move either. Were I in the conference room when that was kicked around the room I would have been like "You want to do what?!"
     
    • Like Like x 1
  5. Jonny Kansas

    Jonny Kansas Administrator
    Staff Member Rescue Squad

    Joined:
    Jan 21, 2010
    Messages:
    16,484
    Likes Received:
    7,064
    Trophy Points:
    1,278
    Location:
    Michigan's Upper Peninsula
    Ratings:
    +8,406
    Current Phone Model:
    Pixel XL
    Twitter:
    jonny_ks
    I agree, but initial price and data plans will make the decision for me.

    I only wear a watch at work, because I just pop my phone out of my pocket to check the time when I'm off, but I might be able to get into wearing a smartwatch more often if it's something like this.

    I won't be an early adopter, but I was excited to hear about this at the Unpacked event and will be watching it more closely than I've watched any other thus far.
     
    • Agree Agree x 1
  6. Ollie

    Ollie Droid Does

    Joined:
    Apr 13, 2012
    Messages:
    3,442
    Likes Received:
    2,103
    Trophy Points:
    1,468
    Location:
    South Coast
    Ratings:
    +2,483
    Current Phone Model:
    Note Edge - iPhone 6 Plus
    People who wear watches now, regular watches, wouldn't need the cellular tech in a smart watch to compel them to switch to a smart watch over a regular watch.

    I use my phone as a watch. Since I have never worn a watch before this is what it would take for me to switch. I don't need a watch that relies on my phone.

    A moto 360 with cellular capabilites and I'm in.

    I agree as well about how much this would cost monthly. If I have to pay anymore than the cost of the Simcard it would blow the deal for me. I pay for a data plan that I can use on anything. The voice plan for your smartphone should cover this as well.
     
    • Agree Agree x 1
Search tags for this page

gear s

,
gear s accessories
,
gear s bands
,
samsung gear neo 2 menu
,

samsung gear s

,
samsung gear s accessories
,
samsung gear s bands
,
samsung gear s camera
,
samsung gear s how much
,
samsung rubber watch bands