I was browsing Best Buy yesterday and was pondering picking up a Galaxy Gear 2 Neo when I came across the Samsung booth and saw the Galaxy Gear S for the first time. I was immediately in love with the design and screen quality and knew this was the watch I was going to leave the store with.
I didn’t know much about the Gear S at all, and was surprised to discover that in a sense it is a completely separate smartphone. What I mean is, the Galaxy Gear S has its own phone number and data connection and can function completely on its own when you’re away from your phone. You can also set up call forwarding, so that if you don’t initially answer a call on your phone it will be redirected to your watch. It may also come in useful in a pinch if your phone dies and you need to send a quick message or make a call.
There’s a lot I love about the Galaxy Gear S already. I love being able to read my phone’s messages and notifications on my wrist without ever having to reach for my phone. I found this feature appealing while at a casual lunch yesterday. I could just glance down at my watch and read a message without interrupting conversation or looking away for a significant amount of time.
I also found the on screen keyboard easy enough to use which was surprising. I didn’t expect it to work very well on such a small screen, but it is certainly functional.
I also love how the watch automatically displays the time when you lift your wrist. I know it seems silly, but being able to glance at the time without having to push a button on my phone is quite convenient.
I’ve also enjoyed using some of the apps available for the device.
The weather display:
The media control lets you navigate the songs playing on your phone (this will be great while running!):
The S Health functionality is one of the device’s most appealing features to me. It’ll track your steps, heart rate, calories burned (based off of steps taken / activity), sleep and the UV index when you’re outside.
To use the sleep tracker you have to first tell the device you’re going to sleep and then it’ll begin tracking. It was interesting to see just how restful I was while taking a nap earlier (I was 89% motionless over 4 hours and slept for three and a half hours.
The watch will vibrate and notify you if you’ve been too inactive over an hour long period which can be a nice motivator to get up and move. When this happens it’ll show you how many steps you’ve taken during the day and your progress toward your goal.
The Galaxy Gear S is $199 with a 2 year contract, and does require a data plan. I have AT&T and upon adding the watch to my account I had to switch from the 5GB data pro plan to a 6GB data share plan. As far as I can tell, this actually made my monthly bill cheaper, but I’ll have to wait until I’m billed for the first time to know for sure. I also now qualify for rollover data which is pretty cool!
If you don’t want to be locked in on a contract you can purchase the device for $329.
If you have any questions, feel free to ask them in the comments!
Have you had any issues with the watch freezing up or receiving notifications from certain apps?
I have not. It’s been a pretty smooth experience thus far. I’m especially impressed with the battery life still and the predictive texts makes responding to texts convenient when I leave my phone in my room charging.