on November 23, 2015
**UPDATE: I got a Moto 360 (1st gen) smart watch, see my comparison at the bottom**
This is in my opinion the best smart watch out right now. I actually find that unfortunate in many ways, as I am left wanting more. When I go looking for a replacement though, I am reminded time and time again there isn't yet a better smart watch out. If I can have a moment of your time, please allow me to state my case. I'm just going to start with the pros and cons to get those out of the way.
Ownership: 10 Months
Experience with watches: All my life
Pros (Attempted to sort-of sort in order of most important to least important)
*Speakerphone (I initially thought this was worthless, see the section below to see why my mind has been changed)
*Reminds you when you left your cell phone behind
*Does not require another device added to your cell phone plan
*Very durable (read my claims below, I explain why I think this in great detail)
*Good vibration power.. it's a bit gentle but I've never missed a notification and it's powerful enough to wake me up.
*Security feature to force a lock code when the phone is too far from your watch (this uses NFC so the distance is quite short)
*Good battery life
*One of the most affordable smart watches available (not counting the no brand chinese knockoffs that aren't in the same league)
*Appealing looks, not bulky at all
*Fitness features built in
*IR Blaster (allows you to do things like use an app as a universal remote)
*Great built-in apps cover basically everything I wanted out of the box
Cons (Also attempted to sort-of sort in order of most important to least important)
*Having this watch paired blocks the use of google's voice recognition in favor of samsung's not nearly as good s-voice (see workaround below)
*First watch I've ever put on that wasn't big enough for my wrist (it's really too tight, but I just wear it too tight)
*Not androidwear, therefore the apps are lacking
*Short phone compatibility list
*Overall a cheap watch (I'm not sure this is actually a con, I love the price point, I just wish there were a higher classed version I could get that had the things I want)
*Really wish there were a way to disable the touchscreen for use in water (this is really knit-picking, but hey, I want to be thorough!)
Google Now Voice Recognition Workaround
By default, when this watch is paired (and no other bluetooth headset is paired), your phone thinks it's getting its audio input from the watch, effectively muting you when you try to talk to it. To resolve this, you can disable using the bluetooth headset for audio input by going to your settings > System > Language and input > Speech > Voice Input > [tap the gear next to Enhanced Google Services] > [disable the last option, "Bluetooth headset - Records audio through bluetooth headset if available]. This will allow the phone to use the phone's microphone instead. Just keep in mind, it will continue to use the phone's microphone even if you are using an actual bluetooth headset.
What is everyone doing to these watches?
OK, so I read through the reviews and saw all of the horror stories about people breaking these watches. Allow me to say right now that I do NOT treat my watch in any sort of special way. I never have, I have worn a watch since I was very young and I have in quick order destroyed many watches. I know how they break, and I know what I do to my watches... so I would say I know a thing or two when it comes to the average longevity of the average watch. The person who had pits on their charging contacts, that had to have been exposed to a corrosive chemical or environment (I'm going to assume the ocean). The ocean is hell on all watches, so don't be surprised when nature does what it does. My contacts are in perfect order after 10 months and I get my watch wet daily.
Breaking at the hinges
The reason people are breaking these watches at the hinges is because they are getting the watch caught on something and it's forcefully ripping the watch off. When this happens, the watch is a band around your wrist with no breaking point, so the force will always find the path of least resistance. Just the other night at the grocery store I got my very own Neo stuck on a wire rack at a grocery store and this exact same thing happened to me. In my case, it just so happen that the wire bar holding the band bent instead of the watch casing breaking, so I consider myself lucky. Had it broken the watch, I wouldn't have been mad at all. It was totally my fault, and there is no possible outcome other than something breaking when that scenario happens... even if the watch stayed in tact, the only other option would be for it to literally rip my hand off.
A word about the longevity of this watch versus "typical watches"
As I said, I don't treat my watches with any sort of special treatment at all. I make exactly 0 efforts to keep them out of harms way. The way I've always thought of my watch is that I expect it to endure the rigors I put it through, and if it doesn't, it wasn't the watch for me. I have had this watch now for 10 months and it functions perfectly fine with no corrosion on the terminals, no depreciation of quality anywhere that I can see. The only thing I can see is that the clasp has worn a lot of its silver color off exposing a brass colored metal underneath. This is also my fault because I allow it to rub on my desk all day as I work. I'm totally cool with it though, because as I said earlier I have never made an adjustment to the way I live my life for a watch - the watch must simply endure what I put it through and I'm happy. Through the years, I have been disappointed in many watches because they have been unable to live up to this standard. I actually wont even buy a watch for under $100, because I know it will not survive what I have for it. The most common ways watches end up breaking is the wristband, the watch itself just stop working, the charging mechanism for solar or kinetic charging watches, and gasket failure. I can say with 100% certainty, this watch performs roughly as well (if not just slightly less durable) as a typical $100 watch would when it comes to longevity.
A note on daily use
Every day, I take my watch off of its charging cradle, I put it right on my wrist, and I begin my day as if that didn't happen. I take showers with my watch, I work out with it, I walk in the rain with it, if I were to decide to go swimming, my watch comes with me. When I go to bed at night, I place it back on the charge along with my other personal electronics and go to sleep. Again, I make no effort to treat my watches special in any way. This watch has performed admirably. As a matter of fact, this watch has performed at almost exactly the same level I would expect a non-smart $129 watch to perform which is in my opinion mind blowing.
Speakerphone on a watch, why it's awesome
I really thought speakerphone on my watch was going to be really dumb, but let me tell you Samsung NAILED it with this watch. The speakerphone is so good, I often don't even bother digging my phone out of my pocket to answer a call. This is especially true when driving. It's plenty loud, the other person can hear me just fine, and it just works beautifully. I did not expect this to work at all on a smart watch, my mind is blown yet again. It's very convenient to have a method of hands free communication when you least expect to need it... without having to fool with a car's crappy speakerphone or a bluetooth headset. Speaking of car speakerphone, to give a rough comparison, the speakerphone on this watch is better than literally any bluetooth speakerphone system I've used in any car to date. Oh, and did I mention you can choose to route your calls to a bluetooth headset on the handset right from the watch? This is a feature that I didn't think would be all that useful before I got the watch, but now I'm realizing it's a must-have feature and one of the reasons I just can't find a replacement for this smartwatch yet.
Why is this the "best smart watch available right now"?
This watch has some must-have features for me and this keeps me from being able to find a viable alternative. #1 is definitely speakerphone. It's just that good, I can't imagine a watch without it. To my surprise, there aren't many other smart watches with speakerphone out right now. Second is the IR blaster. I really get good use out of the IR blaster, and would hate to give it up. Not to mention, it has a very good built-in app for a universal remote so you don't have to worry about third party apps that are never as good as built-in ones. Now, although it can be found in other watches, the fact that this watch is waterproof also makes it more difficult to replace. Granted other smart watches that are waterproof is becoming more commonplace these days, some otherwise nice options I couldn't possibly get because they lack this.
Hope someone found my review helpful, I definitely was surprised myself upon realizing I can't replace this smart watch yet... I'm hoping to soon, the Huawei smart watch is looking like a possibility if they do enable the speakerphone on it as rumored, but I don't want to buy on a rumor. I'd still be losing the IR blaster, but I guess I'll have to make -some- sort of sacrifice.
So my wife got me a Moto 360 smart watch for Valentines day. I really like it and it looks great, but I am drawn back to my Neo. If I had to choose between the two, I would at this point pick the Neo - but the verdict is still out. I'm still hoping I can get the 360 to work better for me by using apps etc.
The reasons here are pretty simple:
*No reminder of a phone left behind
*No auto-lock feature on phone or watch when out of range
*Not as good of battery life as the Neo
Honestly, if those things could be corrected.... even if only the middle two, I'd gladly drop my Neo like a bad habit. As it stands though, the Neo is still a very strong contender. I am now torn between the two watches, I love them both for totally different reasons. The edge the Moto 360 has on the Neo is the style, it's more comfortable, and google now on my wrist. I guess it's a little cool that I have all of the glorious watch faces and apps that come with android wear - but honestly that's not even a big enough deal to me for me to give it favor.
For me personally, a smart watch is all about being able to manage my phone and notifications without taking my phone out. It's also about being able to answer a quick call without taking my phone out - something the Moto 360 can't do at all. If my hands are full or I can't get to my phone, I want to do phone functions. That's really what a smart watch is to me in a nutshell. If I could get to my phone readily, I would have no need for a smart watch because everything a watch does, a phone does better. Fortunately for the smart watch industry though, there are frequent times that I cannot access my phone directly so a smart watch is essential to me.
This is coming from someone who has a Pebble, a Sony Smartwatch 2, and the Gear 1.
I compare the Gear Neo to the Pebble there
Out of those 3, the Gear 1 actually had the best build followed closely by the Smartwatch 2. The Pebble was the absolute worst because it looks and feels like a toy. However, I use the Pebble the most because it is the most convenient and works extremely well.
That was until this Neo became the One (get it?). The Neo is the best smartwatch currently out. At it's price its only slightly more than a Pebble and it's far more useful. First off, the Neo is plastic so it's lightweight and comfortable. It's a lovely matte plastic and it looks clean and streamlined. The screen is beautiful and it took a page out of the Pebble by shutting off the screen until you flick your wrist. The watch detects the movement and the screen lights up.
One thing that really bothered me about the Pebble was the display. I actually like the retro monochromatic screen but whenever I wore polarized sunglasses I couldn't read the screen. This means while I was driving, the Pebble essentially couldnt serve its purpose. The Sony SW2 was better, but the screen was hazy and no where near the level of the Gear 1 or Neo.
I know people had concerns that Samsung moved over to Tizen instead of Android for the Gear 2 but it's actually a benefit. I'm not sure if android is suited for wearables (Moto 360 and the LG Watch may prove otherwise) but there was some lag on the Gear 1 that is no longer there.
I particularly like being able to sync songs into the watch. When I work out or go for a run, I can have the watch and a bluetooth headset. No longer do I have to strap on my Note 3 to my arm. The fact that there's a heart rate monitor, pedometer, and music player all on the wrist is unbelievably convenient.
The Neo represents the best buy out of the entire line of gen 2 Gear watches. This is the same price as the Gear Fit so I don't know why anyone would choose that unless they prefer the design. I dont think the Gear 2 is worth an extra $100 over the Neo. It has full stainless body but the camera is pretty pointless and the novelty wears off quickly (Happened on the first gen Gear).
It's pretty amazing that the Neo can be priced at $199 and have so many features built in. I think it might need a software update to fix some minor hiccups and I'll revise my review when that happens.
So far battery life has been great. For having a bright screen, this lasts me 2-3 days. It would get more but I have notifications sets for facebook, texts, email and google hang outs.
I love that you can set specific apps that you want notifications from. For instance I get no Google+ notifications, but I get hangouts. The ability to filter what you receive is great.
One suggestion I would say if you are using this to control music in your car is to set the "double tap" option to control music. When the screen times out, you have to scroll to get back into the music app to change songs because the watch automatically goes back to the homescreen. It's dangerous to swipe constantly just to change songs.
By double pressing the center button, the app comes right up and I swipe to the song I want. Also, its easier to keep your eyes on the road when you push a physical button (one benefit of the pebble) rather than trying to find an icon out of 4 items on the screen.
Heart rate monitor also works better when you turn the watch to the inside of your wrist.
on April 10, 2014
Not a bad watch - for the 7 months it worked. However, Samsung support gets 1 star for not standing behind their devices. I would have been considering a Gear S at this point, but the issue is with Samsung as a firm (honoring their obligations), not the hardware, so I will take a pass (read other reviews - my experience is not isolated). This device I had the day of release, but perhaps my next wearable will be Motorola.
Long story short: after much arguing with Samsung, they will not honor the warranty. They are calling the device out of warranty because there is a screen / glass issue. Nevermind that there are no cracks, scratches, or chips in the glass to suggest it was physically damaged - the glass is simply coming unglued from the LCD. What's more, the remaining major issues with the device they will not fix (Bluetooth doesn't work, it boots to an error screen, and it won't hold a charge - all of which happened at different times and are unrelated to the glass), unless I pay them $149 to fix the screen.
~ 3 months: Bluetooth starts getting flaky. Have to periodically disconnect it and reconnect it from my phone or reboot it for it to find it again.
~ 5 months: The glass starts to delaminate from the LCD with no clear damage or cause - it isn't chipped, cracked, or scratched. It began in one corner and started working its way around the edges.
~ 7 months: The Bluetooth dies completely and will not turn back on. When I'd try to turn it back on in settings, it would pop up a "Processing" message, then turn back off. So I factory reset the watch back to original settings. After factory reset, the watch booted to an "Unknown error" screen and would boot no further.
~ 8 months: Watch stops charging, so now I can't even boot it back to the "Unknown error" screen to show anybody. Fortunately I took a picture first.
~ 10 months: Finally get around to opening a ticket with Samsung and send the watch in for warranty service. After they get it, I get an email telling me the repair price has changed from $0 to $149, with no explanation. When I call in (since their website wasn't working), I'm told the "certified engineer" (which they had to repeat about 10 times, as if I care whether or not the person is certified) categorized the screen as physically damaged. In addition, they refuse to fix any of the other issues with the watch unless I also pay them to fix the screen.
UPDATE (older - before the BT died and glass began to separate):
Still reasonably happy with my Gear 2 Neo. However, given there are now non-proprietary smart watches available, if I were buying again, I'd give those some serious consideration. This does what I need, but some of the newer devices have a bit more maturity - better UI, more attractive, work with non-Samsung devices, etc... One of my coworkers just bought a Moto 360, it definitely is a more attractive device. Samsung also now has the Gear Live, which is not proprietary to Samsung phones. Given that, I have a hard time seeing a compelling case for the Gear 2 Neo at this time - even if you want a Samsung watch, check out the Gear Live first.
Some of the quirks I mentioned in my review below (which was written on release day) have been addressed. The pulse feature is somewhat improved - it doesn't constantly tell me to sit still. The "S Health" integration still has a couple issues, but is cleaner than it was. The bugs in "Fitness for Gear" have largely been addressed.
All that said... Given the other options, I think the Gear 2 Neo's days are numbered.
Just received my Gear 2 Neo in Mocha Grey, and wanted to jot down a few of my thoughts while they're fresh in my mind (these have been updated several times since with additional findings and to make things a bit more concise):
* Pairing it and connecting it to your Samsung phone is easy (just make sure to have the latest Gear Manager - especially w/ Note 3).
* Screen auto-lock feature is both convenient and secure (slide-to-unlock if your watch is near your phone - pattern unlock if it's not).
* Interface is easy to use.
* Can make it turn on automatically when you lift your wrist (at the expense of battery life).
* Time and weather on one's wrist.
* Find my phone feature rings your phone even if it is on vibrate.
* Bluetooth range is excellent.
* Voice memos make it easy to make yourself quick notes.
* S Voice dialing works well, even with some background noise (don't expect to text with it if there's background noise though).
* Sleep tracker estimates how restful your sleep is by how much you move at night.
* Fast and responsive - no stuttering or delays that I've observed.
* Band is replaceable with regular watch bands.
* Can store MP3's on the watch, and use it as an MP3 player when working out without having to bring your phone with.
* The "S Health" app on my Note 3 doesn't want to sync with the Gear 2, but the "Fitness for Gear" app that works with the Gear 2 doesn't have support for weight and calorie tracking like "S Health" did (nor does it appear to support 3rd party ANT+ devices like "S Health"). Stupid having to use both apps when they're both from Samsung.
* The "Fitness for Gear" app also is a bit buggy. Sometimes I open it and have data and it will sync, and sometimes I open it and it shows "no data" and won't sync. Has a few other display bugs too (like sometimes the history comes up in a giant font where half the data is off-screen and inaccessible). I assume this will be fixed soon (but if it doesn't get fixed I'm going to knock another star off).
* While the device is not as bulky as the original Galaxy Gear, it's certainly not small - especially if you have small wrists.
* Even though the device itself is not small, if you have large wrists the included band may be a bit snug.
* Heart rate is not taken periodically - only during exercise or on demand.
* Charging requires a proprietary cradle.
* It only works with Samsung phones, and long term I'm not sure how much 3rd party integration we'll see as a result.
* Application selection in their app store is quite limited.
* While the interface is easy to use, it is a bit bare bones in appearance.
A Bit of Both
* Battery life is mixed. With normal usage I get about two days. However, with heavier usage I get more like 36 hours.
* The pedometer is nice, but it tends to pick up other motions as steps (such as petting my cats). That said, if your gait is regular and you aren't doing other stuff w/ your hands, then it is seemingly accurate, so for exercise it is ok (just not as a daily total step counter - over the course of a day it seems to over-count by about 25% to 30%).
* Exercise tracker and pulse-based trainer is a good idea, but the pulse is inaccurate and finicky. For resting pulse I have to take it repeatedly while it tells me to be still and quiet. With exercise it obviously allows movement, but the accuracy is doubtful (told me I had a 58 pulse while taking a walk yesterday - I'm not in that type of shape). If I can't figure out a way to improve this, it will move to the con's list.
* Remote control feature is a neat idea, but it's inadequate for many setups (such as if you use a receiver or a Blu-ray player) - it only controls the TV and set-top box. It also lacks the complex navigation for the guide and DVR on the cable box. If you mostly watch TV though and don't use a receiver, then it might be a convenience for you. Would be better if they made it programmable.
The Gear 2 Neo is functional, but still just a bit large, limited, and rough around the edges. At present (4/11/14), this is likely the best smart watch available, but smart watch technology is still not quite fully mature - if you get one, consider yourself an early adopter. I can't give it 5 stars, but it is pretty consistent with what I was expecting, so I think the 4 stars are warranted. If they don't fix the "Fitness with Gear" bugs or I can't find a way to get a more reliable pulse out of it during exercise, then I may reduce my rating to 3 stars. Part of the reason I got the device was to have one device that did it all.
Also, if you are thinking about buying one, be aware that Android Wear gear from Motorola and LG is supposed to come out this summer. I can't speak to feature set of those devices yet (nor their battery life), but the pictures make them look a bit more polished than the Gear 2, and they will work with any Android phone with a new enough OS (rather than just Samsung's), so they'll probably get better 3rd party app support as well.
If you're determined to get a Gear 2 Neo or Gear 2 now though (which is not a bad thing - obviously I decided to get one myself)... The only significant difference that I'm aware of between the Gear 2 Neo and Gear 2 is that the Gear 2 has a camera while the Neo does not (I've heard others comment that the Gear 2 also has a stainless steel body while the Neo is plastic - I can confirm the latter, but haven't looked into the former). However, unless you see yourself taking pictures from your wrist often (it doesn't face the right direction for video chat), I'd recommend saving the $100 and getting the Gear 2 Neo (particularly when the technology is still in its infancy, since we're going to see much better devices come out over the next couple years).
on April 28, 2014
Initially I liked the Gear2. I saw no point or use case for a camera on my wrist, so I opted for the neo.
It's lightweight and easy to use. The design is OK, but it would benefit from a little more investment in in materials, like a metal bezel, but the same thing can be said of the phones (boy, Samsung loves plastics!).
However, firstly, as other reviewers note, the the heart rate monitor is totally useless in any fitness application. You have to stand totally still and not even speak. Even then it gets a heart rate less than 50% of the time. This watch is NOT going to replace your running watch and and chest strap!
I would forgive that, although their marketing is totally mis-leading (showing photos of people in active sports!), however, today, on day 17, the home key button just fell off, all on its own.
The watch only has one button, at least it could stay on!
I'm now stuck with Samsung's appalling after care service. The service manager told me they needed at least 1-2 days to investigate it, I showed him the hole where the button used to be, and pointed out it didn't need much investigation! They said it would take a week, which is totally unacceptable. After a long discussion they admitted that have no spare parts or replacements yet. They have not been allocated any supply.
So Samsung is happy to sell you a watch, but not to repair or replace it.
After an hour on the phone to the 'customer service' manager (who's main training was finding 100 ways to say 'NO'), they have promised to replace the unit, as assign as soon as can locate a new one. I pointed out that every store is selling them, so it really can take long.
I Iike the core function of getting notifications on on my wrist, and the watch does a good job of the basics, but only lasting 17 days, that is is very poor. 2 stars maybe generous?!
on March 9, 2015
Two MAJOR issues:
1. Charging terminals worn out in less than a year- can't charge anymore (see image). This was when using the normal 2-3 day charging interval.
2. The Samsung website did(and still does) not accept the Serial number in order to register it. I'm not kidding - google it: "Samsung Gear Registration"
#2 is important since you will need it to get the phone serviced. However all three branches of their support have redirected me to the website to register before proceeding. Which is a catch -22 because the website only accepts an IMEI/HEX number. I was told to contact Amazon. WTF?
I don't think I'll buy another...
----- Update August 2015 ----
Well, after about a year of use - it's not dead yet and..
1. The battery seems to be holding about the same amount of charge.
2. The microphone/speakerphone feature is quite nifty
3. The solder I added to the terminals is holding up after six months.
4. It seems (I stress 'seems') to be more accurate than the FitBit Charge in counting the steps. The delta between the two is 2-3K per day. Really!
5. Watch OS is quite stable, not seen a 'blue screen', kernel panic or whatever.
If you want to get one, fine, but make sure the registration works on day 1!
on November 15, 2014
I chose this watch over the Gear 2 because I did not need a "spy camera." I have been very impressed with it since Day 1. It only takes approximately 90 minutes to fully charge. I can make and receive calls on it, just as advertised. I can read short emails without having to pull out my phone. I can receive text messages and reply to them (through a customizable list of templates). This watch has also proven to be very durable. I wear it all of the time. It has been bumped against a few walls and rained on during morning runs. It has had no issues. I won't take showers with it, but it is water resistant. The watch is also very smart. It can monitor and compile sleeping patterns and workout histories. I connected my bluetooth headset to it to wirelessly listen to music. I even downloaded the Clocki watch face (see photo). Many people don't even notice that it is a smart watch until I receive a call or text message on it. This watch is great!
on August 7, 2015
This review can also apply to the Samsung Gear 2, with the difference being in the hardware including the omission of the Gear 2's camera and the choice of material used to build the core
* Design - The device has a solid build, consisting of rubberized straps and a plastic core. It has proven to be quite resilient in harsh weather. I wore this watch from last year December to earlier in January, and it held up very well throughout that harsh winter period. The only protection I added was a screen protector to keep the screen from getting scratched and to keep my fingerprints off. Granted, I am rarely rough on any of my consumer electronics, but this watch is catered to people with an active lifestyle given its IP67 rating. As such, it passes in my book.
* Battery - This is perhaps the best part about the Gear 2 Neo. With fairly heavy usage I get a full day and sometimes two. I consider heavy usage to consist of the following: constantly pushing notifications, using most of the sensors on the watch, activating outdoor mode most of the time, and prolonged tethering to the phone among other things. The phone will get through anywhere between 3-5 days of battery life with light usage: a remarkable feet for a smartwatch of this kind.
* Functionality - Samsung has chosen to opt for it's own in-house software Tizen. The user interface associated with this version of Tizen has a low learning curve. Nonetheless it is feature packed. I like the fact that you can direct calls to your wrist from the phone or vice versa. It also supports relaying calls to a bluetooth making it even more convenient in certain situations. Equally impressive, is that it can be used as a remote control for playing audio media stored on the phone. I managed to control Play Music, and other audio content apps from my wrist. The 4 GB of internal memory is equally useful for storing music and later streaming to bluetooth earphones. Like most other smartwatches, this one comes with a heart rate monitor, a hit or miss every time it is used, but unlike most smartwatches it also comes with an infrared sensor for controlling a TV remotely (a feature I find redundant).
Screen The screen is very gorgeous and very vibrant. For one thing the watch has decent viewing angles and the blacks go deep allowing other colors to stand out. Screens have always been one of Samsung's strong suits and the Gear 2 delivers.
The Gear 2, and 2 Neo are very capable devices. My overall experience using the 2 Neo was generally positive. There were a few issues that were a bit of a letdown for me personally and perhaps for others.
This is perhaps the biggest drawback going for not only this model but a lot of Samsung's other smartwatch lineup, the Gear live being the notable exception - I digress. The only customers I can see conceivably buying this watch are select Galaxy phone owners. If your phone is not listed on the product information as being compatible (check on Samsung's website), then this watch will simply not work. Outside of select Samsung flagships (S3,S4,S5,Note 3,Note 4,Note 5), all other Samsung phones (even their Tizen entry models), other Android phones, iPhones, and Windows Phone, and let's not forget Blackberry, will not work.
Also, unlike Android Wear, not a single Samsung Android tablet to date will work with this.
* Stale user experiences over time
The excitement of owning the smartwatch begun to wear off after a while. While it is not unusual to get bored using the exact same device extensively( same is true for using a phone), it doesn't help that Samsung makes little to no effort to update the user interaction with the watch. Contrast this with Google's treatment of Android Wear. Every new update brings something new to the table. The 5.1.3 update now supports a bevy of features that the previous iterations lacked such as replying to messages with emojis, scrolling through notifications with wrist flicking, wifi support (not all models), a linearized app arrangement making app selection more straightforward. By contrast the Gear 2 updates only changes how well it performs, but you are stuck with the same interface and apps. The settings menu, which is a convoluted mess, has seen no change to simplify its navigation and it has become boring to use over time. Granted a new watch face can spice things up every now and then, but no new features hastened my loss of interest
Occasionally buggy. The experience can be plagued with crashes for seemingly good apps. It can be just as problematic on even some of the native apps that interact with your phone. There are times when I find it difficult to transfer communication from my watch to a pair of bluetooth headset after dialing a contact. I used a remote camera viewfinder from the Galaxy store that would never work without a forced restart. Sometimes these crashes occur after the watch has been on standby whilst connected to the phone. It can make for a frustrating experience
For the average Joe/Jane, I would recommend it, so long as you manage expectations. In light of everything I have mentioned, just be mindful of the alternatives in the market: Check out what Pebble and Android Wear have to offer. That said, I feel that this watch has good value for money considering it's features.
on May 16, 2015
Very disappointed with Samsung's service. The watch broke where the band connects to the watch body (see photo), after only a few months of normal/gentle use. Seems to be a very weak/poor design. Samsung will not cover under warranty and repair costs was almost the cost of a new watch.
on December 24, 2014
I liked it for it's functionality, but within 6 months the screen started to pull away from underneath in the top right corner. I take extremely good care of all my things specially my electronics. Not a scratch or blemish on it, never dropped. Nor was it exposed to water other than a hand washing. IP67 remember. I sent it in to Samsung for repair seemed it could only be a manufacturers defect since it started from the inside out. They tried to tell me it was internal damage and would cost 162 to repair. The watch still works, but it's falling apart. From what? Nothing ever happened to it besides being charged and worn. If that warrants the device to just fall apart then don't waste your time. I was a fan, now I'm a skeptic. The voided my warranty, and it couldn't be from anything I've done.
on September 30, 2015
I shopped my ass off before I settled on the Gear 2. Here's why I love it. No buttons! All controls are on the touchscreen. Waterproof. Apple watch is not. And 2.5 days battery life on single charge. Battery life is obviously shorter when you actuate Bluetooth but I only use that to upload app data or I'm in a meeting and I want to receive alerts but not have my phone out of my pocket. Samsung seems to have a reputation for well designed products and innovative continuous improvements. I have a Galaxy Note, two tablets and now the watch that works with everything. Absolutely no regrets and no technical problems I can't solve.