This version of the MSamsung Galaxy Gear S-v700 was tested with the Galaxy Note 3 which runs on the AT&T network  – prices styles and availability stated may vary. Both the Galaxy Note 3 and the Galaxy Gear are available now at AT&T. For more information you can go to ATT.com. #ATTSeattle

Samsung Galaxy Gear SM-v700 review

The Samsung Galaxy Gear SM-v700 is the perfect companion for the Samsung Galaxy Note 3 (read: Galaxy Note 3 by Samsung: What’s to Love?) .This little device is extremely comfortable, easy to look at, and so convenient. Together these two devices are the ultimate combo for the modern user in today’s society.

Samsung Galaxy Gear

Let’s start off talking about the Samsung Galaxy Gear SM-v700 and why this device goes so well together with the Galaxy Note 3.  Once these two devices are paired up together (which is extremely easy), the Gear connects to the phone via Bluetooth and once saved, if you ever go out of range of your phone the watch and phone will notify you of it.

 

Pairing will automatically restore itself whenever you come back into range of your companion and a notification pops up informing you that they are linked together again. It’s very handy if you are one of those forgetful individuals that tends to leave their phones on their desk at work, or say if you need to head out in a hurry and forget the phone, the watch then notifies you with a beep and vibration that it has been disconnected and BAM!!! Reminds you that you need to turn around and grab your phone.  I was surprised at how often I left my phone had to go back and get it.

Like many of today’s modern devices one particular pairing feature on both devices and that is the FIND MY DEVICE feature. Trigger it and your device will send out a signal to the companion making it create a sound allowing you to find this missing device.

Connie reviewed the Samsung Galaxy Gear Fit – read her review here.

The convenience of having the Galaxy Gear as a companion for your Note 3 is more of a personal thing.  Nowadays wearing a watch is not something a lot of people do and even if you are from the generation of people that actually needed to look at their arms to tell the time, it may not be the best thing for you since it is one more device that you need to watch out for.  Another convenience of having the two devices paired is when you are out for a walk, at work or in the movies, having with your phone on silent or vibrate, you don’t always take notice of when someone has messaged you or called you.  Either because your phone is in your purse, pants, or a few feet away from you.  Now with the gear you get a notification that allows you to always know when you are receiving a message or an incoming call and it even allows you to see who it is that is contacting you.

Samsung Note 3 and Gear Smartwatch

Galaxy Gear – What Works; What Needs Improvement

Let me talk a bit about the good and the bad of the Galaxy Gear.  As far as smart-watches go I really have no other comparison to go to so based on what the Gear can do I say that it shows a lot of promise. The Gear allows you to look at your contacts, make calls, look at texts, record videos, take pictures, use as a pedometer, answer calls and talk directly to the Gear (those that have seen Dick Tracy or Knight Rider know that talking to someone through your watch is one of those childhood fantasies that you just can’t pass up).

Now what you cannot do on the Gear is access social apps, play games or complex apps like we can on our phones; however, there are workarounds to this, for example you are able to jailbreak the device and install custom software on it, thus removing the current limitations the Galaxy Gear have.  But let’s not discuss that here since installing custom firmware will void the warranty on your Gear and one wrong step means that you are out $200.

Samsung Galaxy Gear SM-V700 Smartwatch Review

 

The Galaxy Gear is extremely comfortable, the rubber wrist band that it comes with is thick and sturdy its locking clasp may look clumsy but it is very secure and will not allow your Gear to unfasten or come lose. Having the Gear on felt like having a regular watch on, it may look big because of screen, but it did not feel cumbersome at all. One of the interesting things on the Gear is the fact it has a built-in camera on it, now personally I didn’t really find much use for it. Using it kind of made me feel as if I was spying on someone whenever I took a picture or recorded a video. Not to mention the quality of the picture and videos is extremely limited and since you have your phone with you, why would you choose to use the Gear instead of the phone to record those precious moments?

The battery life on the Galaxy Gear is very promising, I was able to go almost the entire week without having to recharge it, which was quite surprising. But…, there’s always a but, the Galaxy Gear requires you to put it into a charging dock. Which means another accessory to bring with you on trips. Thankfully it’s easy to put the Gear into the dock and it fully charges in  about 2 hours. I did notice while charging the contacts on the Gear are exposed, this means that a splash of water, excess sweat, or anything that causes oxidation can cause damage it rendering non-chargeable. Just be a bit careful with it since it is neither waterproof nor water-resistant.

The Galaxy Gear is a great companion device and with this being Samsung’s first generation Smartwatch, I feel that they have started with a great first step and they have plenty of room to make it even better. My suggestion would be to remove the camera from the Gear. I’ve heard the Gen 2 Smartwatch does just that.

They also need to improve on the software available for the Gear. Adding more unique apps and allowing for custom firmware and social tools would go a long way to making this little device even more appealing. Its size is fine although, I am still waiting for them to fuse these two devices together and I can wear my phone on my arm.

The price is one thing I really want to see go down, if we are already spending hundreds of dollars on a smartphone, why would we opt to pay almost the same amount again simply to get a companion device? The price issue is one of those things that will determine whether or not the Smartwatch will become a must-have device in the future or simply a blip in the many companion devices that have been made for today’s smartphones.

Have you tried a smartwatch? What do you think – here to stay or fad?