There seems to be a quandary around wearables. For the last few years, we keep hearing that this will finally be the year when wearables go mainstream. Yet, they seem to be restricted to fitness trackers and have gradually moved on to smartwatches.
The biggies - Apple and Samsung - have staked their claim to supremacy in the segment whereas contenders like Xiaomi and Huawei are also making a strong push. Smartwatches haven't really become mainstream as they are still bought by people to make a style statement or those who are extremely fitness conscious. The good old analog and digital watches still reign supreme and don't look being usurped by their 'smart' cousins.
Samsung with Gear range of wearables has been looking to crack the smartwatchcategory and we got one of its latest devices - the Gear Sport for a few days. We used the device for a few days and here's our review of the Samsung Gear Sport:
Design and display:
The Samsung Gear Sport is a good-looking smart timepiece yet it doesn't really stand out. The review device we got was black in colour and came with a metal and glass body. On the right there are two buttons -- the top button can be used to go back whereas the other one is the Menu button.
The bottom of the device is made of plastic. It's not a plain Jane exactly but doesn't really make a solid impression either. Having said that, it's still a pretty stylish looking watch but just doesn't scream elegance. The straps that come out of the box are made of rubber and there's another pair which is inside the box. It's comfortable to wear and won't look odd in the gym or in an office boardroom. The circular bezel which can be twisted to browse through the interface is a neat feature.
The 360 x 360 AMOLED display is appealing and really stands out. The touchscreen works perfectly and you can navigate through the Gear Sport with utmost ease. The Gear Sport weighs around 50g and boasts of a compact design. There are a lot of 'watch face' options available which give the Gear Sport a different look. There's Corning Gorilla glass protection which makes the smartwatch scratch resistant
Samsung's Gear Sport smartwatch runs Tizen OS 3.0 and has 4GB of internal storage on-board. As expected, there's GPS for tracking workouts and an optical heart rate sensor which monitors heart rate throughout the day. The other features on board include an altimeter, NFC, Bluetooth 4.2 and full Wi-Fi connectivity. The Gear Sport is also a waterproof watch (50m) and one can use it while swimming as well. The watch comes with wireless charging capabilities. Before we get into the performance, some more specifications: the Gear Sport has 1GHz dual-core CPU and 768MB of RAM. There's 300mAH battery on board as well.
We used the Gear Sport extensively and it does a fine job of tracking activities like long walks, climbing stairs and while the watch is 'smart' to detect activities on its own, you can manually feed them If you're out for a run, the watch displays speed, distance, heart rate and calories burnt on the screen. It's a great gadget for hardcore fitness enthusiasts as Gear Sport tracks down everything you do. Unlike some other smartwatches, the Gear Sport doesn't suffer from any stutters or lags. A flick of the wrist to look at the time and all relevant information immediately pops up.
It's a simple to use watch and as we mentioned with a twist of the bezel you can monitor everything. The Tizen interface does grow on you and has widgets which displays all the information. The touchscreen on Gear Sport works smoothly and you can sync it with Samsung Health app on any smartphone. The watch works fine with third-party fitness apps like Runkeeper - though you can't install it on the watch. The sleep tracker on the Gear Sport works seamlessly and does a fine job of tracking sleep patterns,
The notifications on the watch work seamlessly and the bezel is your best friend on this watch. Connecting the smartphone is easy and one can respond to text or WhatsApp messages directly through the watch.