Test Galaxy Gear: How Good Is Samsung’s Smartwatch the?

Is Smartwatches a real big trend? The mobile phone manufacturers such as Samsung and Sony to hope to be able to establish themselves in a new field? Whether and how Smartwatches will prevail, is still hard to say. What we can say but: the Samsung Galaxy gear is an expensive gimmick that is worthwhile only for real fans of technology. Some features are not needed, we miss others. And some are really good, as our practical test shows it.

Galaxy gear: needs necessarily the Smartphone

Three weeks we have the Galaxy gear now in use. Our impression is ambiguous, but we start from scratch. Before you can get started with the clock, you must pair it with a compatible Samsung phone. Even the time can not show up without the pair. Later in use the clock needs the connection for most applications constantly to the mobile phone. Note 3 are compatible in addition to which also the Galaxy S4, S3, and note 2. More cell phones such as S4 active or zoom to follow. Via NFC, the pairing works out easily, then download the appropriate app, the gear Manager on the phone.

Galaxy gear: Display and control

The display measures only 1.63 inches on the diagonal with a resolution of 320 x 320 pixels, but this is still sufficient to our liking. Because the icons big enough, the menu structure remains open. Tap twice fix with two fingers on the screen, takes you to the settings where you change for example, the volume and the brightness of the display and the battery charge level. Hold on the display two fingers, reach the recent apps you already know from your Android phone. You no longer need an application you throw out there that with a horizontal swipe. From menu item to menu item also goes with a horizontal swipe. A stroke from top to bottom, navigate back one step. The display responds quickly and do well.

Galaxy gear: Clock and information terminal

First meets the clock, what they must meet: prompt displays the time if one raises his arm in his sight. This motion must be made in the settings. You didn’t do this, the display remains black. Only when you press a side button, the time will appear. This evident in different designs, some analog or digital.
The gear about incoming SMS and emails. All nice and well, but there are email only as a preview. Read the full mail only on the phone. You can’t answers unfortunately also mail, SMS or WhatsApp. Surely, spell out on the small screen makes no sense and fun, but also the integrated S-voice feature does not help, because it only helps dictating answers to SMS. In addition, S-voice shows as uptight as on the Galaxy phones. Again and again the Lady complaining: “I don’t understand you!”, what frustrated in the long term. Well, however, the simple voice recording work. Here you can store voice memos, dictating about your shopping list or a phone number.

Galaxy gear. Phone and camera

What’s the matter with phone calls? Yes, the gear has built-in speakers and two microphones, in housing and in the buckle of the clock. But: Firstly it looks somewhat stupid, if you talk on the open road with your wristwatch, and secondly, the voice quality is not stable: you listen well, your counterpart but it complains about communication problems, sometimes it is the other way around.
What distinguishes the gear from other Smartwatches, is the integrated camera. Quickly one out has, how to keep your wrist to get the subject well. Although there is a function to switch the triggering Eton on mute the camera take photos can be heard. That’s it, we find! Finally the gear not to a tensioner accessories should go to waste. The photos by the way not bad look for their meager 2 megapixel resolution. For opportunity pictures they range once. The gear captures video at 720 p. However, the length to 15 seconds is limited. Images and videos land not only in the 4 GB internal, non-expandable memory, but also on the phone. Because neither music nor other large files on the gear, but the paired phone will be filed, the 4 GB might not so quickly fill.

Galaxy gear: Apps, music and battery

A handy gimmick for the Galaxy gear is the connection to sports apps, approximately Runtastic and co. These apps are specially optimized for the gear and clearly display information. There are now well over 50 apps that are compatible with the gear.
Light and shadow are there when it comes to music. Although, you can control your music player of the phone on the gear display, however this is limited to very rudimentary: volume, stop, pause, next/previous song. Functions like viewing playlists, we miss.
What is the battery? He can last about three to four days, if you can waive a vibration as a notification. Vibrate is turned on, the battery life is reduced to approximately 2.5 days. After one or two hours, the watch is completely loaded. Speaking of: With the function “Find my Device”, the clock causes registering your mobile phone with a tone. This works but only in the Bluetooth-radius of maximum ten meters.

Finally still a set to comfort: the watch weighs 76 grams, which is not very easy, however, for example the Smartwatch 2 Sony brings 132 grams. The plastic bracelet in yellow-green was still clean even after three weeks. However, it can be not said whether enters the summer including to the sweating, because at the time of the test it was autumn already in Germany. Particularly precious the good piece, does not more athletic.
Galaxy gear: Conclusion
Our opinion is mixed: on the one hand, we like the clock in terms of AMOLED screen and its responsiveness, notification function for many apps like WhatsApp and co., and the ability to snap photos, to use the player and even make a call. On the other hand, many works unausgereift: the player service is very restricted, the acoustics on the unreliable phone, emails and messages on Whatsapp can not dictate to. Also, the Watch not particularly chic looks, is quite expensive and sees itself only with some Samsung mobile phones.

Alternative: Sony Smartwatch 2
Who wants it more elegant and less expensive, should consider the Sony Smartwatch 2 (with either metal or silicone bracelet), which also works with all Google phones from Android 4.0 and with a price from 133 EUR is much cheaper than the around 245 euro Galaxy gear. Read a review to the Smartwatch here shortly.  (lbr)