Galaxy Gear S Owners chime in here!

Discussion in 'Alternatives to iOS and iOS Devices' started by pdqgp, Nov 7, 2014.

  1. pdqgp macrumors 68020

    pdqgp

    Joined:
    Mar 23, 2010
    #1
    Picked mine up yesterday and went back to AT&T to get it all set up and configured. Giving it a full charge now. Some notes worth sharing:

    Using it with my Note 3 is easy. Just download the Gear app which is used to adjust settings and install apps.

    Initial Pluses for the unit:

    • Lighter and smaller in size that the vids and pics show. I'm 5'9" and about 190lbs and it fits perfect and scale wise is not too large or goofy looking at all.
    • Phone works great! Sound quality for both listening and speaking is spot on
    • Vibration alerts are strong yet quiet so you won't be disturbing anyone around you.
    • Screen is beautiful
    • Text messages and notifications/all functions are pretty seemless and work great.
    • GPS use can either be tethered to your phone or used stand alone with s-voice - Screen shots forthcoming but the graphics are as good and detailed as any phone. Really very nice. Especially for walking around cities.

    Cons:
    • Email is currently viewing only. Exchange security settings at my company force me to see sender only but not content
    • Set up is about a 7/10 - little tricky to set up and get email notifications to come through
    • No Scratch protectors out yet - looking for a tempered glass one personally.

    More later including some photos. Stay tuned.

    In the mean time, if you own one, please chime in with your thoughts and learning. I'll be coming through some apps and options later I'm sure.
     
  2. samiznaetekto macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Dec 26, 2009
    #2
    Can it be purchased outright without carrier plan? Or piggybacked to prepaid ATT account?
     
  3. spriter macrumors 65816

    spriter

    Joined:
    May 13, 2004
    #3
    Doubt I'll be picking one up any time soon but really interested to see how these fare.

    Please keep the reviews coming :)
     
  4. mi7chy macrumors 68040

    mi7chy

    Joined:
    Oct 24, 2014
    #4
    Looking forward to pictures. Hoping they offer more band options like leather and metal.
     
  5. pdqgp thread starter macrumors 68020

    pdqgp

    Joined:
    Mar 23, 2010
    #5
    Not sure if you can buy it carrier free or without an account. I added mine to my AT&T plan for $10mo. just like any other phone. It pulls data from my current plan too.

    First pic of it using my Note 3.
    [​IMG]

    I'll get more and better pics later. However, the band isn't bad. Very comfy and snug. Not tacky looking in person. Time will tell how it fairs with wear and tear. I am assuming there will be all kinds of third party ones but then with as new as these devices are and how often they are coming out, I don't know. We'll see. Just know the stock one is nice and it's well made.

    Updates to add:

    Phone quality continues to amaze. Slightly odd talking into or near a watch though :D Men in Black comes to mind but then in reality it's pretty cool. Will pair nicely to a set of bluetooth earbuds which is what I may do for listening to music. People talking to me say I sound just like I'm on a regular phone and little to no background noise. They sound very clear to me and I have the volume about 60%.

    I updated the settings to add my wifi network which will help battery life. Also put the brightness down to about 1/2 as shown above. I've also set it to turn off gestures so the watch doesn't keep coming on as I move. Especially noticed this during driving today. I'm good with a black face until I push the button. You can set the screen off delay too. I have mine set for 30 seconds only because with the GPS use I wanted it on longer. May roll it back to 15 seconds.

    Text messaging continues to be easy. Love being able to get them as it's a big part of my communications throughout the day. Dictation replies are fast and very reliable just as with my Note 3. Love it.

    I've added a couple other apps but haven't used them.
    • Find my car
    • Timer
    • Opera Mini Browser and a few others

    More coming but after one day of use, I'm pleased.
     
  6. dingster1 macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Mar 1, 2008
    Location:
    MD
  7. LIVEFRMNYC macrumors 603

    Joined:
    Oct 27, 2009
    #7
    How exactly does the plan/pricing work? Is the sim on a tablet plan or did they make up a smartwatch plan? Does it have the same number as your main sim when not connected to your phone?
     
  8. maximus96 macrumors 6502a

    maximus96

    Joined:
    Sep 25, 2007
    #8
    seems like most if not all of the "pluses" are also applicable to the original gear/gear 2/gear 2 neo especially if you have your note3 around...how often are you without your note 3 to make the separate data plan useful?

    also, i bet all screen protector will be the wet-apply kind as they don't make curved tempered
     
  9. pdqgp thread starter macrumors 68020

    pdqgp

    Joined:
    Mar 23, 2010
    #9
    Google will be next...but a link would be appreciated too Thanks!

    On AT&T they give you a new sim and a new PH# for it, but that's transparent so long as your phone is on the AT&T network. If your main phone is OFF and not on the AT&T network somewhere, it will use it's new PH# to call.

    for me lots and perhaps a lot more. If I go on a walk with my dogs or to the park with the kids or really anywhere I don't need my Note, then I won't take it. However, often I do want a phone or a means to get messages. I see myself carrying my phone in my pocket far less now. Especially on weekends.

    probably, but I can't see anything but a tempered one being any real help. for me I will just need to be mindful.
     
  10. mi7chy macrumors 68040

    mi7chy

    Joined:
    Oct 24, 2014
    #10
    Looks nice with the curved display contouring to your wrist. This is like the Galaxy Note of smart watches with how big and usable the screen size is. Let us know how the battery life is after you've completely discharge/recharge a couple of times. Only concern is set up and integration with Nexus 6.
     
  11. pdqgp thread starter macrumors 68020

    pdqgp

    Joined:
    Mar 23, 2010
    #11
    Yeah, I'm not sure how it would work with a non Samsung Phone. Downloading the Gear App from the Samsung store is where it all begins. If they really want to sell these and make them compatible with other phones they will need to make the set up and integration with other Androids seamless.
     
  12. mi7chy, Nov 7, 2014
    Last edited: Nov 7, 2014

    mi7chy macrumors 68040

    mi7chy

    Joined:
    Oct 24, 2014
    #12
    I'm ready to buy this outright but on Verizon it's $399 full price compared to Tmo $349 and AT&T $299. Anyone know if I can buy the AT&T or Tmo version and slap in my Verizon sim without issue? Would've been perfect if it ran Android so I can go sim-less and use Google Voice app for free SMS and voicemail and Groove IP for free calls over WIFI/tether.
     
  13. Jspring86 Suspended

    Jspring86

    Joined:
    Oct 7, 2011
    Location:
    Tempe, AZ
    #13
    Got my Verizon one today. Really like it so far. Especially like that Verizon is only charging $5 a month to add it to your data plan, even if it was $350 for the device itself. I set it up with my Google Voice and the call forwarding seems to be working fine so far. I will post some more impressions tomorrow after some time with it. I'm going to the Phoenix Suns game tonight and then out to some bars so I'll see how I like it for a weekend night out.

    Oh, here is a pic:

    [​IMG]
     
  14. spinedoc77 macrumors G3

    spinedoc77

    Joined:
    Jun 11, 2009
    #14
    Picked mine up this morning and have had it on all day, but I was so inundated at work with narrative reports that I was unable to play with it. Just got home and uploaded the firmware update. Firmware update looks interesting, it automatically forwards your number to the Gear if it gets disconnected from the phone, I like that.

    First impressions, it's pretty svelte, but it's still definitely geeky. My patients all commented on it though and they all liked it. It makes me realize though that a smartwatch needs to be square/rectangular, I could never really get used to the round ones like the 360.

    The guy at the store said that you could answer calls right on the gear, I didn't realize it has a mic and would work like that. I haven't tested out phone calls on it yet.

    Anyway I haven't done much with it yet, I'll post up some more impressions soon.

    BTW you can buy it full price, it makes more sense IMO. It's $200 with a 2 year contract PLUS $40 activation fee. If you buy it full price/no contract it's $300 but with no activation fee. For the $60 difference I figured not having a contract was worth it. This is with ATT.

    ----------

    Wow, the charging dock is a portable charger!!! It has a battery and can recharge the watch. Battery life seems decent, I played with mine on and off, I don't think it was charged all the way out of the box. About 11 hours later and it's at 55%.
     
  15. samiznaetekto macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Dec 26, 2009
    #15
    Yep. Bought one today for $299 at ATT store with no account.

    And... I'm blown away by it. ;)
     
  16. pdqgp thread starter macrumors 68020

    pdqgp

    Joined:
    Mar 23, 2010
    #16
    I'm on att and paid $200 Up front. No activation fee and a simple $10 mo. They were geeked that I was thier first sale and worked with the team on setting it up so I know the gave me a break for that.

    Battery wise mine was charged about 75% out of the box. Ran it down to zero then charged it to 100 before I left. I lay took 90 minutes to charge all the way.

    Went out last night leaving my Note 3 at home. Was so nice to not have a full phone with me. Sent text messages and made calls with no issues. Very nice.

    The only other bummer I noticed is that S voice will not set reminders. It even tells you that it's not capable of that feature.....yet. so for now I can set an alarm to remind me of something but a true reminder to say pick up dinner or what not won't work from the watch.

    Will be researching this more today.
     
  17. MinEderPlayz macrumors 6502a

    MinEderPlayz

    Joined:
    Aug 3, 2013
    Location:
    Hamburg, Germany
    #17
    Wow. Why do we need to know your weight? TMI dude... TMI!

    - not even have a Samsung something
     
  18. pdqgp, Nov 8, 2014
    Last edited: Nov 8, 2014

    pdqgp thread starter macrumors 68020

    pdqgp

    Joined:
    Mar 23, 2010
    #18
    Another tip and further insight to users or those interested:

    SMS Text Notifications:

    In order for you to get SMS Text notifications on your Gear S, you must be using the stock messenger app on your Samsung Phone. I'm okay with that, but I was really liking the use of Textra as my app of choice. I'm sure it's just a matter of time before the two are able to exchange data, but we'll see. I'm going to ping the authors of Textra to see what they are thinking. I'm also going to see if there's a work around for such third party SMS apps but I don't think there is. Not one that will allow a reply that is.


    S-Voice or Google Now Reminders:

    The Gear S also does not pick up on reminders set using either Google Now or S-Voice. However, I personally use a To Do List app on my phone and it's widget comes in very handy. The gear S does pick up on these if an alarm is set for the task. You configure this to happen by simply checking off that app in the Notifications Settings on the Gear Utility App.
     
  19. Liquorpuki macrumors 68020

    Liquorpuki

    Joined:
    Jun 18, 2009
    Location:
    City of Angels
    #19
    Can you give a list of what functions require having a phone nearby?

    I want to know if it's viable to totally ditch the phone after pairing.
     
  20. pdqgp thread starter macrumors 68020

    pdqgp

    Joined:
    Mar 23, 2010
    #20
    the transfer of music, photos or the installation of apps. otherwise you don't need a phone.

    Well, you'll need your phone to reply to emails and set appointments, or set tasks for yourself. so it really depends on what you're looking to do. It's a consumptive device and notifier first no doubt.

    I look at it as a way of staying in touch but not completely replacing my phone. However, if I go to the store, am walking the dog or someplace where I don't need to reply to an email, or set up meetings this device will work just fine.

    For me it really helps me leave work at work because during "my time" I don't want to feel tethered to my work which I am whenever I take my phone with me. It also helps me "focus" more on my family as like it or not, I tend to check web stuff if I have my phone.

    Last night was a great example. At a bar with a friend having a great time, tons of people all over and many of them had their phones open, on, etc. even with all that was going on around them. Not me. Couple texts messages from my wife were easy to reply to and if I needed to take or make a call I could. No mindless BS around me and no work either. I even had pictures and music with me.

    Hope this helps you in your decision.
     
  21. Liquorpuki macrumors 68020

    Liquorpuki

    Joined:
    Jun 18, 2009
    Location:
    City of Angels
    #21
    It does. Yeah stuff like your bar example is what I'm trying to avoid. One thing I like about wearing a smartwatch is I'm not tempted to pull out my phone as much. Wondering if it's possible to simplify one step further

    All I really need is phone, text, maps and meeting reminders. There are a few apps I use a lot that are probably not in the Tizen store (Groupme, Yelp, Mint) but I can do without them

    Thanks OP
     
  22. tbayrgs macrumors 603

    tbayrgs

    Joined:
    Jul 5, 2009
    Location:
    Florida, USA
    #22
    Definitely looks interesting but two noticeable downsides, for me that is. First, is that it requires a Samsung device (same problem the Apple watch has requiring an iPhone) and second, not sure it would be worth an extra $120/year on my wireless plan, but that's obviously going to vary person to person.

    I have to give Microsoft a bit of credit for offering a smart wearable that is platform agnostic. It's not exactly in the same category as the Gear S considering it's standalone functionality but really wish more OEM's would go this route--would make this a killer offering.

    That being said, seems like a pretty good effort as a standalone smart watch.
     
  23. pdqgp thread starter macrumors 68020

    pdqgp

    Joined:
    Mar 23, 2010
    #23
    I've been up for 8hrs and just now picked up my phone (to check on the below apps). Until now haven't needed to. Even made a couple calls and played music with my watch via BT to the Bose in our kitchen.

    Yelp is available. Specially for the Gear S too making use of the full screen. You can touch to call or map you the location too. Very cool. Will be using it on my next trip to Chicago this week. Can't wait to use it to navigate downtown as I walk.

    Here is a screen shots from the app store.

    [​IMG]

    The other two apps are not. I'm not familiar with them to suggest alternatives.
     
  24. Jspring86 Suspended

    Jspring86

    Joined:
    Oct 7, 2011
    Location:
    Tempe, AZ
    #24
    I love everything about the watch except that I am sorely missing the "Ok Google" functionality from my Moto 360. I'm not as big a fan of S-Voice, but I've never really used it so I guess I'll give it a shot. I wish you could access Google Now directly with this watch.
     
  25. spinedoc77, Nov 8, 2014
    Last edited: Nov 8, 2014

    spinedoc77 macrumors G3

    spinedoc77

    Joined:
    Jun 11, 2009
    #25
    Played around a bit today with the Gear S. I'm liking it, not sure if enough to keep it yet. Although I'm not a stranger on spending money on something, then putting it to the side for occasional enjoyment. I must say though that the Dick Tracy phone has truly and finally arrived, no caveats.

    I did make a phone call on it today and was VERY impressed. I was in my car doing about 80 and called my wife, I could hear her decently and she said I sounded good. My car is pretty quiet, but still I usually can't do the same with my phone mounted on the dash using the speaker phone, the mic isn't good enough. On the S I had it on my left wrist and I turned my wrist up about a foot from my mouth. It does display a different number than your phone, I know it has it's own number through the SIM card but I was kind of hoping it would display my phone's number.

    Also you can download Opera for it, it's a fully featured web browser specially made for the Gear devices. It's quite awesome, I never thought web browsing would be viable on something like this, but Opera is pretty sweet. So far only downloaded Opera, a stopwatch and Milk music.

    I tried the GPS, am I wrong or does it not allow car navigation? The car navigation icon was Xed out and you could only do walking/bus navigation. I didn't play with it much though.

    What I'm missing to make this the perfect companion is a streaming music app. My current app of choice is Di.FM but it's not available on Tizen. Milk music seems interesting, but you still need the phone to stream from. I like streaming MUCH more than storing music locally, in fact I don't think I've purchased music or even transferred it to a device in years.

    That's the last thing that needs work, the Tizen app store is barren. With only a couple of devices out there with Tizen I highly doubt it will be much better anytime soon, if ever. Still, many of the Samsung/tizen apps seem more polished and stable than the ones on Android wear IMO.

    Edit: Hangouts seems to work somewhat. When I get a text message the watch says I have to enable the stock messaging app to get texts, but when I hit cancel it displays the texts.

    FYI also when not connected/paired using Bluetooth the phone and watch are STILL connected remotely, over cellular network I would assume. Something kind of cool about that, I wonder if a developer can leverage that to allow streaming of music over that remote connection, or file transfer, etc. Interesting.
     

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