Thinking about getting Galaxy Gear

rockitdog

macrumors 68020
Original poster
Mar 25, 2013
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Is there any Note 3 or now S4 owners who are using the Galaxy Gear? Looking to get some feedback. The Galaxy Gear is extremely limited in it's functionality (as is most 1st gen products) but I still like the look of it and it's useability as it stands now.
 

Fanaticalism

macrumors 6502a
Apr 16, 2013
908
156
Wait for feedback after the update would be my recommendation.

I had one for a few days, but returned it as I didn't feel like I needed it.

It is definitely one of those "want" devices, not need.
 

bearda

macrumors 6502
Dec 2, 2005
445
57
Roanoke, VA
I don't have one, but I've been thinking of picking one up. My understanding is that recent firmware and app updates have made is support a LOT more info for notifications, and have made it more practical.
 

bearda

macrumors 6502
Dec 2, 2005
445
57
Roanoke, VA
I'm getting tempted now, even though I already have a Pebble that works pretty well.

I have a Galaxy S4 on T-Mobile, and it seems like I can use the ISIS+Serve combo to get a 20% instant cashback on anywhere with a tap-to-pay terminal. Which includes T-Mobile retail stores. $240 is a bit more palatable than $300 for the Gear.
 

PollyK

macrumors regular
Apr 18, 2013
197
0
Is there any Note 3 or now S4 owners who are using the Galaxy Gear? Looking to get some feedback. The Galaxy Gear is extremely limited in it's functionality (as is most 1st gen products) but I still like the look of it and it's useability as it stands now.
Current rumours are Samsung is planning to launch the Galaxy Gear 2 alongside the GS5. And looking at giving discounts to early adopters of the first Gear. It's supposed to be 15-20% thinner. From Sammobile. All rumors for now, but wouldn't be surprised if it can true. Samsung really wants the Gear to work, hence the quick update.
 
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Markyboy81

macrumors 6502a
Oct 30, 2011
514
0
I have the gear and the pebble and still can't decide which one to keep. Both are great devices and have their pros and cons but I'm edging towards the gear due to the latest update, nicer looks (my opinion),adjustable vibration and easier to mute, more features and easier to use.
However I do like the fact the pebble's display is always on, it's fully waterproof and the battery lasts longer. I would go for the gear but would be reluctant to spend any more than 70% of the RRP
 

The Game 161

macrumors Core
Dec 15, 2010
19,440
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UK
I'm samsung and gadget mad but even i'm not interested...fact it doesn't tell you the notifications and you have to charge it isn't great.
 

jonAppleSeed

macrumors regular
Mar 21, 2013
200
0
I'm samsung and gadget mad but even i'm not interested...fact it doesn't tell you the notifications and you have to charge it isn't great.
You mustn't have seen the latest firmware update then.
Also, you do understand how portable electronics are able to operate without the need to be plugged into the wall? Batteries. And batteries, need to be charged, so I don't understand your second concern.
 

The Game 161

macrumors Core
Dec 15, 2010
19,440
9,558
UK
You mustn't have seen the latest firmware update then.
Also, you do understand how portable electronics are able to operate without the need to be plugged into the wall? Batteries. And batteries, need to be charged, so I don't understand your second concern.
It's not a concern but don't really want a watch that i need to charge. Maybe when it comes down in price it would be something worth looking at..don't get me wrong it's a nice idea but if i get notifications, want to take pics or read e-mails i would use my phone not my watch.
 

bearda

macrumors 6502
Dec 2, 2005
445
57
Roanoke, VA
After using a Pebble for a few months being able to see notifications on my watch+vibration is incredibly useful. Pulling out my phone every few minutes to check my email is not an option in most meetings. Giving a quick glance at my want to see if it's something important that's worth interrupting what I'm doing is great, though. The camera and calling stuff doesn't really interest me at all (although the S-Voice integration seems like it has possibilities).

If the Galaxy Gear has finally gotten up to the point where it's notification support equals the Pebble's I'm interested.
 

Fanaticalism

macrumors 6502a
Apr 16, 2013
908
156
I'm getting tempted now, even though I already have a Pebble that works pretty well.

I have a Galaxy S4 on T-Mobile, and it seems like I can use the ISIS+Serve combo to get a 20% instant cashback on anywhere with a tap-to-pay terminal. Which includes T-Mobile retail stores. $240 is a bit more palatable than $300 for the Gear.
The one I purchased was an open box item at BBY for 252+ tax. If they have one near you, it would mean greater savings.
 

The Game 161

macrumors Core
Dec 15, 2010
19,440
9,558
UK
I've seen that the gear has been given an update recently about displaying full notifications...didn't realise this.
 

maximus96

macrumors 6502a
Sep 25, 2007
647
8
I've seen that the gear has been given an update recently about displaying full notifications...didn't realise this.
not only that, when rooted and with Null Rom installed, its a full fledged android device. with bluetooth tethering you blokes across the pond can browse internet, watch youtube, etc...no BT tether for AT&T sadly...
 

Phil A.

Moderator
Staff member
Apr 2, 2006
5,499
2,280
Shropshire, UK
I've had mine for nearly a month now and I absolutely love it - it's been far better than I expected.

For example, I was able to use the hands free on the phone when I was walking the dogs in the pouring rain - my phone was in my coat pocket and even with my coat sleeve over the gear, I could hear and be heard clearly with my arm down by my side. Granted, I was in the middle of nowhere with no external noise (apart from the rain!), but I was very impressed with the performance of it.

I also find it incredibly useful to have a quick glance at notifications to see if I need to be bothered with doing something with them (and since the last update and all notifications can be brought across in full, it's even more useful)

I have also (surprisingly) found the camera to be better than I thought it would be - it's reasonable quality in decent light and great to use for those spur of the moment photos

The pedometer is also great, as is the stopwatch

Overrall, I would say no-one needs a galaxy gear in their lives, but if you can afford one, you may well find it better than you thought if you just rely on review sites
 

The Game 161

macrumors Core
Dec 15, 2010
19,440
9,558
UK
I've had mine for nearly a month now and I absolutely love it - it's been far better than I expected.

For example, I was able to use the hands free on the phone when I was walking the dogs in the pouring rain - my phone was in my coat pocket and even with my coat sleeve over the gear, I could hear and be heard clearly with my arm down by my side. Granted, I was in the middle of nowhere with no external noise (apart from the rain!), but I was very impressed with the performance of it.

I also find it incredibly useful to have a quick glance at notifications to see if I need to be bothered with doing something with them (and since the last update and all notifications can be brought across in full, it's even more useful)

I have also (surprisingly) found the camera to be better than I thought it would be - it's reasonable quality in decent light and great to use for those spur of the moment photos

The pedometer is also great, as is the stopwatch

Overrall, I would say no-one needs a galaxy gear in their lives, but if you can afford one, you may well find it better than you thought if you just rely on review sites
Do you have a note 3? if so how much does using the watch for you note 3 notifications affect battery life on your note 3?

Does it show all notifications then? what happens when you see a notification can you click on it? or does it just dissapear?
 

ucfgrad93

macrumors P6
Aug 17, 2007
17,540
8,165
Colorado
I don't see the point of the Galaxy Gear since you have to use it in conjunction with a smart phone. If it was a stand alone device, I would be tempted.
 

Phil A.

Moderator
Staff member
Apr 2, 2006
5,499
2,280
Shropshire, UK
Do you have a note 3? if so how much does using the watch for you note 3 notifications affect battery life on your note 3?

Does it show all notifications then? what happens when you see a notification can you click on it? or does it just dissapear?
Yeah, I've got a note 3. I've not noticed any effect on the battery life (although logically, it must affect it a bit to keep the low power Bluetooth connection on).

You can choose which notifications to view and it then shows you the full text of the notification. You can tap on a notification to view it or just ignore it and it will be archived
 

JaySoul

macrumors 68030
Jan 30, 2008
2,589
2,685
Right now I wouldn't touch it with a barge pole - but I can see it maturing into something great.
 

bearda

macrumors 6502
Dec 2, 2005
445
57
Roanoke, VA
So, I got one. Still trying to decide what I think of it.

One thing worth noting is that the update that display notification details IS NOT out yet in the US. Everyone had articles out last week saying it was being released, but either it's on a slow rollout or it hasn't actually started rolling out yet. Notifications for Hangouts and Gmail, for example, are still pretty worthless. Yay, I got a message through Gmail. Who's it from? Go look at your phone, I just display pretty icons. Should be resolved soon, but it's not there yet.

The thing that bugs me the most so far are that the vibration strength is REALLY weak (even with the strength jacked all the way up in the settings). I may have a bad unit, but right now I'm just as likely to notice the vibration sound as I am the feeling on my wrist. Compared to my Pebble this is simply unacceptable. I'm going to check out some of the demo units at the Best Buy this week, but if it's a systematic problem it's probably going back. Silent notifications are my #1 reason for having a smartwatch, and if I don't notice them it's really not doing it's job.

Other annoyances (but not dealbreakers):
- Getting the screen to activate works about 2/3 of the time. Otherwise I have to awkwardly hit the button on the side to see the time, etc. Software update is supposed to improve this according to the release notes.
- I had a devil of a time setting it up. It required resetting the watch, pairing, unpairing, etc for a good 45 minutes before notifications and S-Voice activated correctly. Up until the last reset and re-pair I just got an "Error Occurred" message on the phone and a neverending swirly icon on the watch.
- App support is still pretty poor at the moment. At least with my Pebble I can install Runkeeper from the Google Play store and run with the latest updates. To get Gear support for the same app I need to install an older version from the Samsung App store that conflicts with the Play Store version.

So anyway, the jury is still out. I will say the S-Voice support is great and is much more convenient in the car than using my hands free kit and guess what I should be confirming onscreen while the phone is in my pocket. The camera isn't bad, but I can't imagine using it on a regular basis (or enough to be worthwhile).
 

bearda

macrumors 6502
Dec 2, 2005
445
57
Roanoke, VA
Thanks for the post.

How's the battery life?
Not terrible. A little over 16 hours of use ended up with 53% battery remaining. That was using it a lot since I was playing around with it. I'm used to charging my phone and my Pebble every night, so it wasn't a big deal. The charging system itself is annoying, though. The magnetic cable on the Pebble is a lot easier to use.