Samsung Gear Live: First Samsung smart watch with Android Wear




The Gear Live is Samsung’s third smart watch, but the first model that runs on Google’s Android operating system Wear. The software works fine with Android phones and offers throughout the day information on notifications and other relevant information, such as weather and traffic jams. In addition, you can execute commands via a variety of voice commands, though unfortunately not work that well in Dutch. Although we find the software to work properly, and the possibilities are promising, the hardware is less impressive. The brightness of the screen is not being automatically adjusted to the environment and the battery lasts only one to two days. For the general public we are not really appropriate, but gadget fans who want to accept the downsides find the Gear Live can certainly enjoy it.

Simple concept with simple operation
Now Google can be very useful
Integration with Android works well


Now Google is not in Dutch
No automatic brightness control
Battery does not last long

Tweakers zegt: bovengemiddeld
Price publication: € 199, –

Google unveiled Android Wear late June, a special version of the mobile operating system that is completely focused on so-called wearable devices like smart watches. Three simultaneous smart watches were announced: LG showed the G Watch, Samsung and Motorola Moto Gear Live 360 The G Watch LG we have already extensively discussed and the Moto 360 is underway; However, the Gear Live recently became available in the Benelux and the model we focus in this review.

Manufacturers may not modify the software on their smart watches, so functionally the Gear Live identical to the G Watch. Want to know how the software is put together, what you can and what needs to be improved, then we recommend you to our first review read. the G Watch Then you can find out more in this review of the hardware, build quality, ergonomics and battery life of Gear Live.

Gear Live
The watch

The Gear Live is Samsung’s first Android Wear watch, but not his first smart watch. End of 2013 the manufacturer came out with the Galaxy Gear and earlier this year came Gear 2 and Gear Fit out. The Gear Live resembles that Gear 2; The watch has a case consisting of a plastic base and a metal top which, via a plastic band around the wrist is made. Right on the smart watch is a small button to make him wake up and the bottom has three contactjes used to. Connect with the charger

The charger consists of an extension piece that your snaps on the underside of the watch and then connects with a USB cable. This extension piece is very small and therefore easy to lose. The snap and does not detach smoothly and we had therefore preferred a magnetic solution, as with the G Watch.

The watch is dust and waterproof, so you can do it with a shower or wash the dishes without being damaged afraid. Furthermore, the Gear Live as a special feature a heart rate sensor on the inside, as well as the gear 2 and Gear Fit. However, that does moderate. So you have to keep your hand very quiet for a good measurement and smart watch should be just right on your wrist down. For example, it is too high, the heart rate polsbot can not detect. We therefore used the function barely.

Samsung Gear Live – screenshots Samsung Gear Live – screenshots Samsung Gear Live – screenshots

The watch is comfortable to wear, though the strap on the stiff side. Fortunately, you can easily remove the strap by pushing. Aside a feather on the spot where it is attached to the watch on the inside Then you can attach any standard 22mm watch band on the Gear Live.

Whether the Gear Live is a beautiful watch, is difficult to say; that really depends on your taste. Many people in the newsroom to find him at least better eyes than the G Watch from LG, although that is not a great achievement. Are you fan of beautiful watches, then the Gear Live will be less charm and it might be better to wait until the Moto 360 suits.

Samsung Gear Live Samsung Gear Live Samsung Gear Live Samsung Gear Live

The screen

Gear Live The square AMOLED screen of the Gear measuring 1.63 “, which is almost as big as the screen of LG’s G Watch. Screens are technically quite different, however. Where LG normal LCD used Samsung chooses for his own AMOLED technology. The contrast is so much greater, which in turn means that watch faces with a dark background beautiful eyes. Additionally, the screen reflects less, which is an advantage when you look at the watch outside.

With a resolution of 320×320 pixels Samsung is doing in that area better than the G Watch; which remains at 280×280 pixels namely stabbing. The difference in sharpness is not huge, but the screen of the Gear Live may be just contain little text, so that the information density of the Google Now cards sometimes is a fraction higher.

Below the line, Samsung has therefore built into his watch, better screen, but like LG, Samsung has thought about adding a brightness sensor. That means you must arrange through a difficult to reach settings menu. Brightness of the screen itself That’s very cumbersome, especially because you want to adjust the brightness. Actually any environment again
Hardware and battery life

Qualcomm Snapdragon It seems that Google imposes strict requirements on Android Wear watches while also prescribes what hardware can be used. That would explain why Samsung as LG has opted for a quad-core Snapdragon 400 soc which only one core is active; a solution that we would not call it elegant. The amount of memory is 512MB with the same, but the battery capacity is different.

With its 300mAh battery, the Gear Live a third less capacity than the G Watch, but the AMOLED screen leads in turn to power saving as shown only dark elements. That is the default clock case; these are a few pointers on a dark background. The standby time of Gear Live seems therefore to be that of the G Watch, but if you’re getting a lot of notifications and so much light and colorful things appear on the screen, which is better only to find little difference. In practice, the differences are so small; As with the G Watch you will also the Gear Live are struggling to get by fairly intensive use. a battery life of two days Charging each night so paramount.
Wear the Android ecosystem

The last time we looked at an Android Wear watch, has been some weeks ago and now there are many new apps added. Most of them are simply updates to existing apps to ensure that notifications are properly displayed on the watch. So you can with the latest beta of WhatsApp example responses from your Android Wear watch and the same goes for Facebook Messenger.

However, there appear gradually even useful apps that run on the watch itself. Our favorite is undoubtedly Wear Mini Launcher . The name says it all; it is an app that a small application launcher on the watch to install and you can reach by swiping. from the top left to right Then wipe your again to the right, you end up with a page with links, to which functionality you can switch in and out quickly, and can also arrange., The screen brightness via a slider

Samsung Gear Live – screenshots Samsung Gear Live – screenshots

That method works many times faster than what Google offers standard Wear. You must first tap the screen, cancel the search, along a list of commands, scroll down and select Settings and then Applications. Furthermore, a number of apps that make the screen dark if the watch depends on the charger; very handy for when you overnight charging it on your nightstand.

The Gear Live is up against other Android Wear watch that you can currently buy, the G Watch from LG. The operation of the watches is identical in terms of ergonomics and design, we have really no preference. Also in terms of battery life, they do not differ much. Where the Gear Live wins, is in the area of ​​screen quality, with higher contrast and less glare. If we had to choose, we would therefore go for Samsung’s watch, but the difference is not great and we hope to continue that next generations of these watches offer better battery life and screens that get to read well in all circumstances.


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