Thursday, September 11, 2014

Gear 2 Review

Samsung Gear 2 I can't believe that it has almost been 6 months since I purchased my Samsung Gear 2 Smart Watch. There are m... thumbnail 1 summary

Gear 2



Samsung Gear 2


I can't believe that it has almost been 6 months since I purchased my Samsung Gear 2 Smart Watch. There are many published reviews on the watch, so why would you want to read another? Well I use my watch in every day situation all the time. I want to inform future potential buyers, especially with Gear S just being announced by Samsung.

Specs:



Announced (US) February 22, 2014
Operating System - Tizen OS
Hardware - 1GHz Dual-core CPU
RAM -  512 MB
Storage - 4GB Internal Flash
Pairing - Bluetooth 4.0
Display - 1.63 inch Touch Screen Super AMOLED (320 x 320)
Size & Weight - 0.39 in. (h)
1.45 in. (w)
2.3 in. (d)
68 grams
Battery - Li-ion (300mAh capacity) Rechargeable
Camera (Gear 2 Neo does not include camera) - 2 MP / Records video (15 second limit) , Auto Focus
Colors - Black / Silver / Orange / Brown

Useful right out of the box:

Fitness: a great feature in the Gear 2. It integrates date from the S-Health Application on your phone which includes: pedometer, sleeping patterns, heart rate monitor, and Exercise). It makes keeping record of workout routines simple and easy.

I use the Media Controller every day on my way to work. My car has Bluetooth but does not allow playback from my phone. I have to use the auxiliary port in my car to hook my phone up for music. But with the Media controller shortcut on my home screen I can easily skip the song / adjust the volume in between red lights with only 2-3 gestures.

WatchOn Remote is an awesome feature thanks to the IR Sensor that comes in the Gear 2. I have an Olevia TV set with Comcast Cable. The watch was successfully able to hook up to both allowing me to have control of my Television without having the remote control. We went 3 months without the remote in our bedroom and didn't have an issue. Although to use the cable functions (On Demand) I was able to use the Watch On application on my Samsung Galaxy S 4.

Image Quality:
Image Test 2


(taken w/ Gear 2 / Gear 2 Neo does NOT include a camera)


I don't really use the camera on my Gear 2 that often. It does come in handy in situations where I need an image of something fast. I have the double click function set to open my camera. The camera came in handy at my little nephew's birthday party. He was taking his first steps and while one mom was busy trying to pull her phone out of her pocket the other mom was making sure he didn't fall. I was able to double click my home button and snap a couple of pictures almost instantly thanks to the Auto Focus function.

Many people have complained about the 'size' and 'bulkiness' of the Gear 2 Smart watch. I forget that I have it on a majority of the time. I often catch myself thinking I'm wearing the watch even when it's charging. I love that I get Notifications not only from applications like Gmail / Hangouts but I also get notifications for a majority of my 3rd party applications. Some still require the user to open the application on the phone, but messaging/social media apps come straight to my watch. I can then see whether or not they are important enough to respond to at that time or wait till later.

The watch really comes in handy at work + it increases my battery life as I do not have to pull my phone out as often. It will last anywhere from 24 ~ 72 hours on a single charge. I use it to respond to messages as well as make phone calls. The convenience of having the dialer on the home screen is great! Just this morning I was at work and was able to excuse myself to answer a phone call from our vet.  

Useful Applications I have Installed:

GetUp! Alarm Clock - Free
Back up to my alarm clock, was having issues with my phone alarm not working. I usually use my phones alarm and slide to turn off from watch. Same thing but without need of a phone.

My Calculator - Free
Basic calculator

News Republic for Gear - Free
Able to get notifications on new articles as well as read from watch.

Gear Guide - Free
(Internet + GPS Required) Gives you the option to bring up maps

Fleksy Messenger - Free
Allows user to send / respond to SMS messages from the Fleksy keyboard

Six Weeks - Free
4 Workout Programs in 1 mobile application. Gives you ability to work on Push-Ups, Sit-Ups, Squats, and Pull-Ups

PacMan - Free
Controls take a little getting used to. But still a phone game when you're on the go.

Watch Styler - Free
Option to create unique face watches. Lets you choose current time as well as world time. You are given options to choose from for the font which includes color/transparency. Of course you get your choice of background as well.

Appy Geek for Gear - Free
Same thing as News Republic, it gives you notifications as well as options to read articles from watch.


Where To Buy:
(Price Updated 09/2014)

- New Egg has Gear 2 priced at $239.99 and Gear 2 Neo at $219.99 (both are the black strapped watch)
- Sonic Electronix has the Gear 2 priced at $272.99 
- Gear 2 Neo priced at $189.99
- Local stores like: WalmartTarget prices range from $269.99 - $299.99
- Gear 2 Neo priced at $199.99
Best Buy prices for the Gear 2 range from $272.99 - $299.99 
- Gear 2 Neo at $198.88


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I'll be working on an post about Rooting the Gear Watch and a how to. For those who don't know what rooting is,


"Android rooting is the process of allowing users of smartphones, tablets, and other devices running the Android mobile operating system to attain privileged control (known as "root access") within Android's sub-system"

Basically gives you more options in customization.