Three months review of the #Samsung #Gear S #GearS

I have been using the Samsung Gear S for over three months now. And for nearly everyday since purchased I have worn and used it.

I confess that I was a ‘normal’ watch wearer before purchasing the Gear S.

Battery Life
Battery life for the Gear S, in real world use is pretty good. On an average use, you can get two days out of it without charging and without too much trouble. If you do need to boost it at all, the charging dock itself is a battery, which can give you another 50% of battery life. Plus, the charging dock uses USB micro, so easily charged my most phone chargers. If you use it a lot, use the WiFi or use the screen on all day, you only get a day. But that is a full day. Recharging is fairly quick, but to be honest, I plug it in over night.

Let’s be clear, the Samsung Gear S CAN reply to WhatsApp messages you receive. It is not native functionality, but for about a $1.50 you can download an app which allows you to reply to WhatsApp messages you have been sent (and exist on the notification screen on the phone). All of that sounds a bit cumbersome, but it does work OK.
The Gear S can also tweet messages, use the Samsung S Talk functionality, provide guidance using Google maps or Here maps and pretty much notify you of anything that pops up on the phone.
The subtlety with the Gear S is that it can do all of this when you are with Bluetooth AND when you are away from your phone as well.

SIM / Remote Use (not Bluetooth)
The Gear S has a nano SIM slot. I have installed a Three 123 PAYG SIM within it. You are able to set up the phone and Gear S to connect remotely via your data plan(s) such that notifications are still passed to the Gear S. All functionality remains, but just now passed through the Data connection. Actually data use is very low. It took about two and a half month of use to burn through £10 on a fairly expensive o2 nano sim I previously had in my Gear S. With the Three tariff I expect it to cost less / last longer.
Sending text messages, making calls can all be done via the Gear S but the number on the watch SIM is used, rather than the one on the cell phone. A lot of people have a problem with that, and complain that it is a waste of time. Based on my use, I don’t agree. The worst I have had when dialling out from the SIM on the Gear S was the question of “what number is this you are on?”. “Its my second number, but don’t use it much” seemed to allay any issue very quickly.
The phone DOES forward any calls to your watch remotely, so you never miss anything going to your cell phone if you have left it at home.

Gear S Application
Gear S applications are, relative to other stores, a bit expensive. Most costing $1.50 upwards for anything useful. I have downloaded and use #Watcher which is an excellent watch face, and one which is free. I have downloaded and paid for a Bluetooth fine transfer app called #Filemaster, so I can transfer stuff between the watch and phone without the need for cables. #GearMusicID is free and is a watch version of Shazam, that was a free app.
#GearTwitter was a paid for app and allows posts to twitter. #CameraRemote allows remote viewing and use of the Galaxy S5 camera(s). That was a paid for app. #InstantSetting allows remote change of some basic phone settings from the watch, such as mute, WiFi on/off etc. #OperaMini is a web browser and is pretty good and also free. #TheMan and #BallTrap are good little games which look incredibly similar to PacMan and Jezz Ball. Finally #BasicVideoPlayer allows MP4 videos to be played on the watch, handy if you have children to keep amused.

All in all, the device has been a lot more use than I thought it would be. I am starting to get back into my cycling again and will post a Samsung S Health and other sports apps review in the coming weeks.

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