Just six months after the release of the Gear 2 - Samsung has launched yet another timepiece -the Gear S. Off lately the company has been trying to understand the wearable tech market very minutely. So far Samsung's efforts in the wearable space have been focused on exploding the market with new devices being launched every six months. But this time around, Samsung seem serious about attacking its competitors with newly launched Gear S.
The Gear S, which runs Samsung's Tizen OS, is a standalone intelligent watch. In true sense, this is how a smartwatch should work - completely independent from a companion smartphone.
It has a built in 3G SIM connectivity, offering an added advantage over other competing devices in the same class, for instance, the Motorola Moto 360. The Gear S can make calls, check messages and be connected to GPS without connected to your handset.
The Gear S's design doesn't make a huge leap from its predecessor, though the curve screen is a welcome move. Two big things could worry Samsung - rivals such as Asus might launch their smartwatch in India sometime later this year, and secondly the Gear S is priced on a higher side. In fact, the Gear S is even more expensive than the Apple iPhone 5C 8GB. So it's little pricy at Rs. 28,900.
We go hands on, and give you our first impressions of the Samsung Gear S!
Samsung Gear S: Form Factor, Design, Display and Operating System (OS)
Design wise, though, the Gear S doesn't look too different from Samsung's previous watches. In simple language, one can say that the Gear S is a wider than the Gear Fit. Up front, you notice a 2-inch curved AMOLED screen. The front side also houses a small home button, and to get apps you need to swipe from different sides.
On the back side, there is a SIM card slot, alongside the heart rate sensor, similar to the Gear Fit. The Gear S' rubberized band is extra-wide. The watch is IP 67 rated, meaning it can resist rain droplets.
The Gear S has a 2-inch Super AMOLED screen with a resolution of 360 x 480 pixels. So it's pretty big for a smartwatch. Undoubtedly, the rectangular curve screen on the Gear S offers rich colors with decent viewing angles.
Somehow the idea of having 2-inch screen on a tiny wearable device is itself not convincing. It looks like a mini-phone, more than an elegant looking timepiece. To jazz up the Gear S, Samsung is offering special Swarovski edition straps. But they might cost around Rs. 13,000.
As mentioned earlier, the Gear S runs on Tizen mobile operating system. The biggest problem with the Gear S' UI is its not-so-appealing user interface (UI). It still looks like very old school, with less emphasis given on customer needs. Samsung needs to understand that this is a timepiece not a regular phone; so the UI should be tweaked accordingly.
Samsung promises as many as 1000 applications on Tizen. Notably, the company has tied up with content partners worldwide. Furthermore, the watch does feature a web browser powered by Opera. Some of the popular apps will be made available on the Gear S, including Nokia's HERE maps and Nike+ app to harness watch's fitness capabilities. Samsung's S Health application come pre-loaded so that you can keep a check on your health.