Which Samsung Gear smartwatch should you buy?

Which Samsung Gear smartwatch should you buy?

We give you the lowdown on all the best Samsung smartwatches
What Samsung Gear smartwatch?

Ever since the original Samsung Galaxy Gear was unveiled back in September 2013, we've seen a plethora of smartwatches land from the Korean company - but which one should you choose?

The Gear 2, Gear 2 Neo and Gear Fit were announced in February 2014 and the first Android Wear smartwatch from Samsung, the Gear Live, hit the shops in June 2014. The huge-screened Gear S arrived in time for Christmas 2014 and, if that wasn't enough, the Gear S2 was recently unleashed at IFA 2015.

Essential reading: Samsung Gear S2 v Apple Watch

That's a whole lot of Gears in a short space of time, so which Samsung Gear smartwatch should you buy?

Samsung Gear S2

Likely to go on sale in the next few weeks, the Samsung Gear S2 boasts a beautiful round-faced design which guns straight for the Apple Watch, with its all-new rotating bezel control setup. The interface is intuitive; you go left for notifications and right for apps and then in turn you scroll through the options when they appear around the edge.

There are two versions, the S2 and the S2 Classic, both of which pack a 1.2-inch Super AMOLED display, and a sharp 360 x 360 resolution. Like the original Gear S, it runs on Tizen.

Price: From $299 | Amazon

Buy it if you...want to set yourself apart from the Apple Watch brigade and fancy yourself a bit of a smartwatch hipster.

Samsung Gear S

The Samsung Gear S is a standalone smartwatch that doesn't need a smartphone for connectivity as it packs its own SIM card slot for 3G capabilities – although you'll need a new phone contract in order to take advantage of the untethered call and message features.

Samsung's biggest smartwatch certainly looks the business, with a 2-inch, curved, Super AMOLED display that boasts a 480 x 360 resolution; one of the best out there. It also packs in GPS connectivity for accurate run tracking.

Price: $329 | Amazon

Buy it if you...want the biggest smartwatch display, want to use your smartwatch to track your runs or ditch your smartphone and go all-out Dick Tracy.

Samsung Gear Live

Sammy's debut Android Wear smartwatch, the Gear Live takes its design cues from its Tizen-toting older brother, the Gear 2 Neo; it's pretty much identical save for the different position of the physical button and the lack of an infrared LED.

It features a 1.63-inch, 320 x 320, display and runs stock Android Wear, in its purest vanilla form, as per the rest of the new Google smartwatch brigade. As such, it will work with any Android smartphone, and is not reliant on a trip to the Samsung Galaxy.

Price: $149 | Amazon

Buy it if you...want to get involved in the Android Wear revolution and aren't bowled over by the newest Google-powered smartwatch offerings.

Samsung Gear Fit

The Gear Fit is Samsung's answer to the activity tracker revolution albeit with an awesome curved 1.84-inch Super AMOLED display, which rotates so you can have it portrait or landscape.

The big problem with the Gear Fit, and the reason you'd probably be best off buying a different fitness tracker, is because, well, it's not a very good fitness tracker. Sure, it will count your steps, set you goals and track your runs and cycles too, but not with any great accuracy. It looks great though.

Price: $101 |Amazon

Buy it if you...want a smartwatch that looks like a fitness tracker, and not a fitness tracker with smartwatch features.

Samsung Gear 2

The Gear 2 has upped the style stakes over the original Gear, adding a classier edge to the first generation's plastic finish; giving it a classic timepiece styling that's often neglected on smartwatches.

It also boasts a lovely, 1.63-inch, Super AMOLED screen with a 320 x 320 resolution and a 2MP camera for wrist-shot photos on the go.

Price: $169 | Amazon

Buy it if you...like to take photographs from your watch. Exactly. Seriously though, the Samsung Gear 2 is a decent design and the display is terrific.

Samsung Gear 2 Neo

The Gear 2 Neo is a (average at best) fitness tracker and notifications system in one and there's a built-in heart rate monitor to boot. Sure, it might not have the camera of the top-of-the-line Samsung Gear 2 watch but for our money, that's no great loss.

For simplicity, the Neo wins out. It's got all the best bits of the Gear 2 (i.e. that gorgeous display) and none of the nonsense (i.e. that camera).

Price: $149 | Amazon

Buy it if you...like the idea of tapping into the Tizen revolution, and its array of over 1,000 apps, but don't have the budget or wrist strength to take on the Samsung Gear S or S2.

Samsung Galaxy Gear

The original and the worst, the Galaxy Gear is very much a first-gen device that screams, “we beat Apple to market". It has screws on the front. Screws. Actual visible screws.

It also has a camera, which is of no interest, we're quite sure. What is notable is that, although it was originally an Android powered device, it now runs Tizen and the plethora of apps Sammy's in-house platform affords you.

Price: $199 | Amazon

Buy it if you...like collecting first generation devices. There's really no need to own the original Gear smartwatch, it's already out of date even if it's only a year old.

18 Comments

  • Kris says:

    Okay so you guys don't see the point in having a camera on a smart watch, but as someone that uses the camera on my Gear2 on a daily basis I got to say that is seriously useful... 

    Maybe not as a camera for taking photos for the album but so easy to take a photo as a note to remind me of something, also can be paired up so I can see a feed from the Gear2 camera on my Note3 - which I used the other day when I needed to check a bit of plumbing in a spot I couldn't get at. 

    Is a very handy feature if you think a touch outside of the box. Also the fact that it is voice activated has some real practical bonuses too. 

    • p.lamkin says:

      There are uses, we agree, but it's not a deal breaker when buying a smartphone, right?

      • LMgrafix says:

        Wrong! Having the camera is a big plus and to trash the GEAR as the worst is just wrong. It is now discounted down to an affordable $109-129.00 at B&H Photo which has allowed many the opportunity to buy something that otherwise has been out of reach. It might not have all the latest and greatest, but if you've never owned a smartwatch before, then it's all new and very cool. The fact that Samsung allows continually updating the software is also a bonus to keep it from going too far out of date.

        • Newwatcher says:

          Just got my GEAR at B&H Photo for $75 plus free shipping. I have never owned a smartwatch before, and it's all new and very cool. Gets a lot of great comments too. But I can see me getting something newer at some point.

        • DaGankster says:

          Wrong, Very Wrong!  I have to agree that the camera is a deal breaker for me.  Next to calls, and text.. it is my Gears camera that I use the most.  On the last two vacation I took, my phone died from lack of charge, but I used my Gear to take video and pictures untill my phone recharged.  I can always look something up on the internet later, or check an email later... but that picture perfect moment only happens once!  If you don't have that camera, you can't capture it!
          I will be using/buying the older versions of smartwatches untill the new-school brings back the Camera option!

    • petershamit says:

      I agree 100% and see my note below. I don't  understand why others think of camera as a trivial add on. Even Samsung themselves do not value their real own  positive plus. This is  like a gold chain in the hands of a monkey - that does not understand the value of gold. 

  • E_Z_Ryder says:

    While most smartwatch battery life's suck, especially compared to the pebble. I still love the display on my Gear 2, and with it being water resistant, unlike my phone, I was able to take pictures while kayaking on my trip in San Francisco, and was able to get some great shots of AT&T park on my watch.

  • LeeChatII says:

    I personally own the Gear S.  I believe if this is within your budget, it should be your choice over the others. Being able to leave my phone at home to go for a quick run, swim or just to the grocery store, knowing I can still receive all my calls, navigation etc., is just fabulous.

  • Sunday says:

    how to track down lost or stolen smart watch gear 2

  • Dta1616 says:

    when does the Samsung Geres to come out in the US

  • Dta1616 says:

    sorry the Samsung gear s2 come out in the US

  • xyko says:

    Gear 2 is the best wearable made yet. BY FAR. Guys who have kids know how hard is to take a good picture of your kids in normal situations. They dont wait you to reach your phone to take a shot. Gear 2's camera is on in a split of a second. REALLY. just press its hard button twice and its ready to shoot, and it is right ther, on your wrist, as fast and reachable as can be. NO OTHER CAMERA MADE BY MEN HITS THIS. And its 2mp is amazing in a lighty room (of course, in a dark place, few cameras will do a decent job). Loudspeaker is also very usefull. I simply dont imagine how people buy those new stripped uselles new wearables. Compared to gear 2 they seem to me tiny useless fancy regular waches. I will never change my gear2, unless someone made a newer one with a camera and a speakervoice. 

  • Bro says:

    I WANT TO KNOW THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN WATCHES A SIMPLE COMPARE. ITS HA

    RD TO DO

  • petershamit says:

    I have gear 2 and for me the camera/video is a real plus which prevents me from upgrading to S2. At the spur of the moment you can take a shot if you want to note something down quickly. A shot of a poster in a shopping centre without reaching my phone or news paper ad while in a coffee shop.  Once, I took a quick photo when someone came to attach me in my car on the road & he left. Very handy and valuable in the most needed time.

    I am waiting for the next good smartwatch to feature camera at least as good as Gear 2.

  • petershamit says:

    I have gear 2 and for me the camera/video is a real plus which prevents me from upgrading to S2. At the spur of the moment you can take a shot if you want to note something down quickly. A shot of a poster in a shopping centre without reaching my phone or news paper ad while in a coffee shop. Once, I took a quick photo when someone came to attach me in my car on the road & he left. Very handy and valuable in the most needed time.

    I am waiting for the next good smartwatch to feature camera at least as good as Gear 2.

  • Pumapantz says:

    I recently bought the original gear, second hand for around £50 and I believe it has been a brilliant buy for me!

    I mainly use it so I dont have to keep on taking my edge+ out of my pocket and risk dropping it while working, i work as a baggage handler in a airport you see so I am always having to run about the place!

    Just need it to see messages, emails and calls to judge weither they are worth the risk of pulling my mobile phone out!

    I do not see the point in going brand new for the massively overpriced new merchandise when this little watch i bought does 80% of what the newer and 4 to 5 times more expensive watches does for a hell of a lot cheaper, just seems pretencious to me!

  • Moelvsthegear says:

    Short sighted and hasty review fellas! Broke my gear 2, wife has the S2 :-(  .  I had to look hi & low for another G2. I leave my phone in my office. Camera IS a deal breaker,  I answer calls all the time until I reach my phone,  use the IR remote at work all the time. IMO Sammy should get back to that tech.  Low Camera quality = so what - it's the convenience and quickness as most others have mentioned.  LOVE IT. 

  • Becky1 says:

    Camera is important to me, I horseback ride and phone, camera sometimes does not work while riding. There is always the risk of dropping while riding at different speeds. I go on 100-150 mile vacations to areas i've never been and love to have photos of the ride. Since it is voice activated I can just point and shoot and have gotten great shots that I would not have been able to get if I had to fumble my phone or camera from a pocket. I also use it for work on a regular basis. I really wish Samsung would come out with another newer watch with a camera. 

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