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Review Samsung Gear Sport: New Sports Wearable in the Smartwatch Line

Review Samsung Gear Sport: New Sports Wearable in the Smartwatch Line

Last year, Samsung introduced the third generation of smart Gear S3 watches to IFA 2016, a year later, in September, a smart Gear Fit2 Pro  smartwatch was presented in Berlin (its review can be read on our website ), under our headphones IconX 2018 and smart Gear Sport Watches section.

Last year, the Samsung Gear S3 was the prime product in the lineup. The Gear S2 continued to follow the same league as the leading sports wearable.

This year it is the Gear Sport model making waves online and in stores. The model is sold in the same group as the Samsung Gear S3 Classic and Frontier, and the second generation (judging by the absence of it in stores) is leaving the shelves as it packed out.

Such a decision is quite logical: the Gear S3 line looks more “professional,” Gear Sport has a higher class of protection and is more focused on sports.

What makes the Gear Sport interesting and different?

The Samsun Gear S3 has a dust, dirt, and water IP68 protection. It survived a 1.5-meter immersion in water for 30 minutes. The Frontier model is protected in accordance with the military standards MIL-STD-810G. It is possible to splash around in the pool with these wearables, but it would still be nice to have a higher protection rating.

This is where the Samsung Gear Sport stands out from both the above smartwatches. It can withstand pressures of up to 5 atmospheres, equivalent to a diving depth of 50 meters. With the appropriate Speedo software, the wearable allows you to track speed, distance, pulse, and a number of strokes during your swim.

From a technical point of view, the Samsung Gear Sport is close to the Gear S3, but there are a number of differences:

  • The body is slightly thinner and lighter, but it is still made of metal
  • The rotary bezel for clock control remains in place, like the Tizen OS, that is already a version 3.0.0
  • The screens slightly decreased: using SuperAMOLED with a diagonal of 1.2 inches (compared to the Gear S3 that is 1.3)
  • The resolution is the same: 360 x 360, there is an auto-backlight and it is Always on Display
  • The screen is protected by Gorilla Glass 3
  • There is wireless support: Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, NFC, GPS, sensors include accelerometer, barometer, altimeter, gyro, and an advanced heart rate sensor
  • The capacity of the battery has decreased from 380 mAh to 300 mAh. This helps reduce the screen size, and we think that this should not affect the performance

What is the Design of the Samsung Gear Sport?

The Samsung Gear Sport case is made of 316L stainless steel and generally resembles the Gear S3 Classic and Frontier, but the shape is still different. Compared to the round shape of the Gear S3 the Gear Sport has the same rotary bezel with four rounded corners.

Two color options are available: black and blue. The exterior of the blue version is dark and not very noticeable, but the strap is bright blue, this option seems to have better sports look. We received the black one to review.

The color is more a neutral black with a black strap. The swivel bezel has teeth along the border, so it is easy to turn it and there will be no problems if you wear gloves. The screen is hidden away and we suspect this is for security reasons. We believe that it will be extremely difficult to split the screen, unless on purpose (but why).

On the side, there are two large textured control buttons: “back” and “home” with a microphone placed between them. This features designed to work with S Voice and not for answering calls. As mentioned before the Samsung Gear Sport allows you to dive up to a depth of 50m. It is difficult to judge what percentage of future owners will dive with the watch at such a depth, but you can swim and dive with it without being concerned about damage.

The back panel is made of plastic; in the middle, there is a modified optical heart rate sensor to track your heart rate in water and to use with wet hands. Next, to heart rate sensor is the inscription of the type of stainless steel used to construct the body and the water protection rating.

As always, the straps for Samsung Gear Sport are replaceable. In the kit – you receive the standard silicone one. However, you will still be able to use the leather “Nato,” and 3rd-party options. The fit is 20 mm wide in the Gear S3 it is 22 mm, and not interchangeable.

The mechanism remained the same and has the same latch-pin in the spring. The clasp is standard, as on a standard watch. The straps available in two sizes: S and L, if we understand correctly, in the standard set there will be both options available.

The Samsung Gear Sport became slightly smaller and lighter than the Samsung Gear S3, so they are more versatile in size and might even look great on a girl’s hand. The quality of assembly is superb without any complaints and perfectly assembled. The metal case makes a statement that you are confident.

Like other Samsung models, the Smart Gear Sport watch looks like a normal wristwatch that we really like.

The shape of the enclosure itself seemed to us “not that great” at the presentation in Berlin. However, once you hold it in your hand device looks more interesting than on the display. We like the Samsung Gear Sport. Personally, we would choose the blue design as it looks sportier.

What is inside the Smart Gear Sport that makes it tick?

The screen in the Samsung Gear Sport measures 1.2 inches, the resolution is the same: 360 x 360. Reducing the screen definitely has a positive effect on battery life. We did not notice any difference compared to the Gear S3 Frontier and the difference in size is minimal.

Colors are bright and the SuperAMOLED makes viewing the screen from different angles possible. The brightness margin is sufficient for any conditions of use; auto-adjustment also works adequately. There is a standard function to turn on the screen when you rotate the watch to yourself, or when you receive notifications.

The screens always on display, the dials constantly displayed with a reduced brightness and activates with a gesture. It looks impressive and the sensitivity mode has not disappeared. This is good news, as it will be useful during winter months.

From the “hardware” point of view, Samsung Gear Sport is similar to the Gear S3 lineup. Everything works well and we agree that it is great they left it that way. Inside, we have a dual-core 14-nm Exynos 7270 processor with a frequency of 1 GHz (FinFET), 768 MB of RAM and 4 GB of internal memory, available about 1.5 GB.

The applications used for pictures and music. We think this is more than enough for a training playlist. Sensors and wireless modules that are in the Samsung Gear Sport: accelerometer, barometer, gyro, heart rate sensor, light sensor, Wi-Fi, Bluetooth 4.2, NFC (supported by Samsung Pay) and GPS.

Samsung continues to improve the heart rate monitor in its smartwatch, and for the “swimmer” this is especially important. Yes, and during training, with sweating hands, these heart rate monitors are not particularly accurate.

How well it works underwater, we could not verify, as swimming in the open reservoirs is already cool. In training, Samsung Gear Sport “thinks” the pulse is very good: based on the results of a personal comparison of real data with heart rate readings at rest and the active load, the error is up to 5%.

What about Charging and the Battery

The wireless charger is already familiar from previous models: it’s a stand with a magnet for the correct clock position and an LED work indicator. During the connection, the current charge of the battery and the green band of charging progress along the border is displayed on the screen. A full charge takes about 2 hours.

The battery life depends on a huge number of factors: brightness, Always on Display, hypersensitivity, heart rate monitor mode, GPS, and the number of incoming notifications. In any case, our guesswork confirmed the screen and batteries not affected by performance.

In the medium-load mode, with Always on Display, Samsung Gear Sport lives up to 1.5-2 days. With Always on Display turned off and a smaller thread of notifications, you can reach up to 3 days. The indicator is average, equal to competitors in the Smart Watch range, but we would like to see more.

5 Reasons to Buy the Samsung Gear Sport

  • Quality materials, assembly, nice design and protection from immersion in water to a depth of 50 meters
  • An excellent round AMOLED screen
  • Presence of all essential sensors, sensors and wireless interfaces
  • Convenient Tizen interface and management system
  • Functional and convenient software S Health and Samsung Gear

The reason not to buy Samsung Gear Sport:

  • We would like to have more battery life

Our Thoughts

Samsung Gear Sport – a logical and accurate addition to the current line of wearable Samsung devices and in its current form, it looks full great and professional. The Gear S3 Classic and Gear S3 Frontier have less protection and are more functional. While the Gear Fit 2 Pro and Samsung Gear Sport smart wearables are waterproof.

They are slightly smaller than the Gear S3 they did not get a large screen, but more focused on playing sports and have a serious protection against water. The Samsung Gear Sport is one of the most interesting models of smartwatches on the market now.

It boasts a quality assembly and material, has an interesting appearance, and quality round AMOLED-screen. A presence of important modern sensors is convenient to control. This is due to the rotary bezel and OS Tizen. Furthermore, you can go diving with it at a depth of up to 50 meters.

The only thing we would like is more battery life.

Samsung Gear Sport Specifications
Display 1.2 inches, 360×360, Super AMOLED, Gorilla Glass 3
Dimensions 44.6×42.9×11.6 mm
The weight 50 g (without strap)
operating system Tizen 3.0.0
CPU dual-core 14-nm (FinFET) Exynos 7270 processor with a frequency of 1 GHz
RAM 768 MB
Built-in Memory 4 GB
Pulsometer optic
Communications Bluetooth, Wi-Fi, NFC, GPS, Glonass
Protection 5 ATM, 50 meters, MIL-STD-810G (protection from vibration, shocks and temperatures from -40 to +70 ° C)
Additionally Always On Display
Battery 300 mAh