Gear Live

Samsung's third smartwatch — its first for Android Wear — looks a lot like its others

Behold, The Samsung Gear Live! It's been about a year since we first heard rumors of Google jumping into the smartwatch race, and two of the devices are already trickling into the hands of consumers — the Samsung Gear Live and the LG G Watch. We've had plenty to say about both, as well as the platform as a whole, and there will be even more to come. Android Wear will bring Google and Android to an entirely new class of devices, and it will be a big deal — with plenty to talk about.

Right now, we want to talk about the Samsung Gear Live and give a comprehensive look at the hardware, and what you can expect from it should you be purchasing one. While Samsung is no stranger to smart watches, this is a new breed and an introduction to a new platform.

About this review

Google Now card on Gear Live

We've been sporting the Samsung Gear Live on our wrists for about two weeks now — since Google handed them out to attendees at Google I/O 2014. They're the same as the retails models that are now shipping, so there are no surprises there. We've also received a software update in that time, which fixed a few bugs in the display when showing certain watch faces. Basically, what we're looking at is exactly the same as what you can buy.

We've had plenty of time to get to know the Gear Live and Android Wear.

Check out our LG G Watch review!

Of course the Gear Live is just one of the first watches that make up Android Wear. When you're done with this opus, be sure to read our complete LG G Watch review!

Samsung Gear Live video review

Samsung's newest wearable takes the design language from their previous offerings and brings much of what you liked from the original Galaxy Gear and Gear 2 family to the Gear Live. You've got the same style — the Gear Live is almost a dead ringer for the Gear 2 in every way except the button placement. We're not complaining. The build quality is fantastic, with a brushed stainless body and high-resolution (relatively speaking) 320x320 screen.

It's main purpose is a delivery mechanism for Android Wear. But we're OK with the fact that Samsung built it with a bit of their own style.

Samsung Gear Live

the Gear Live is almost a dead ringer for the Gear 2.

On the side of the Gear Live you'll find a single button. This serves to change the screen mode from on to either "dim mode" or off, depending on your setting. You've got three screen modes on Android Wear — off, on and dim. You can set the screen to turn off when not in use or to go dim, where less information is displayed and everything is monochrome. In either setting, raising your wrist or tapping the screen brings the full on mode.

Dimming mode

A long press of the button while the screen is on will bring up the settings menu. Of course, it's also a power button if you've turned the Gear Live off. A on/off button isn't the best experience for a watch, but you don't have to use it if you'd rather not — the accelerometer and touch screen can work in tandem to do the same things the button can while the Gear Live is powered on.

Samsung Gear Live

On the Gear Live's backside, you'll find the heart-rate sensor and a set of five gold pogo pins. The heart-rate sensor looks and works like the one you'll find on the Gear 2 family, and operates much the same way — by detecting slight variations of your skin tone while your heart beats. It works, though I can't attest to any degree of accuracy. Your heart-rate as read from the Gear Live will increase when you're active, and slow down when you're not. Using the thumb-on-the-wrist method, it seems to be fairly accurate most of the time, but every once in a while it will throw out a number that can't be right. I wouldn't depend on it if I were a cardiac patient, but it may be adequate for a workout.

The pogo pins are for charging the Gear Live, which you'll be doing a lot.

The pogo pins are for charging the Gear Live, which you'll be doing a lot. They contact a matching set of points on the charger base, which clicks on to the rear of the Gear Live just like we saw with the Gear 2 family. They're coated in gold so they shouldn't turn green too easily, and with no moving parts we shouldn't have any issues here — other than keeping track of a proprietary charger body.

In addition, on the right side of the Gear Live you'll find a small microphone. You need a mic if you want to talk to your watch, right? It's positioned in a good spot if you wear your watch on your left wrist, and it seems to be sensitive enough — at least as sensitive as the microphone in your smartphone. There is no speaker, so you won't be hearing any noise from the Gear Live.

The Gear Live display

Gear Live screen

The 1.63-inch Super AMOLED screen on the Gear Live is a pleasant little surprise. Because it's AMOLED, blacks are black, colors are bright, and everything is a little blue. But overall, it looks good. After doing the math, you have about 279 pixels per inch, and the resolution works — you won't notice pixels unless you're looking very closely.

Fear Live pixels

For all the pixel-peepers out there

The display on the Gear Live is a pleasant little surprise

Visibility outside in the sun is pretty poor, and there is no auto-brightness feature in the settings. Running the Gear Live at full brightness destroys the battery life, and running at anything less than full brightness means it's unusable outdoors in the day time. Even at full brightness this thing is tough to see in the sun. You can adjust the brightness of course, but that's done via the settings menu and buried several layers deep. There also seems to be a hydrophobic coating on the glass to bead water off, which is both a blessing and a curse. Water droplets will activate the touch sensor, so beading water off quickly keeps the Gear Live from running through the menu. The coating likely makes the SAMOLED screen even harder to see in direct sunlight. I can see what needs done to "fix" this — make the screen brighter. Of course, the 300mAh battery means an enterprising engineer can't just jump in and make everything brighter. It's a catch-22 situation that we have to deal with until that enterprising engineer stumbles across a magic fix.

Gear Live battery life

Samsung Gear Live

The screen visibility outdoors is an issue, but not my biggest issue. That honor goes to the fact that it needs charging nightly, and the charging dock makes this a tedious mess. If you set the screen brightness down all the way and throttle down the amount of notifications being sent to the watch, you can stretch the battery life out to almost two days. This means you can either charge the Gear Live every night and use it for everything it's capable of doing, or tone things back and charge during dinner every other day. It charges fairly fast, going from about 20-percent charge to full in under 90-minutes, but that is 90 minutes when you're not wearing your watch. Folks who take their watch off every night won't have any issues, but those of us that don't will have to figure out a charging schedule.

The Gear Live requires nightly charging

This is amplified by the fact that you just can't plug the Gear Live in without the charging dock. Hopefully, Samsung will sell spares so we can leave one at home and carry another with us in case we need to charge up. Don't get me wrong — making this sort of thing is hard, and Samsung surely has a good reason to use a dock versus a standard USB connector. It's just not very convenient.

Other notables

Samsung Gear Live

As mentioned, you can get the Gear Live wet. The watch is IP67 certified for dustproofing and water resistance exactly as the Galaxy S5 is. This means that under normal use dust won't be able to enter the case, and you can submerge the Gear Live in a meter of water for 30 minutes before anything bad will happen. I've worn the Gear Live in the shower, the hot tub and the trout stream with no ill effects so far.

If you wear your Gear Live in the shower or anywhere it's going to get wet, you'll notice the back gets pretty grungy. You can clean things up with a damp cloth and get it looking good as new.

Gear Live replacement band

You either think strap looks good or you don't

The strap on the Gear Live is a point of contention for many of the folks who already have one. You can change it out if you like, but the body of the watch was designed to have a strap of a certain shape at the point of attachment. If your replacement strap does not have this shape, you see parts of the body that you weren't meant to see. This is an issue because nobody makes straps that are the right shape at the ends, and you'll end up with a look that feels unfinished.

Samsung uses quick-release pins on their strap, but chances are any aftermarket one you buy won't have these. That means you'll be in there with a tool of some sort trying to push the spring bars back to put a new strap on, or take it off. That's not too big of a deal (it's exactly how most watches work) but it is a little tricky because you're doing it from the back and inside the lugs on the body of the watch.

Samsung Gear Live strap

I don't particularly mind the OEM strap on the Gear Live, but I seem to be in the minority. It's made of reinforced polyurethane of some sort, and has a fixed buckle that inserts into pre-drilled holes on the other piece of the strap. It's rugged, and I've tried — and failed — to force it to come loose from being pretty violent with my motion. The biggest issue seems to be a matter of taste. You either think it looks good or you don't.

In any case, here's hoping Samsung makes replacements in different styles and colors.

The Gear Live's specs

Samsung Gear Live

Category Features
Display 1.63-inch Super AMOLED (320 x 320)
OS Android Wear
Processor 1.2 GHz Processor
Google Services Google Now, Google Voice, Google Maps & Navigation, Gmail, Hangouts
Additional Features Notification (SMS, E-mail, etc.)
Heart Rate Monitor
IP67 Dust and Water Resistant
Changeable Strap
Color Options Black and Wine Red
Connectivity Bluetooth® v4.0 LE
Sensor Accelerometer, Gyroscope, Compass, Heart Rate
RAM 512MB
Storage 4GB Internal Memory
Dimension /Weight 37.9 x 56.4x 8.9 mm, 59g
Battery Standard Battery, Li-ion 300mAh

Some interesting observations about how all this works together with Android Wear:

  • Free storage after all is said and done is about 2.9GB
  • Screen dimming is much like the Daydream mode on your phone and has an intent trigger
  • Garbage Collection is pretty aggressive. These specs don't matter as much as you think, because the system keeps the background "junk" to a minimum.
  • No ambient light or proximity sensor is listed in any data sheets, but placing your hand over the screen sends ambient lighting information to the system (all zeros — full dark). Either there is a hidden sensor, or something really cool is going on with touchscreen sensitivity. I'm trying to figure this one out, because nerd.
  • The "colorful" watch faces change color based on time of day. Purple in the late afternoon looks especially beautiful on this little screen.
  • We don't yet have a documented and final API for watch faces. Any watch face apps you use right now are a clever hack, but may go away in the future.
  • People in airports have lots of questions when they see you talking to your watch — especially people wearing a uniform and a gun.

The bottom line

Navigation

The Gear Live takes everything Samsung knows about building a smartwatch, and adds an exciting new operating system into the mix. Make no mistake — this is definitely a generation-one product, but one that's a step ahead because Samsung is no stranger to wearables. You may not like Samsung's styling or design choices, but there is no denying that the Gear Live is built well and plenty of time and money were spent in engineering.

Make no mistake, this is definitely a Gen. 1 product

There are issues. Most people aren't going to want to worry about keeping the Gear Live charged up every day, and the software itself has a lot of growing up to do. There is too much swiping and burying things deep into menus, and while a fan will take the time to get familiar with it all, the average consumer is going to feel very lost when they strap this to their wrist. And anyone who spends most of the day outdoors is not going to like the display. We can't deny any of these issues, nor should we want to.

While the software feels clunky to operate, we do have to say it's beautiful. The card interface lends itself very well to a wearable device, and the tie-in to Google Now on top of application notifications really makes for a powerful second-screen experience. Hopefully, Google will find that balance between information overload and what really matters for most users in future versions.

All my frustrations with the Gear Live aside, I'm excited about how it will change the future of smartwatches. To me, these first-generation Android Wear devices are the CR-48 of the wearable world and I'm certain things will only get better.

Should you buy one? That's a tough question with a fairly easy answer. If you're not ready to use a platform with plenty of growing pains in store, pass on the Gear Live. Like every new product, things will only get better as it matures. If you do want to jump in at the beginning, other than the look of the hardware itself, there is not a lot of difference between the G Watch and the Gear Live. I enjoy using the Gear Live, and consider it a great addition to both my watch collection and a promising extension of my "smart" electronics experience.

 

Reader comments

The Samsung Gear Live review

75 Comments

One day battery is just unacceptable.. considering same spec'ed gear 2 lasts 3+ days.. why is android wear such a power hungry OS?

Posted via NEXUS 5

The Gear 2 is not always on. You have to turn it on to see the display (either through motion or a hardware button). Personally, I would rather have a watch that's always on so I can at least see the time. The gestures never seemed to work reliably on the gear.

I take my watch off every night before bed. What's the difference between setting it on the table or setting it on a cradle to charge?

Haha. Yeah, bro. laying it on a charger takes a WHOLE lot more effort. It would take at least an extra two seconds after I plug my smartphone in for the night.

True. But I'd use my Fitbit for that anyway. I'm not really sure I'd want to wear a watch all night while I'm sleeping just to track my sleep.

I really don't like the fact it's only 1 day either.... because when they claim 1 day that can very a lot depending on how you use the device, and most likely they mean just 1 day of average use. It doesn't bother me to have to charge my devices every night... but I don't want to have to charge it anymore that than either if I use it heavy, that would really be annoying with a watch.

For example, my Note 3 gets 2 days of battery life with average use... but I can also kill it in less than 1 day if I use it heavy. So in my opinion these smart watches need to have at least 2-3 days of battery to keep from ever having to charge them more than once a day, even with heavy use or as the battery looses it's life after a year or two.

Every review I've read for both the G Watch and Gear live indicates that, even under heavy use, they make it through the day easily. Strangely, heavy use doesn't seem to have as much of an effect as you would think.

Or a heavy usage case is just never gonna be as intensive on a watch as on a phone, in all likelihood. You can spend hours browsing or gaming on a phone and kill it in say, one long flight, but you're much less likely to increase your usage of a watch by a factor of 2-4x on any given day/situation. I'm sure there'll be exceptions to that, maybe navigation, but they seem far less likely overall. I'm in the camp that thinks one solid day is ok, but anything else isn't.

I'm also getting about 2+ days from my Note3 with radios turned off and just using local apps. Bluetooth gets used in the car, but not much else. That said, I agree - playing (for example) Where's My Water will kill the battery in a couple of hours. It's all in how you manage the device.

I've had a my Gear Live for a couple of days and I'm looking at getting around 2 days out of it - screen turned off saves quite a bit of battery life. But I'm sort of used to plugging the phone in every night, so plugging the watch in isn';t that much of a hassle.

That's... pretty stupid. Why do you need the display to be on all the time when you don't need it?

Posted via NEXUS 5

If you say so. Have you even used a Gear? Half the time you turn your wrist to check the time and it doesn't even come on. You have to do the motion like 2 or 3 times to see the time. I would much rather have it visible all the time.

Sony Smartwatch 2 does it, as does Pebble, as does every other regular smartwatch on the planet. This is a WATCH after all. If you can't glance at it and see the time, it's useless.

"hands on". Uhhh, so you didn't use one on a daily basis? I rest my case. Come back and try to make a point when you've actually owned one.

I'm using the Galaxy Gear with null ROM, an Android custom ROM, and I usually get 3 days of use with the motions activated. I can even get a longer battery life if I only turn the screen on manually.
And the motion just works fine, it turns the screen on almost every time you turn your wrist, even when you don't want it.
I don't see where's the problem, except my almost 1 year old Gear is able to do more things than those new devices: to make calls, install a dictionary or Google Now, use Internet, take photos, write memos thanks to my voice, write my rendez-vous in my phone's diary, install traditional Android apps...

Oh yeah. S Voice recognition is SO good. /s

Yeah, you're right. Your Gear can do so much more. Except, you know, work with any other phone besides Samsung (Nexus hack doesn't count).

You wouldn't be telling me anything I don't already know. The fact is, the average consumer is not going to root their phone just to make a second-rate smartwatch work with it. There's also the fact that, while it works, there are still bugs and issues and it doesn't work as well as it does paired with one of the chosen Samsung devices.

Android Wear works with any Android phone 4.3 and above out of the box with no rooting or hacking. And that's really the way it should be. Sony Smartwatch 2 (which I also have) is the same way.

Then, the average consumer who owns a Samsung smartphone should buy a Samsung Galaxy Gear which brings much more features than any other smartwatch, whereas the general consumer who owns another phone should waste his money buying an Android Wear smartwatch which is buggy and can almost do nothing with an awful battery life.

Sony's smartwatch is a good concept as it shows the hour even when the screen is not activated, but the main drawbacks of this smartwatch are its design and screen, which look really bad.

That's not at all what I've said. I've said the Samsung Gears powered by Android or Tizen were for Samsung phones, whereas the Android Wear powered smartwatches were for the other devices (and were useless compared to Samsung's smartwatches).

"...useless compared to Samsung's smartwatches". Try fanboying harder. And try being more ignorant.

The Wear watches are much closer to real smartwatches and have much more utility than the Gear even at this early stage. Voice commands actually work, too, unlike Samsung's horrible excuse for a voice to text engine.

Perhaps you should actually try one before you go spouting off about how useless they are. At least I have owned both a Gear and a Wear watch. And a Sony. And a Pebble. I have a baseline for comparison. You have, what, your one smartwatch purchase and a few reviews that you read? Yeah.

Firstly, I would never spend 300$ for a smartwatch. I got mine for 80€.

Secondly, as an Android Wear smartwatch can almost only use Google Now AND I have Google Now on my phone, I know what it is able to do. I don't know for you American users, but in France, it's not possible to do many things thanks to Google Now, particularly without an Internet connection.
And S-Voice works great on the Galaxy Gear, plus you have a speaker for it to answer you.

"I don't know for you American users, but in France, it's not possible to do many things thanks to Google Now, particularly without an Internet connection."

Well, that explains a lot actually. Because you can do a lot with Google Now if your language is supported. More than you can with Siri on the iPhone and it's even more accurate.

I don't know. Maybe S Voice understands French or French accents better than American or maybe it just hated me, but I had fits with it every time I tried to use it.

If you want something to tell you time and want good battery life? BUY. A. WATCH. This is a multi-tasking tool that also tells time.. Like your phone, that you have to plug in every night before bed.

Agreed, it's a periphery for crying out loud! I love my gear live. It's like living in the future!

Posted via Android Central App

I agree with you. I have the gear fit and the gesture thing is almost worthless. It doesn't work like it's supposed to at all and have heard many complaints on the other models that it's the same. I don't necessarily need it always on, but at least get the gesture thing working correctly. I am tempted to get this, only because Motorola is dragging it's heals so badly it's nauseating.

Why does my normal watch need to be turned off when it goes for 10 years???? Is this supposed to be a trick question? Lol

Posted via NEXUS 5

Can your normal watch give you notifications? Search the internet? Reply to hangout messages with voice? None of those are trick questions.

You seem to have some pretty unrealistic expectations. Everyone would like to have a watch (or phone for that matter) that rarely needs to be charged. However, given the limitations of current technology, you can either have a smartwatch that lasts a few days, but doesn't work so well as a watch, or you can have one that prioritizes watch functionality and needs daily charging. Unless you want to time travel into the future, you're not going to find a smartwatch that lasts 10 years on a charge.

I won't even own a watch that isn't always on. I hated having to thrash my wrist around to see the time on the Gear. Toq, Sony Smartwatch 2, Pebble are all watches with always on faces. They each last several days on a charge, but none of them can do what Android Wear does. Conversely, a Gear lasts a few days on a charge, but that's WITHOUT the time always being displayed, so there will always be a trade-off.

I stopped reading after your first paragraph bc my answer was not for you and i simply answered the fact about my normal watch.

Posted via NEXUS 5

If I had to guess, it's not. It's just going to take a few versions for manufacturers to take advantage of android wear properly. Never buy a first edition of anything.

Got the Samsung gear live Thursday. Not one to posts rants or rave..... The watch when it work was perfect. My problem is the charging of watch. It won't charge with power adapter supplied. (Mine) Had to plug it in to laptop to power via USB cable. My watch doesn't always charge via this cord. Btw I have requested a new unit for this reason. I hope new one charges then it would be perfect.

Joe

Actually, I get easily nearly two days of battery life now with the Live. I use it when I sleep as well for sleep tracking, no problems. On the second day, while at my desk working, I give it a quick top-up, and it's good to go for another 1.85 days.

They keys are

(1) Put brightness to lowest. Even at lowest it's plenty bright for indoor use, and I can see it without too much trouble outdoors (unless in direct strong sunlight.)

(2) Make the display not always on. It's not a big deal, wrist movement turns it on when i want to see it. Plus a tap, then I just speak into it. I did experiment, even when it is always on, I didn't look at the watch often enough to justify it being always on.

(3) Your watch face matters. Some really suck battery life, Intellicom shows battery life, etc and uses very little battery. I did disable sweeping second hand.

(4) Beware battery sucking apps (just like on your phone.) I do have location services on all the time, no issues.

Thank you Jerry for reviewing the product on its merits and not using the lazy line I have seen in so many other reviews "just wait on the moto 360". Yep, I'm one of those persons who pre-ordered one as soon as it became available (it arrived today) but I was also a kickstarter backer for the pebble.

Yeah, I did the same. I too backed the Pebble on Kickstarter and I ordered the Gear Live too. In ways I like the daily charging because I don't have to worry about forgetting, plus it goes so far beyond what the Pebble can do.

Battery life is a big issue, but I never thought I could live with a phone that didn't have a removable battery, yet I love my Nexus 5.

Posted via Android Central App

Hey Jerry do you think the charger cradle is as fiddly as everyone else says it is and does it feel it could break when you connect it to the watch?

Posted via Android Central App

Fiddly is probably a good way to describe it.

I don't see why the watch body itself is breaking before the clips on the charger, though (for the folks with issues). It's not the best solution for charging in my opinion. LG does a much better job there.

Thanks Jerry. I've seen a few photos of the broken watches and it looks like the piece is breaking between the charger grab spot and the microphone hole, could be defective units or could just be operator error.

I'd still like to get the Gear Live but part of me says get the LG G watch instead ( just in case I have a charger issue)

What I would really see is a true size comparison of the watches next to say a Nixon 51-30 or an Invicta dive watches?I can't really get an idea of the size of the watch in just an image on someone's wrist. I need a side by side comparison. Oh and Jerry what is the ink on your arm?

Has anyone had issues charging? If I use a 2A charger, it won't charge, even though it shows that it is.

Posted via Android Central App

Until I have a true reason for one of these I won't be buying one. My phone does everything better. The technology doesn't feel ready yet.

Jerry - In your video review, it looks like you have a dark 'Aviator' watch face. Is this something that you added? My retail Gear Live only has a white (reversed) aviator face. The dim mode on mine looks exactly like yours, but the watch face turns white when active. I'd sure like it to remain dark like yours seems to be doing. Let me know if there is a trick to reverse the video. Thanks.

Ah! So that's the magic. I'm on the west coast, so I guess I'll be able to try that out in another 90 minutes. Thank you.

I own a Sony Smartwatch 2 and a Martian Notifier. I was looking forward to AndroidWear but after these couple of reviews I'll be sticking with what I already have. One day battery life is unacceptable. One of the best features of a smart watch IMO is the silent vibrating alarm on your wrist. It works great to avoid waking your partner.

Both the smart watches I own go for a few days before needing a charge and work extremely well in comparison to these new offerings.
Posted via Android Central App

Awesome review. Nothing against the rest of the AC crew but you and Alex are the only ones that should do video reviews. The two of you are a joy to listen to.

Being just your average consumer I decided to go with the Samsung Gear Live based on design and the better screen vs. the LG G Watch. I could care less about having to charge it at night... frankly, if the battery lasts 1 day that is fine with me. I have no issues with having to charge it overnight.

I just find it interesting how the higher tech, or more tech savvy guys are disappointed in the lack of certain features that the average consumer like myself could care less about. The rubber strap looks fine to me and not a deal breaker as it is to some. I have no need to run out and spend another $50 on a leather strap or made in China metal band to supposedly make it look acceptable when being worn. I do collect high end watches and to really dress it up in a Swiss or German made 316L Stainless Steel bracelet its in the range of $200 - $500... and no way that is going to happen! This isn't a Breitling, Omega, IWC, TAG or Rolex. Its a first gen smartwatch that will have its limitations out of the box and will, as smartphones have, get better with every impending generation. It is what it is and for now, and for me, its a nice extension of my phone that will allow me to put the phone in my computer bag during meetings and be able to see who is calling and the messages I'm getting. Or, allow me to leave my phone on my desk and walk around the house, when I'm working from home, and see the information I need to see without having the phone in my hand or pocket.

Like I said, I'm just your average consumer that doesn't need to analyze every pixel, screw and component that makes up the Gear Live. As long as it works and does what I need it to do, then I'm perfectly content with its limitations. If it did everything that everyone in the world wanted it to do, it wouldn't be $199... it would be $1,199. I fully understand that they're are individuals that find 1 day battery life unlivable... or the fact that it doesn't have a speaker deplorable, etc., etc. I get it! But for the average person... I guarantee, they and I, could care less about all that "in the weeds" stuff. It simply doesn't matter as long as it does what Samsung says it will do... good enough and worth the $199!

Agree!

I just wanted a smart watch that could make and receive calls on the wrist, get the notifications that I wanted, and handle text message sending and receiving. NEO (for $149.95 new on sale for a short while -when it just came out at ATT online) was simply great for that! Battery life was a bit of a pain, but not really.

I did notice that I spent more time playing with the watch than I needed to --wasted quite a bit of time and probably battery just because I could. . . So in some cases it could be a surprising distraction!

Samsung and Sony already made smart watches running Android. How is Android Wear any different? Is it basically Google controlling the platform, like a sort of Nexus device?

Yes, it's sort of like that. However, unlike Nexus' one-version-a-year, now everyone can push their own style of Android Wear out immediately, and hardware-wise they can be really different!

Samsung's Galaxy Gear and Gear NEO work **only** with Samsung phones --and now they are using or switching to Tizen (if you upgrade the 1stgen Galaxy Gear).

** "only with Samsung" is a loose term, since many folks have used modified gear manager, or other work-arounds to get Gear Neo to work with non-Samsung!

Drunk post... If I'm going to waste money on a "smart watch" it's going to be on the Moto 360...

Posted via Android Central App

Thank you, Jerry, for an excellent introduction. You provided a very helpful, professional and informative snapshot of this smart watch!

As a Gear NEO owner, I was particularly interested in how this works -and how it compares to the NEO.

From what I have read so far, it does NOT have the same (full) call-making-receiving capability as NEO, and one would need to have the phone around to either answer or initiate a call (although I am still unclear if that is the case or not. :-(
Also the battery life of one day is worse than my worst (48 hours) time on the NEO.

As for apps and notification, perhaps Google will kick in some super apps and capabilities, but it seems that for right now, the only advantage is that the Gear Live will work for ANY android phone while NEO will work only for Samsung (actually many non-Sammy phone users on XDA are using the Gear NEO too, but in general it works only/best with select Samsung models.. . .)

Thanks again!

Ok, so I am little disappointed so far. I received my Gear Live yesterday, charged it fully before I even turned it on and went from there. It didn't even last a full twelve hours before it died.

Now I should point out that I didn't reduce the brightness until I was several hours in, so that could be affecting it. I do think that the recommendation to disable always on is somewhat contradicting the entire point of Android Wear.

Posted via Android Central App

Battery, Battery, battery!
I just put my gear 1 on Tizen. Better.
Not great, but noticeably better.

I say again, though::: Solar trickle charge!!
Not enough to charge it, but how about just enough to make up a little difference? Eh? Anyone?

Posted via Android Central App

Solar charging isn't even gonna make a dent, if you know anything about the efficiency of solar charging you'd realize that any amount of space spent on that is just better spent on a larger battery to begin with. The better solution is more efficient purpose built silicon (these watches are somewhat over spec'd IMO) and possibly more clever use of AMOLED display tech.

Surely the watch has pogo pads, the pins are sprung rods on the clip-on charger.

Unlike the original gear watch, there's no camera