Google announced Samsung’s newest addition to the world of wearables at their I/O conference. Samsung’s newest smartwatch is the Gear Live and it’s available for pre-order now on Google Play.
The Gear Live will debut Android Wear OS, which means it’ll receive notifications like texts and calls, and can be paired with any Android device running on Android 4.3 or higher. The Gear Live has a clear emphasis on compatibility, and the I/O event showcased the smartwatch interacting with several different Android devices. It’s available for pre-order now on the Google Play marketplace and will go on sale July 7.
Here’s our spec showdown between Samsung’s Gear Live, Gear 2 and the fitness-oriented, Gear Fit. The obvious difference is that Gear Live touts the Android Wear OS. Below is a breakdown of the specs from all three watches. See how the Samsung Galaxy Gear stands up to the Sony Smartwatch 2 here.
|Size||37.9 x 56.4 x 8.9 (mm)||23.4 x 57.4 x 11.95 (mm)||36.9 x 58.4x 10.0 (mm)|
|Screen||1.63” Super AMOLED||1.84” Curved Super AMOLED||1.63” Super AMOLED|
|Resolution||320 x 320 pixels||432 x 128 pixels||320 x 320 pixels|
|Processor||1.2GHz processor||180MHz ARM Cortex-M4 processor||1.0 GHz Dual Core Processor|
|Bluetooth||Version 4.0 LE||Version 4.0 LE||Version 4.0 LE, IrLED|
|Battery||About 2-3 days (300mAh)||About 3-4 days||About 2-3 days (300mAh)|
|Charger||N/A||Magnetic charger||Magnetic charger|
|Availability||Google Play, Samsung||Samsung||Samsung|
Samsung’s Gear Live and Gear 2 have similar touchscreens and resolution. All three watches are water-resistant. All include fitness features including heart rate monitor, compass, gyroscope, and accelerometer. The battery life is longest on the Gear Fit, but the 2-3 day battery life of the Gear 2 and Gear Live is manageable. The Live’s 22mm strap is offered in two colors: black and red wine.
Gear Live offers what Google calls the “context stream,” a vertical list of cards that appear on the watch face one at a time and display specific notifications you might want to see, like weather, texts, emails, directions, or other actions. It’s streamlined from what Android phones offer, but far more robust than the the operating systems of Gear Fit and Gear 2. What’s more, Live’s voice recognition capabilities can take commands to check data and appointments, make calls, or even set an alarm with voice activation. The smartwatch can pair with Google Chromecast or play music on your phone.
The Android Wear operating system offers a slew of features that aren’t available for the Gear Fit or Gear 2. For starters, the Gear Live displays notifications from a wide variety of compatible apps, unlike the Gear Fit and Gear 2. Though it’s still new, do to the scale of Android, Wear will likely have a much larger ecosystem of apps for the Android Wear, unlike the Tizen OS for Gear 2. Meanwhile, Fit and Gear 2 only pair with a several Samsung phones.
Gear Live looks to improve upon Samsung’s past efforts in just about every way. This is a smartwatch that will pair with any Android device (4.3 or higher) and comes equipped large ecosystem of apps. Our reviews of both Gear Fit and Gear 2 reveal each device’s lackluster features. In comparison, the Gear Live has nearly identical specs to the Gear 2 but has a smaller price tag and better OS. To be fair, the Gear Live doesn’t emphasize its fitness components. In the gym though, Gear Live seems to be a worthy competitor of the Gear Fit. By the looks of it, Gear Live is the most advanced smartwatch from Samsung. What’s more, the $200 price tag renders the other Samsung smartwatch contenders obsolete.
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