August 28th 2014 8:07 am

65

An ambitious and painfully flawed smartwatch

65

The Samsung Gear S is a device that doesn't make a whole lot of sense. Sure, it's great that it can act as a standalone smartwatch and doesn't need a phone to make or receive calls. Except, well, it does. Not only does the Gear S need to be paired with a phone to be activated, but that's also the only way to install or remove apps and the only way to get notifications from services like Gmail and Twitter. Certainly, the Gear S works well enough if you don't mind its chunky size, small app selection and occasionally buggy software, but $350 is just too much to pay for a smartwatch with this many shortcomings.

Buy It:

90-Day Price History

now
high
$199
low
$149

Critic reviews

6.1
6 reviews
  • Features
    6.0
  • Display
    8.0
  • Battery life
    7.8
  • Ease of use
    8.0
  • Storage capacity
  • Design and form factor
    6.6
  • Portability (size / weight)
    6.0
  • Durability
    8.0

sort by

User reviews

7.8
9 reviews
7.0
Engadget Dec 1, 2014

The Samsung Gear S is a smartwatch that's also a phone. But it still needs a phone -- and a Samsung phone, at that -- to be of any use. That, combined with its bulky design, small app selection and $350 asking price, makes the Gear S difficult to recommend.

Read the full review →
7.0
CNET Nov 17, 2014

The wildly ambitious Samsung Gear S smartwatch doubles as a full standalone smartphone, but the software and apps available don't let it do as much as you'd expect.

Read the full review →
7.0
Gizmodo Nov 14, 2014

There's a lot you could potentially do with a watch that has its own data connection, but the Gear S doesn't do those things. And the Gear S is big and ugly in order to shove in that limited functionality.

Read the full review →
3.0
PC World Nov 26, 2014

The Samsung Gear S smartwatch breaks new ground with phone-free communications, but makes too many compromises. With a high up-front price and monthly service charge, buy at your own risk.

Read the full review →
7.0
Android Central Nov 26, 2014

If you really need your smartwatch to act more like a small phone on your wrist ... the Gear S is going to be worth looking at. But even for those people the $349 price, plus $5 or $10 per month for a mobile service plan, may be a deciding factor against it.

Read the full review →
6.0
TrustedReviews Dec 10, 2014

The Samsung Gear S is big, bold and feature-packed, but it costs to have a smartwatch that can live apart from its smartphone companion.

Read the full review →
6.0
4brandon 4brandon

In the end it's an "ok" watch, and it could do a lot, but will only work and pair with certain Android devices. It also has to be treated with gloves, almost as if treating it like I were serving it,when it should be serving me. It's very easy to use though, which where I'm gonna give the most...

Read the full review →
8.0
dlucio75 dlucio75

Pros : Curved screen Good quality sound for talking and listening to music Size of screen Doesn't lag Changeable sturdy bands Don't need sim card to talk as long you have Phone near you ( connects with Bluetooth) no need to add number and pay an extra $10 for att Apps are good Easy to install...

Read the full review →
7.0
GrnAlien GrnAlien

When I first saw Sumsung wearables I was so excited that I went out and bought one 30 minutes later. I have to admit that it ended up not being as good as I thought it would. I almost took it back the next day. After talking to my wife, I started comparing it to what I had and everything...

Read the full review →
8.0
gottahavit gottahavit

Love the watch, pleasantly surprised with the battery life. Had to write my own app to get features I wanted. If you want to reply to hangouts, GMAIL and other messages... Check out Gear S Notification Extender to reply to messages from many applications that Gear Manager Notification cannot:...

Read the full review →
6.0
Woodsie Woodsie

I returned the device after two days. Not compatible with Google InBox for mail, not compatible with Hangouts for text, GPS was very weak and wanted to be paired with phone. Why have the device if it needs to always be paired with the phone. Battery in no way would get 2 days as advertised, lucky...

Read the full review →

How it stacks up

Instantly compare the Samsung Gear S side by side with some of the top devices on Engadget!

Compare these

Other Samsung tablets

Don't forget to check out these other devices by Samsung, you might find something good!

See all Samsung tablets