The Buyer's Guide

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Samsung Gear Live

Samsung Gear Live

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73 Engadget Score
A dependable product that doesn't really stand out from the competition.
73

A dependable product that doesn't really stand out from the competition.

How we score

The Engadget Score is a unique ranking of products based on extensive independent research and analysis by our expert editorial and research teams. The Global Score is arrived at only after curating hundreds, sometimes thousands of weighted data points (such as critic and user reviews).

Engadget Review

If you have to get an Android Wear device right now, the Samsung Gear Live is your best option. It's sleek, looks decent and performs well, but you'll want to get a new wristband for it right away. Unfortunately, you'll also need to charge it every night.

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Pros
  • Good Android Wear performance
  • Swappable wrist straps
  • Water-resistant
  • Better display than competition
  • More comfortable than G Watch
Cons
  • Horrible battery life
  • Compatible with only newer Android devices
  • Charging cradle is a mess
  • Harder to read in sunlight
73 Engadget Score
A dependable product that doesn't really stand out from the competition.
73

A dependable product that doesn't really stand out from the competition.

How we score

The Engadget Score is a unique ranking of products based on extensive independent research and analysis by our expert editorial and research teams. The Global Score is arrived at only after curating hundreds, sometimes thousands of weighted data points (such as critic and user reviews).

Scores

Engadget

73
 

User Reviews

100
Britomania
A gadget unicorn - Engadget
10
crsbbq
I really liked this....when it worked, which has been less than two out of the...read more
10
monkeymaj1k
The first one of these I was shipped was dead out the box and no amount of charging...read more
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Score Breakdown

 
73
Average user Score
 
100
Britomania
04.26.15
A gadget unicorn - Engadget
 
10
crsbbq
01.16.15
I really liked this....when it worked, which has been less than two out of the three months I've had it. I guess if I think about it, my primary beef is with Samsung due to their truly terrible handling of the issue. The first one I got wouldn't connect to my phone so they told me to take it to the Samsung Experience at Best Buy and their employees there would get it running. The employees couldn't and advised me to send it back for an exchange. I did and when the replacement wouldn't work either, I returned to Best Buy at the urging of Samsung support. They again had no clue and admitted that they knew a lot less about the tech than Samsung thought they did. Luckily, a Geek Squad member heard our conversation and stepped in. He owned a different model and knew a trick that finally got me connected. For the most part, I was pleased with the watch and its performance for the next seven weeks until one day, the watch started vibrating and wouldn't stop. I had to kill it by holding down the button on the side. After that, the phone would take three hours to charge and the charge would last an average of five hours, far less than the 18+ it had averaged prior to the uncontrolled vibration. After contacting Samsung and explaining in depth the problem, they had me send it to them for repairs. I was very frustrated with the watch at this point. They offered to expedite the repair and have it back to me in just over a week. The day before it was to be returned, I got a call from them asking me to explain to them again what the issue was because they had tested it and everything was working. I explained again and then waited. Every person there asked me to explain again in depth what my issue was during every call and said that they were taking notes but whenever I had to call in again, it was as if there had never been any notes taken at all. This was extra frustrating because I had my calls dropped and was transfered off into oblivion multiple times.About four days after it was supposed to have come back I emailed them asking what was going on. the next day I received an email early in the morning saying that they had found nothing wrong with it and it was being returned. I was livid. Then, I received another email saying that they had found the problem and fixed it. I called them and the person in the repair dept was overtly rude to me and told me that nothing could be done until I received the watch back and checked to see if it was working properly. He absolutely refused to do anything until that point. In the mean time, I had been without the watch for two weeks. When it arrived the next week, a whole week past the day they had promised it to me, it was still not working.At this point I contacted them and insisted that they just replace it and stop wasting my time. They absolutely refused and one rep lied to me outright about it. They gave no option other than to send it to them again. The only concession they offered for the massive inconvenience was overnight shipping to get it to them more quickly. I dropped it off on a Tuesday and on Saturday, finally received notice that they had received it. Overnight shipping is pointless if they're going to take three or four days to process it in for repairs. It has now been nearly two weeks....again and I do not have the watch back. I received another email saying that a part they needed was on indefinite back order and they would let me know when it arrived and was shipped. I was pretty mad so I called them. The guy on the phone said that the part had arrived and they were shipping it out that day. He didn't seem to be aware of the overnight shipping promise. I again stated that they should send me a new watch and at this point they should upgrade me to compensate for their ridiculous incompetence and horrible customer service. The rep didn't even respond to that.Samsung has lost my family as customers at this point. This has been a truly bad experience and even if some of their products are cool, it's not worth having to go through this misery if something goes wrong. I'm not just saying to not buy this watch, I'm saying to not buy Samsung at all. LG, Motorolla, HTC, Panasonic, there are so many other good OEMs out there with good products. Don't spend your money with a company that takes their customers for granted this badly!
 
10
monkeymaj1k
10.30.14
The first one of these I was shipped was dead out the box and no amount of charging swearing or holding at fun angles would kick it into life. It would be unfair to give a device a poor rating based on one faulty unit... but the second faulty one that came just indicates this product isn't fit for sale.Google customer service was excellent and gave me a full refund.
 
90
hbhoops
09.30.14
The best in its category. We highly recommend it. - Engadget
 
80
rich1914
08.22.14
The Gear Live has been a worthy investment for me. I didn't have a fitness tracker before, so that was my initial justification for buying it. It syncs perfectly with my phone. I work in consulting and I"m often in client meetings. Its much easier and less rude to just peak at my watch when I get a notification than at my phone. I do wish that more of the apps were free, like regular android apps. It would also be nice if Facebook and Twitter had official apps on the platform. And I would love it if the pedometer was compatible with MapMyFitness or Endomondo. Those apps have Android Wear Extensions but they don't import or track steps.
 
80
skola28
08.08.14
There's a lot to like about this in spite of a few flaws. - Engadget
 
90
carreraella
07.29.14
The best in its category. We highly recommend it. - Engadget
 
90
jkasten
07.23.14
The best in its category. We highly recommend it. - Engadget
 
80
SeanIsHere
07.20.14
The Gear Live is definitely unique. I love how you can use your voice for almost anything. I love the fact that you can just talk and its ready to listen without touching anything. There was an update today. I don't know what was changed or added. But this just shows you how committed Google is to this Wear platform, and with good things to come. I found out that that Android wear supports the Chromecast as well. I can pause movies from the watch. I can also move from track to track while playing music on my Chromecast (next and previous). Now if they could add volume controls on the watch then it would make it so much better.
 
90
TimO
07.15.14
This watch has some nice features. The voice command interface is accurate and works well even in a moving car with the windows down, sunroof open and the radio on. The pedometer is motivating. Key to the devices success is the number and quality of the apps.