Samsung Gear S review: an ambitious and painfully flawed smartwatch
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.
- Works as a standalone phone
- Colorful AMOLED display
- Decent battery life
- Comes with a cradle that's also a portable charger
- Still needs a phone for activation and loading apps
- Limited app selection
- Bulky design with proprietary wrist straps
Samsung's wearables strategy seems to be: "Throw everything at a wall and see what sticks." In a little over 12 months, the electronics giant has launched six -- yes, six -- different smartwatches, each with its own unique personality. The latest is the Samsung Gear S, and its particular claim to fame might be the most ambitious yet: It's the first Gear watch that lets you make and receive calls from your wrist, no phone required. Yep, the Gear S actually has a 3G modem inside it, along with WiFi, Bluetooth and GPS radios. It's basically a watch that's also a phone. You can even respond to emails using a tiny onscreen keyboard. But, at $350 a pop, can it replace your phone? And more importantly, would you want it to?