Samsung just launched the new Gear Sport and I got a little hands-on time with it and think I’ve figured it out at this point so here’s my complete walkthrough of the device for anyone curious.
The watch is aimed at fitness (hence the Sport) and looks the part fitting somewhere between the bulkier smartwatches I’ve seen but not quite as slim and sleek as the analog watches I’d usually wear out.
It comes in two colors, black and blue which are the color of the metal casing, but also the band that comes with the device (but you can change them easily with any number of bands for it Samsung and others have available for purchase so long as they are 20mm bands).
Also, as a fitness device, it has all of the sensors you could need. We have a Heart Rate sensor that can measure heart rate continuously if you want, accelerometer, gyro, barometer ambient light sensor and it also is rated to be used in water down to 50 meters so you can swim with it no problem (one of the benefits to it over the more expensive Gear S3, by the way).
The OS is running on the watch is Tizen, as usual. As someone who usually goes for Android Wear watches, I have to say that this newest version of Tizen has me not really missing Android Wear so that’s great.
To use the watch you need to download and install the Galaxy Gear app from the Play or App store (yes, the watch works with iOS, as well sans being able to reply to iMessages and a few other things Apple won’t let third parties touch. Ever). Once installed, you can turn on Bluetooth and connect to the watch (on Android it’ll make you download a few other helper Samsung apps, allow notification access so it can show your notifications from your phone, etc.).
After that, the interface is comprised of your watch face as your home screen we’ll call it, then you have widgets to the right of that and notifications to the left. You navigate through all of this but turning the, oddly satisfying to turn, mechanical dial around the face of the watch.
The widgets show things like calories burned, steps, floors, heart rate, a shortcut to start an exercise, weather, music controls, calendar events, etc. You can tap them to get more info about that particular dataset, you can add new widgets by tapping the icon all the way to the right, and delete them by tapping and holding on any then tapping the minus symbol to remove them.
To go back on any screen, you tap the right button of only two buttons on the watch and the left button is basically a home button but can also be tapped on the home screen to open the app drawer.
In here you’ll find pages of all of your installed apps on the watch in a circle with the last icon bringing you to the next page and tapping any of the icons brings you into that app, of course.
The last main part of the UI is the notification center which you can access by swiping down from the top of the screen and can be used to control various settings like brightness, power saver, etc. as well as get a quick look at connectivity and battery life.
You have all of the same Tizen apps on here, but there are a few interesting additions with the Watch Sport.
Firstly, and something I’ve been waiting for on a watch for a long time, Spotify and Samsung worked together to make this the first ever smartwatch that can download your Spotify playlists directly to the device just like you would on your phone.
You simply install the Spotify app login with your Spotify Premium account and go to any of your playlists and toggle Download, again, like you would on the phone. Otherwise, so long as the device is connected to your phone or Wifi, you can stream Spotify as normal.
You can also transfer music to the 4GBs of internatl storage on the watch through the Samsung Gear app on your phone if it’s installed on your device.
The second unique software on here is from a partnership with UnderArmor. You get free 12- months of premium access to UA Record, MapMyRun, Endomondo, and an app I use a lot MyFitnessPal.
All of which are great apps and have watch specific counterparts to help you track calories, runs, etc.
And lastly, the Samsung also partnered with Speedo to add the pretty detailed Speedo On app for tracking your swimming, as well.
And there you go guys, a pretty throrough walkthrough I think, let me know in the comments or on social if you have any other questions about the device you might want answered while I have it and thanks for watching!