Along with the LG G Watch, a Samsung Android Wear device was also introduced during Google I/O. Samsung already boasts a few smartwatches in their portfolio, including the Galaxy Gear, the Gear 2, and the Gear 2 Neo, but this is the first device from the company that runs Android Wear. Comprehensive reviews of the new Android Wear smartwatches will soon be on their way, but before we dive in, we take a look at the unboxing, and give our first impressions about the Samsung Gear Live!
What’s in the box
The packaging of the Gear Live is similar to the box of the Samsung Galaxy S5 and some other devices, made of a eco-friendly carboard with a wood panel design. Removing the top cover, you see the Samsung smartwatch front and center. Taking the watch out of the box, you’ll notice the amount of plastic covering around the device.
Deeper in the box, you’ll find the charger, which is a wall charger, and not a microUSB cable that slots into an adapter. There is also the small connector that attaches to the back of the smartwatch, that the microUSB cable/charger plugs into. This connector is what is found with other Gear devices as well, and I must admit that I’m not the biggest fan of such a system. That’s it when it comes to the contents of the package, which includes everything you’ll need.
In a lot of ways, the Samsung Gear Live takes on the best parts of the Gear ecosystem, as it not only features a look similar to the Gear 2 Neo, but also comes with a strap with a snap-on design, which is found with the Samsung Gear Fit. Basically, it’s just two pins that go into the cuff, making it very easy to put on, and the method I prefer far more than the option available with the previous Gear smartwatches.
Looking around the device, you’ll see the heart rate monitor on the back, with the charging pins, where the connector fits, right above it. All you have to do is snap on the connector at the back, and plug in the microUSB charging cable into it to charge the device. There have been some reports from users complaining about the fact that the snapping mechanism of the device has been breaking, so that is definitely something to be careful about when using the Samsung Gear Live.
The setup process is identical to the way it was with the LG G Watch. Pairing the phone with the device is very easy, and since I’ve already been using some Android Wear apps with the LG device, those apps will now also show up on the Gear Live. As expected, the software experience should be very similar across the board. The big difference in the case of the Gear Live is the inclusion of the heart rate monitor, which means that I can check my heart rate using Google Fit, which isn’t possible with any other Android Wear device thus far.
As far as the feel of the smartwatch goes, the curve of the actual device allows for a curve on the band, and with the band featuring a snap-on design, the Gear Live is easy to put on and sits quite comfortably on the wrist. That said, the comfort level is comparable to the experience with the G Watch, but the Gear Live does get a few points for how easy it is to put on. The plastic band comes with a rubbery feel, and the finish of the watch feels very premium, with the only thing missing being a camera, like what is available on the Gear 2.
Stay tuned for the comprehensive reviews of the Samsung Gear Live and the LG G Watch, as we continue to bring you in-depth coverage of Android Wear!