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Best Samsung Smartwatches of 2019

Samsung has seen fairly significant success in the smartwatch industry so far. Its Gear S series of smartwatches is quite diverse, with several variants available within each model range. We’ve been used to seeing Fitbit, Garmin, and Apple dominate the smartwatch market, but the Samsung Gear S, Gear S2, and Gear S3 are competition.

We’ll take a brief overview of each smartwatch before we dive deeper into the range of features available with each model.

 

Models

The Gear series has come a long way from its first iteration—both aesthetically and technologically. For a dedicated Apple, Garmin, or Fitbit customer, you’ll want to be extra attention to this section as it will help you determine if Samsung is worth putting your money into.

 

Gear S

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The Gear S is the first smartwatch in this series, and generally the “simplest” of the pack. Rather than being more fitness-focused, this is a better daily-wear candidate focused on other functionality (with some basic fitness/wellness tracking built in). Like others in the category, you can download a variety of apps onto the home screen and receive notifications from those apps.

 

It has the largest display of any of its successors and rectangular at that. The display is curved instead of flat on the band, which is a neat design feature from both a comfort and an aesthetic standpoint. The display is customizable from classic to digital backgrounds. You can almost turn the Gear S’s display to look like the S2 or S3.

 

Features and Capabilities

 

  • Battery: 1-2 days
  • 4GB internal memory
  • Answer/Reject calls
  • Receive notifications
  • 3G/WiFi/Bluetooth capability
  • Texting
  • Step counter/HR meter/GPS infused
  • S Voice allows for hands-free controls

 

The one drawback about this smartwatch is that it only connects to Android devices. You’ll still get a plethora of apps on the Gear S that you would find on an Apple device, but it will not work properly if you try and connect it with an Apple phone or tablet. As the first model in the Gear series, the Gear S is a bit lackluster aesthetically, but retains basic fitness tracking capabilities with step counting, HR monitoring, and GPS tracking. The Gear S’s strengths lay in its versatility as an early smartwatch.

If you’re in the market for a budget smartwatch that accomplishes the basics, the Gear S is a fine choice. Despite its age and the eagerness to label it as outdated, the Gear S has been well received by its users, even more so compared to Samsung fitness trackers. Finally, its battery life isn’t great when compared to more dedicated fitness trackers.

Click here to purchase the Gear S.

 

Gear S2

 

The Gear S2 had a more traditional look and a simple user-friendly display. You can connect to all sorts of third-party apps, and enable a number of features that will make your life simpler. Unlike the Samsung fitness trackers, it is completely compatible with Android and iOS devices. Just make sure your smartphone/tablet is kept updated with the latest firmware.

 

There are a several different variants of Gear S2:

 

These classic and more advanced watch designs will cost a bit more than the original S2, but give you a couple more options and features than initial variants had. The interface along the outer edge of the watch is movable, so you can switch between your apps easily with a simple motion.

 

Features and Capabilities

 

  • 1 year of Under Armour-sponsored fitness apps
  • Receive notifications
  • Wireless charging
  • Waterproof in 1.5 meters up to 30 minutes
  • Battery life-2 days

 

The Gear S2’s main screen is actually pretty big compared to the picture you see above. This will help you see your stats and notifications easier compared to fitness trackers or other smartwatches with smaller screen. The watch comes equipped with a rotating bezel that allows you to toggle between different information/displays—a bit of a throwback to the golden age of mechanical watches. Unlike the Gear S, the S2 does not have Bluetooth connectivity.

Click here to purchase the Gear S2.

 

Gear S3

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The Gear S3 is the latest edition in Samsung’s smartwatch family, and has a more classic watch aesthetic (especially with the display on its “home” setting). being more conventional in design, this is also more of a “wear to the office and around the house” than a dedicated fitness tracking tool. You can choose between a number of different band types that will suit your style.

 

There are two types of the Gear S3:

 

This version of the Gear series comes with the latest and greatest in Samsung technology. From Bluetooth connectivity to Samsung Pay, the Gear S3 appears to be on par with smartwatches from Apple, Garmin, and Fitbit.

 

Features and Capabilities

 

  • Text, call, notifications
  • Samsung Pay
  • Bluetooth connectivity
  • 4G LTE
  • GPS tracking and sharing location
  • iOS compatible
  • Built-in speaker/microphone
  • HR monitoring
  • Battery life: 2-3 days
  • Water resistant

 

Though its battery life is extended, it’s worth reminding everyone that the more apps you’re running on the device, the faster your battery will wear down. It’s important to try out the fitness trackers that come equipped on the Gear S3 before you start downloading app after app.

 

The Gear S3 is iOS compatible but since it is an Android-focused product, some of the features may not work as well (or at all) on iOS. For a detailed look at what the Gear S3 is compatible with, scroll down to the compatibility table on the Gear S3’s Samsung page located here.

Click here to purchase the Gear S3.

 

Overall

It’s unusual to see a company make leaps and bounds from one model to the next. Samsung has really taken this to heart, with each watch being noticeably different from the other. While the Gear S3 may be hot on the market because it is the latest offering, that doesn’t mean you should count out the S2 and S.

 

What We Like

The Gear Series is an accomplished line of smartwatches. They don’t try to outdo themselves by marketing the as sports watches, instead maintaining focus on overall versatility. With the later models (S2 and above), you get the Under Armour fitness apps, which make great additions to the onboard Samsung Health tracker.

Compared to smartwatches of other brands, the Gear Series holds its own as a reliable and versatile smartwatch line.

 

What We Don’t Like

The rivalry between Samsung and Apple doesn’t really help the consumer. Sure you have a lot of options but in the end you’re going to have limited smartwatch features because some technologies aren’t compatible with each other.

As a result, we strongly encourage you to do your research before you purchase any of these smartwatches. The features you are most anxious for may not work with your Apple device if you have one.

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