Samsung has announced its latest Gear Sport wearable at IFA 2017 keynote. That becomes a new smartwatch in Samsung’s portfolio. The Gear Sport follows the path defined by the Gear S3, marrying familiar design cues from the traditional watch industry with the functionality people expect from a modern smart device. Here are the details you need to know about it.
As a fitness tracker, the Samsung Gear Sport will be able to record swimming sessions with the preloaded Speedo On app (rated to be waterproof to a depth of 50 meters), and Samsung has partnered with Under Armour to give owners a 12-month, premium-tier membership and also access to the latter’s suite of self-quantification apps such as UA Record, MyFitnessPal, MapMyRun, and Endomondo.
The new Gear Sport has a 1.2-inch Circular Super AMOLED Always On Display and comes integrated with GPS. The Gear Sport also has a new continuous heart rate monitor, automatic activity detection, and customizable goals and alerts to help you stay on track with your fitness plan.
NFC for Samsung Pay is also supported by Gear Sport, which is easily changeable with the standard 20mm straps. It is 5 ATM certified for water resistance, as aforementioned, which lets you track key swim metrics including lap count, lap time, stroke type and more. Interestingly, the Gear Sport is also MIL-STD-810G certified for durability, similar to the Gear Fit2 Pro.
All of that runs on top of Samsung’s Tizen platform, as with the Gear S line, which we personally find simpler and more pleasant to use than Google’s Android Wear. In terms of hardware, this watch is built around 360×360 resolution, Gorilla Glass 3 protection. Its notched bezel is elevated above a rectangular base that evokes the design of some of the chunker dive watches.
Now, Samsung’s hoping to take on both Fitbit and Apple by introducing the only device you ever need on your wrist. Gear Sport, a durable smartwatch that’s just as powerful as your average fitness tracker and way better looking. At the announcement, Samsung also unveiled a new version of its ugly Gear Fit fitness band, and also an upgraded pair of its Gear IconX wireless earbuds. Still, of the three, the Gear Sport has the best chance to really matter.
For starters, the Gear Sport looks a whole lot better than the other options on the market right now, including the hideous new Fitbit Iconic. Samsung has given the Gear Sport a round display and a slightly squared-off bezel, creating a rugged, also G-Shock kind of vibe. Chat with Bixby, or control you smart-home devices smartly. By the way, it also tracks workouts, plays music, and also lets you go to Starbucks without your phone.
At 11.6mm thick, the Gear Sport is still a hefty watch, but it’s lighter, smaller, and slicker than the Gear S3, which was already among the best-looking smartwatches you could try. It weighs 50 grams without a band attached and is compatible with standard 20mm wristwatch bands. Equipped with a dual-core processor, 4GB of onboard storage, 768MB of RAM, Bluetooth 4.2, the Gear Sport is fully up-to-date on the specs front. As yes, it has a GPS and a barometer too, though how its 300mAh battery is going to hold up when all of those wireless radios and sensors are kicking is yet to be determined.
In this case, Samsung claims a whopping four days of battery life with the Gear Sport, which then shrinks down to a maximum of 14 hours of continuous GPS operation. Both are still highly impressive for a device of this size.
The Gear Sport has obvious appeal by being able to plug into an existing tracking ecosystem with Under Armour and in offering new swim-tracking capabilities. The Gear Sport is not just a watch though, a supercharged fitness device with improved heart-rate monitoring, automated activity tracking, and a family of apps to seamlessly store all your data and serve up recommendations.
In fact, Samsung also worked with Spotify to allow you to download playlists to the watch, which otherwise gives it a big edge over the Apple Watch. Samsung’s offering a lot of the same features in a much more attractive package. When we are talking about Gear Sport versus Apple Watch, the Apple’s smartwatch works on Apple devices, and the Gear Sport works on Android. Sure, the Gear Sport technology supports iOS, just like the Gear S3. But again, you can’t do much of anything with a Gear Sport and an iPhone.
For Androiders, the Samsung’s Gear Sport fills in nicely. Is a wildcard, as always, lies within its Tizen operating system. It doesn’t ever had many apps as Android Wear or Apple’s WatchOS. And using a Gear Sport means swapping Google Assistant for Bixby, which definitely qualifies as a downgrade.
The Gear Sport will be available in a choice of black or blue silicone strap. With Samsung offering a wide range of aftermarket straps, which can be bought with color-and-design-matched watch faces. It’s compatible with both iOS and Android smartphones.
Samsung Gear Sport specifications
- 1.2-inch (360×360 pixels) Circular Super AMOLED Always On display, 302ppi, Corning Gorilla Glass 3
- 1GHz Dual-Core processor
- 768MB RAM, 4GB internal memory
- Tizen OS (Compatible with Andr phones running Android 4.4 or later iPhone 7, 7 Plus, 6S, 6s Plus, SE, 5 with iOS 9.0 or later)
- 5 ATM water resistance, MIL STD 810G
- Dimensions: 42.9 x 44.6 x 11.6mm; Weight: 50g (without band)
- Wi-Fi 802.11 b/g/n, Bluetooth 4.2, GPS/GLONASS/Beidou, NFC
- Sensors: Accelerometer, Gyroscope, Heart Rate, Ambient Light, Barometer
- 300mAh Li-ion battery with wireless charging
Samsung isn’t revealing a price for the Gear Sport. Rather we can expect it to land somewhere between the $199 price-tag of the new Gear Fit2 Pro and the $349 starting price of the Gear S3, when it goes on sale in Europe in October.