Samsung Gear Smartwatches: What You Need to Know

Connect to your phone, your calendar, and the rest of your life

A lineup of Samsung Gear smartwatches
Samsung

Refined since its introduction in 2013, Samsung's smartwatch series has continued its experiment with features, materials, and styling. Good progress has been shown in its march from chunky screens to svelte companion devices.

Here are all the Samsung Gear products from most recent to oldest.

Samsung Gear Fit2 Pro

The Samsung Gear Fit2 Pro smartwatch
Courtesy of Amazon

The Samsung Gear Fit2 Pro is a fitness-style device rather than a more traditional-looking smartwatch. It works with Android devices running Android 4.4 KitKat (and later) as well as the iPhone 5 and newer devices running iOS 9.0 (and later).

Versus the Gear Fit2, the Fit2 Pro offers a buckle clasp, additional pre-installed apps, continuous (versus intermittent) heart rate monitoring, and offline Spotify support.

The Gear Fit2 Pro introduces full water resistance (up to 50 m), ideal for rain, showers, and/or engaging in water sports. However, the design lacks exterior speakers and microphone, which means users are unable to send/receive calls straight from the wrist. The Gear Fit2 Pro retains swappable watch bands, standalone music player functionality, voice control (via Bluetooth headphones/earbuds), Samsung Pay compatibility, and wireless charging.

Release Date: August 2017

Pros:

  • Compatible with Android and iOS
  • Good for distance tracking
  • Continuous heart rate monitoring
  • Waterproof

Cons:

  • Below-average battery life
  • Lacks speaker/microphone, so can't send/receive calls from the wrist

Samsung Gear Sport

The Samsung Gear Sport smartwatch
Courtesy of Amazon

The Samsung Gear Sport is a more traditional-looking smartwatch. It works with Android devices running Android 4.4 KitKat (and later) as well as the iPhone 5 and newer devices running iOS 9.0 (and later).

The Samsung Gear Sport features an always-on circular display with rotating bezel as part of the user navigation/interface. The Samsung Gear Sport incorporates the appearance of the Gear S3 along with all the activity/fitness tracking features of the Gear Fit2 Pro.

The Gear Sport introduces full water resistance (up to 50 m), ideal for rain, showers, and/or engaging in watersports. However, the design lacks exterior speakers and microphone, which means users are unable to send/receive calls straight from the wrist. The Gear Sport retains swappable watch bands, voice control (via Bluetooth headphones/earbuds), standalone music player functionality, Samsung Pay compatibility, and wireless charging.

Release Date: August 2017

Pros:

  • Compatible with Android and iOS
  • Always-on display with navigation bezel
  • Waterproof
  • Good battery life

Cons:

  • Lacks speaker/microphone, so can't send/receive calls from the wrist
  • No LTE version

Samsung Gear S3

The Samsung Gear S3 (Classic variant) smartwatch
Courtesy of Amazon

The Samsung Gear S3 is a more traditional-looking smartwatch. It works with Android devices running Android 4.4 KitKat (and later) as well as the iPhone 5 and newer devices running iOS 9.0 (and later).

The Samsung Gear S3 features an always-on circular display with rotating bezel as part of the user navigation/interface. Style options include Classic and Frontier variants, which differ in exterior design/color and bands.

The LTE models of the Gear S3 are capable of sending/receiving calls and messages/notifications independent of a paired device. The Gear S3 retains fitness-tracking hardware, voice control, swappable watch bands, standalone music player functionality, Samsung Pay compatibility, and wireless charging.

Release Date: November 2016

Pros:

  • Compatible with Android and iOS
  • Always-on display with navigation bezel
  • LTE models can send/receive calls without a paired device

Cons:

  • Average activity tracking
  • Heavy

Samsung Gear Fit2

The Samsung Gear Fit2 smartwatch
Courtesy of Amazon

The Samsung Gear Fit2 is a fitness-style device rather than a more traditional-looking smartwatch. It works with Android devices running Android 4.4 KitKat (and later) as well as the iPhone 5 and newer devices running iOS 9.0 (and later).

Versus the Gear Fit, the Gear Fit2 upgrades the overall design with additional features and a higher-resolution screen. It also improves upon almost every aspect to make it a more capable convergence of independent smartwatch and fitness tracker: more accurate heart rate monitoring, greater amount of fitness tracking modes/data, built-in GPS, music player functionality, and ability to receive/reply to notifications (via pre-set responses).

Release Date: June 2016

Pros:

  • Compatible with Android and iOS
  • Improved heart rate monitoring
  • Integrated GPS tracking

Cons:

  • Non-continuous heart rate monitoring
  • Below-average battery life

Samsung Gear S2

The Samsung Gear S2 smartwatch
Courtesy of Amazon

The Samsung Gear S2 is a more traditional-looking smartwatch. It works with Android devices running Android 4.4 KitKat (and later) as well as the iPhone 5 and newer devices running iOS 9.0 (and later).

The Gear S2 features a circular display with rotating bezel as part of the user navigation/interface. It’s also the first Samsung smartwatch to be compatible with iOS devices.

The Gear S2 comes in three variants – Wi-Fi, Classic, and 3G – with the 3G version offering a standalone experience similar to the Samsung Gear S. All three introduce Samsung Pay compatibility via NFC as well as Qi inductive coil wireless charging. The Gear S2 retains health-centric hardware, voice control, swappable watch bands, and standalone music player functionality.

Release Date: October 2015

Pros:

  • Compatible with Android and iOS
  • Wireless charging
  • 3G connectivity

Cons:

  • Below-average voice recognition
  • No GPS

Samsung Gear S

The Samsung Gear S smartwatch
Courtesy of Amazon

The Samsung Gear S is a less traditional-looking smartwatch with its curved, rectangular screen. It works with Samsung devices running Android 4.3 Jellybean (and later).

The Gear S is Samsung’s first smartwatch to equip a nano-SIM card, allowing it to send/receive calls and messages/notifications without a paired device. The Gear S is also the first to include built-in Bluetooth, Wi-Fi, 3G data, and GPS together in one wearable.

Similar to the Gear Live, the Gear S smartwatch features an always-on display, but in the curved styling of the Gear Fit. The Gear S retains health-centric hardware, voice control, swappable watch bands, and standalone music player functionality.

Release Date: October 2014 (no longer in production)

Pros:

  • Curved always-on display
  • Can send/receive calls without a paired device
  • Comprehensive connectivity options

Cons:

  • Only compatible with Samsung devices
  • Bulky design

Samsung Gear Live

The Samsung Gear Live smartwatch
Courtesy of Amazon

The Samsung Gear S is a less traditional-looking smartwatch with its large, rectangular screen. It works with Android devices running Android 4.3 Jellybean (or later).

The Gear Live is the first smartwatch to introduce Android Wear, Samsung’s platform for wearables and smartwatches. Android Wear features Google Now, which offers improved voice control and contextual push notifications, and downloads from Google Play. Versus the Gear 2/Neo/Fit, the Gear Live can read and respond to messages directly from the watch.

The Gear Live is Samsung’s first with an always-on display. As with previous Samsung smartwatches, the Gear Live features health-centric hardware and a swappable band. The Gear Live lacks a speaker (but retains the microphone for voice control), which prevents music playback and taking calls directly from the watch.

Release Date: July 2014 (no longer in production)

Pros:

  • Compatible with non-Samsung Android devices
  • Good voice control
  • Contextual push notifications

Cons:

  • No speaker for music playback
  • Below-average battery life

Samsung Gear Fit

The Samsung Gear Fit smartwatch
Courtesy of Amazon

Released at the same time with the Gear 2 and Gear 2 Neo, the Samsung Gear Fit is a fitness-style device rather than a more traditional-looking smartwatch. It works with Android devices running Android 4.3 Jellybean (or later).

The Samsung Gear Fit is seen as a convergence of smartwatch and fitness tracker, given the narrow form, curved screen, and health-centric hardware and software.

Unlike the Gear 2 and Gear 2 Neo, the Gear Fit lacks: support for third-party apps, voice control, infrared blaster, and the ability to make or receive phone calls. But, as with the Gear 2/Neo, the Gear Fit does feature an interchangeable watch band and support for a wider range of push notifications.

Release Date: April 2014 (no longer in production)

Pros:

  • Compatible with non-Samsung Android devices
  • Improved fitness tracking
  • Greater support for push notifications

Cons:

  • No support for third-party apps
  • No voice control
  • Can't send/receive phone calls

Samsung Gear 2 and Gear 2 Neo

The Samsung Gear 2 Neo smartwatch
Courtesy of Amazon

The Samsung Gear 2 and Gear 2 Neo are less traditional-looking smartwatches with their large, rectangular screens. They work with Android devices running Android 4.3 Jellybean (or later).

The Samsung Gear 2 and Gear 2 Neo introduce heart rate monitoring, S Health software, home buttons, standalone music playback, and support for a wider range of push notifications. A built-in speaker and microphone allow users to make and receive phone calls from the watch.

The Samsung Gear 2 features a more classic appearance and includes a camera, whereas the Gear 2 Neo features a sportier appearance and does not include a camera. Both smartwatch models offer interchangeable watch bands.

Release Date: April 2014 (no longer in production)

Pros:

  • Standalone music playback
  • Can send/receive calls from the wrist
  • Built-in camera (Gear 2 only)

Cons:

  • Average call quality
  • Below-average battery life

Samsung Galaxy Gear

The Samsung Galaxy Gear smartwatch
Courtesy of Amazon

The Samsung Galaxy Gear is compatible with only select devices running Android 4.3 Jelly Bean (or later): Samsung Galaxy Note 3, Samsung Galaxy Note 2, Samsung Galaxy S4, and Samsung Galaxy S3.

As with other smartwatches, the Samsung Galaxy Gear offers notification alerts (text, calls, email), hands-free voice control (via Samsung S Voice), basic fitness tracking (pedometer), and an integrated music player.

Users are able to run third-party apps, make and receive phone calls, and capture photo/video through a camera embedded within the non-swappable watch band.

Release Date: September 2013 (no longer in production)

Pros:

  • Built-in camera
  • Notification alerts
  • Voice control

Cons:

  • Non-swappable watch band
  • No Wi-Fi connectivity
  • Limited water resistance
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