I left you Apple – you didn’t leave me. After years of the same thing over and over again… it was time to break Siri’s little heart. I was ready for something new, fresh, exciting and maybe with more defined curves. Ok, so I left Apple for Samsung. “Blasphemy!”, you gasp. Hold your horses. This became the best move of my adult life (slightly exaggerated for dramatic undertone).
The swap happened with a Samsung Galaxy s5. This device became a change agent for both productivity and my ongoing obsession with new tech. That being said, my new relationship with Samsung led me to the true focus of this post, the Samsung Gear Live (watch). Fortunately for me, a few team members attended Google IO in early summer and received the Gear Live as parting tchotchke. At least someone is still getting cool gifts from Google.
Since both my colleagues were iPhone users (suckers), I was granted first-mover privileges. In return, they had me write about it. So… here you go:
3 out of 5 Stars
512MB RAM, 4GB internal, 1.63″ display, 320×320 RES, 300mAh Battery, 2.12 oz
The Interface – the resolution is very crisp while the size allows you to efficiently read text, short emails and/or directions.
Alerts – If you live by your calendar than this is perfect device as you can set it to vibrate or illuminate upon a scheduled appointment, text or email.
Quick View – Although I am not a millennial, I do react well to short bursts of information and a lot of it. This device provides solid readability despite the screen size. Great for people in a walking city or if you want to keep up with the score of the game during your Tender date.
Google NOW – If you are an active Google NOW user then this wearable will play close to your heart. It uses a similar card functionality for navigation and syncs well with your account. If you don’t use NOW then scrap this part of the review.
Design / Wearability – beautifully designed despite the bulky watch band.
What needs some work:
Navigation – generally, the user experience is clunky if not downright confusing. The swipe functionality is fine however the pseudo home screen lacks flow. Less is more. Also, the app market will make the device experience more beneficial.
Battery Life – this seems to be a hot button for the product. In short, the battery life is despicable. The device was drained before I got home from work (9 hours). Which eventually led me to stop wearing the watch.
App Environment – very limited. One of the larger opportunities for the platform.
Charging Clip – Nothing good here. It is hard to engage the charger. Unlike the sleek nature of the device, the charger seems to have been bred by a $2.99 truck stop charger and XBox battery.
Conclusion: The product is “good” but a long way from great. My recommendation is to “wait”. Over the next 18 months, we will see countless iterations and companies will begin to hone in on style and function. If you like tech then give it a try otherwise hold off.
p.s. Dear Apple, the iWatch seems a little late to the party. At least you came with U2’s new album, gross.