The smartwatch market has not grown the way experts predicted it would. People have not adapted to these devices as they did with smartphones. Yet, companies continue to launch smartwatches.
Samsung, in particular, has been a big proponent of the market, launching multiple devices every year. The Gear S3 last year was a pretty good device, meaning the Gear Sport had big shoes to fill. In essence, this new one is a very slight update to the Gear S3. Samsung has made good smartwatches over time, but that’s only in comparison to a market that has been riddled with lacklustre products in general.
Does the Gear Sport make sense? Or is it a misstep by Samsung?
Samsung Gear Sport price and release date
At Rs 22,990, the Samsung Gear Sport is expensive. So, those looking for budget-friendly options are going to be disappointed. But it’s still a cheaper smartwatch than the Apple Watch Series 3. Released in India on 29 November last year, the Gear Sport could make a great gift for your better half.
Design and screen
As far as compact devices are concerned, the Gear Sport feels a bit heavy. It’s heavy at 67 grams, but for people who prefer slightly heavier watches, this will not be an issue.
The Gear Sport is smaller and more compact than previous Gear smartwatches. It measures 44.6 x 42.9 x 11.6 mm while maintaining the same rugged build that we like to see from expensive smartwatches.
The Gear Sport is very well-made. The base of the watch is plastic, while the edges and rotating rim are all metal. When you pick it up, you'll know that you’re getting an expensive timepiece, something which is very important when it come to watches more than in any other category. With watches, luxury is a key differentiator.
The watch doesn’t feel too tight against the wrist and also prevents unwanted movement. Surely, that depends on the strap, and you have the option to swap these out for other 20mm standard bands. You can change the watch strap from your local watch maker's store.
The 1.2-inch Super AMOLED display is vibrant and clear - as can be expected from Samsung. The Gear Sport's default brightness remains at 6, but that's not enough for good outdoor viewing. For that, you will need to crank up the brightness to an 8 or a 9.
The slimmer design does come at the cost of battery size, but the Samsung Gear Sport is a robust device with a strong exterior, sharp display and durable glass on top. It's a premium smartwatch which is what you’d expect for the price you are putting out.
Samsung's watch app store is still in a nascent stage. There are a handful of apps that you can try, along with the watch faces. One thing that the company has made sure of though, is to cover the basics. When tracking fitness, the Samsung Health app comes in handy and is the one-stop shop for all fitness data. Integrated workouts, app notifications from the phone and other alerts are done well.
One can even reply to a WhatsApp text without opening the app or even popping out the phone from your pocket.
There aren't even good watch faces that are free in the store which is an indictment of how understocked the app store is. More customisable and good-looking watch faces exist in the Android and Apple ecosystems because of their strong developer base. For Samsung, it’s going to remain so until it builds a big enough user base that attracts developers to the Gear ecosystem.