Ever since the first smart watch released, I wanted to get my hands on one – to try it out and see if it worked how I wanted. How cool would it be to take calls on your wrist and check your social media accounts with a quick glance. Surely, it must look a lot less rude to glance at your watch instead of pulling your phone out every time it buzzes right? Well – not exactly.
Verizon Wireless sent me the Samsung Gear to try out for a few weeks, along with the Samsung Galaxy S6 Edge. My personal phone is already the Samsung Galaxy S5, so the phone interface was mostly familiar, but I’ll go into that in a little bit. First let’s start with the wonder of a the Samsung Gear smart watch. It has an ultra bright screen with a glass front and includes built in apps that notify you of calls, social media alerts, the time (of course), battery life and your activity. The gear can be put on mute, silent or air plane mode with just a tap of the screen, and other than the main power button on the front, there aren’t any buttons to get snagged on anything
You can customize the apps to include others by using the Samsung Gear App on the phone you have connected to the watch. It’s in the app, where you can find additional settings for each app as well. Because I get a lot of notifications daily from my social networks, I had to go into the app and adjust which ones I wanted to alert me. Even with that adjustment, I found some of the notifications were too much for me. Once your apps are set, it’s just a matter of wearing the smart watch and getting the notifications you want. For me, I made kept the social media alerts on the watch as well as the the activity tracker so I could compare it to my current tracker band.
So how did the Samsung Gear work for me? As far as the activity tracker – it seemed to only catch about half of the activities done during the day and only counted for half of the mileage I was walking. The social media notifications, like I said, was a bit too many for me even in with the settings adjusted so I turned the gear to Do Not Disturb. Unfortunately any time I did get a notification on the Gear, it would buzz and tell me to check my phone – which to me is counter intuitive – if I have to pull my phone out what is the point of the arm band? With that being said, the Samsung Gear fit comfortably and with the adjustable band made it fit perfect. I loved the feel of wearing the Gear, and having a beautiful watch on my arm. However, with the bulky size of the screen – I did take it off when I could get a weird tan line from it. And while the screen is durable, I couldn’t help but be afraid of snagging it on something or scratching the screen. Would I get a Samsung Gear for myself? As a watch yes, but I wouldn’t end up using it as a smart watch since I’d have to check my phone anyhow.
Now, onto the Samsung Galaxy S6 Edge – the latest and the greatest in the Galaxy line. What makes it unique from the Galaxy phones that have come before is the screen literally goes over the edge of the phone. This beveled edge can mean a crisp and beautiful user experience but for me could be a bit of pain. The over the edge display means that when you view the screen at certain angles you catch more light than the bright screen behind it. The curved display also has been a problem for case developers and finding one that doesn’t cover up the edge feature and makes one of it’s key things pointless.
With the focus on the bevel and the edge, Samsung took the opportunity to create an Edge quick start menu. It flies out from the edge with a flick of your finger and overlays everything beneath. This means you can put your most important contacts and apps in one location to quickly get to them as you need them. This is a nice feature, but isn’t something that is needed. The rest of the Galaxy S6 Edge Android interface is similar to other Galaxy set ups. You can customize it how you want with widgets and apps, and access what you want quickly.
One thing of the Galaxy S6 Edge that did take me by surprise was part of the design feature I don’t understand – the back is also smooth glass. While this makes for a beautifully designed phone, it creates an extremely slippery phone. I had the Galaxy S6 Edge sitting on the back of the Otterbox for my personal phone and watched as the Edge started to slide off. The phone made several different escape attempts – and each time I feared it would fall and crack one of the glass sides. This makes the need for a case extremely important – but finding one that wont cover the beveled edge will the battle. With front and back facing cameras, a beautiful display, and fast processing speeds – the Samsung Galaxy S6 Edge is a great phone, but unfortunately for me, not everything I had hoped for.
You can find both the Samsung Gear and the Samsung Galaxy S6 Edge at your local Verizon store or at Verizon Wireless online.