Gear sport 42mm smartwatch (bluetooth), blue

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Samsung"s latest smartwatch takes a fitness-first approach, but it"s just as functional out of the gym.

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ByMike Prosperopublished 20 May 19


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Samsung"s latest smartwatch takes a fitness-first approach, but it"s just as functional out of the gym.


Pros+

Attractive, durable design

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Good fitness-tracking features

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Fun assortment of watch faces

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Waterproof



There"s at least one reason for the smaller size: Unlike the Gear S3 Frontier, the Gear sport does not have LTE support.

While there"s a fair number of apps for the Gear watches, the selection still feels thin when compared to lớn what"s available for Apple"s watchOS.

Still, the smaller dimensions of the Gear thể thao haven"t made it any less tough. It"s waterproof lớn 50 meters (164 feet); there"s a special Water Lock mode you need lớn activate if you"re planning to go for a swim.


The Gear sport is available in two finishes: black polished stainless steel, và blue stainless steel, both of which are attractive.

Fitness Performance

When you name your device "Sport," you"d better bring some good fitness features, and fortunately, Samsung largely delivers.



The watch automatically detects your activity if you"re walking or running, but lớn use GPS, you have to lớn manually start an exercise. Using Samsung"s own Health app, you can choose among running, walking, cycling và swimming. During a workout, you can switch between three screens that show information such as your pace, cadence, heart rate, time elapsed và more.


I especially like that you can customize each of these three screens and even showroom more if you like. However, the kích cỡ of the text and numbers is a bit small; I had lớn look at the watch a bit harder lớn see my stats than I did on the Garmin Forerunner 235. If you want to lớn use something other than Samsung"s app, you can also choose from MapMyRun, Endomondo, Pear Personal Coach và a few others I"ve never heard of; I would have liked apps such as Strava, Fitbit and Runtastic as well.

I was torn between using Samsung"s workout tiện ích or MapMyRun, which can also use the Gear Sport"s GPS & heart rate monitor. During a workout, the MapMyRun phầm mềm shows only two data points per screen, which made them much easier lớn view at a glance. I especially liked that, as your heart rate goes from one zone to lớn the next, the background màu sắc changes from green to lớn yellow to red. However, you can"t customize what data appears on the screen, as you can with the Samsung Health app, & oddly, the MapMyRun tiện ích does not show your average pace during a run—a pretty big omission.


I took the Gear thể thao on a few runs và was pleased with how well it performed. If I were a more serious runner, I still think I"d use a dedicated GPS running watch, such as the Garmin Forerunner 235, but the Gear thể thao is good for people who exercise more casually.


The Gear Sport"s GPS was quick lớn pick up my location, but it"s not clear when that happens; the GPS icon flashes, but I wish it turned a solid color, or buzzed my wrist, to lớn indicate it had locked onto my location. I liked that at each mile, the watch buzzed, but even at its strongest setting, it was pretty weak compared khổng lồ the GPS watches I"ve tested. Still, it accurately tracked my runs, and I liked that a bản đồ of my route was visible on the watch afterward.The Gear Sport"s heart rate monitor was fairly accurate, but I wish the results, which display average speed, cadence, & pace, showed my average heart rate, instead of my max heart rate.

While the watch generally performed well, on two runs—once while using the Samsung app và once when using MapMyRun—the watch froze up, became unresponsive, and stopped recording my run. However, Samsung updated the Gear Sport"s firmware, and on a subsequent run, the MapMyRun ứng dụng performed without incident.


The Gear sport packs an altimeter/barometer, in case you want khổng lồ know how high you are above sea level và if the weather is about to lớn make a turn for the worse. It"s also used to lớn let you know how many floors you climb in a day.


The Gear sport also tracks your resting heart rate, stairs climbed, calories burned & steps taken. You can also look at your workout history during the week, record your water and caffeine intake, và compare your steps lớn others in the Samsung Health app. In this respect, it"s on a par with the hãng apple Watch Series 3.

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Another great thing for those who like to carry as little with them as possible: You can load music onto the Gear sport itself—including tracks from Spotify—so you can listen to tunes untethered as you run.

Watch Faces

One of the best things about smartwatches is that you can personalize them by swapping out the watch face. There are hundreds to choose from within the Gear app, but I especially enjoyed the 17 Peanuts-branded watch faces.


One of my favorites shows Snoopy on his doghouse, pretending to lớn be a World War I flying ace; his scarf whips in the breeze as clouds float by. When the watch wakes up, it depicts Snoopy taking off, và if you tap on the screen, it further animates khổng lồ show him dodging anti-aircraft fire, và smiling and waving at you. I might buy the watch just for this.

When you name your device "Sport," you"d better bring some good fitness features, and Samsung largely delivers.

You can press and hold the face to change khổng lồ a less-whimsical watch face — not that you"d want to. I also liked that, regardless of which face I chose, there was an always-on option, so I could always see the time without having to lớn shake my wrist.

Tizen

Samsung has gone its own way with the Tizen operating system, which, in many ways, I prefer khổng lồ Google"s game android Wear. The layout feels a bit more logical, & it"s easier to get to things such as apps và notifications.


Twisting the bezel to lớn the left shows your most recent notifications, while twisting it to lớn the right displays widgets, such as fitness stats, the weather và music controls. Swiping down from the đứng đầu of the screen brings up quick settings, such as screen brightness, battery life and airplane mode.

Press the bottom button on the Gear Sport, và you get khổng lồ the app screen. Here, Tizen"s circular interface arranges apps & other features around the edge of the display. You can either twist the bezel or use your finger to navigate through. If you press & hold one of the app screens, you can rearrange the icons khổng lồ an order that makes sense to lớn you.

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Samsung"s Tizen operating system is more xuất hiện than Apple"s watchOS, but there still are limitations if you"re using an iPhone. If you have the watch connected lớn an iPhone, you can"t use Samsung Pay, you can"t reply khổng lồ messages or answer phone calls, và there are far fewer apps available.

Notifications

When you get an email, text or some other notification — and you"re connected to lớn an app android phone — Tizen gives you multiple ways khổng lồ respond. You can input text by using an on-screen keyboard, writing out each letter or speaking into the watch. The handwriting recognition worked well, và the watch has a predictive text feature to make the entire process less tedious.

Apps

Within the Gear app, Samsung basically has a mini phầm mềm store, from which you can install apps and watch faces on the watch. While there"s a fair number of apps for the Gear watches, Tizen still feels thin compared to lớn the selection available for Apple"s watchOS. For example, there"s no Strava, Pandora, Facebook, WhatsApp, Instagram or Twitter, not khổng lồ mention Google"s apps. However, two of Under Armour"s most popular apps, MapMyRun and MyFitnessPal, are available, và they take advantage of the Gear Sport"s GPS & heart rate monitor. And, when I received a Facebook Messenger notification, it appeared on the watch (pictures too), and I was able to respond right from the Gear, too.


If you"re using the Gear sport with an iPhone, the ứng dụng selection is even weaker. Under Social Networking, there are a mere five apps listed, none of which I"d ever heard of, and the Under Armour apps aren"t available.

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Others missing from the quả táo version that are available for android include ESPN, Uber, CNN and NPR. That"s because many Tizen apps, such as ESPN"s, require a companion ứng dụng for your smartphone.

Battery Life

When it comes to battery life, Tizen isn"t any better or worse than other smartwatches. A 30-minute run using both GPS and the heart rate monitor drained the Gear Sport"s battery by 15 percent. I then used the watch for 2 1/2 hours that day, and the battery life was down khổng lồ 57 percent.

Samsung has gone its own way with the Tizen operating system, which I prefer to lớn Google"s android Wear. It feels more logically laid out.

The Gear thể thao uses the same wireless cradle charger as the Gear S3. It holds the watch vertically so that you can see the time if you"re lying in bed & the charger is on a nightstand.

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Bottom Line

Fitness-minded Android điện thoại thông minh owners will find a lot to like in the $299 Samsung Gear Sport. Not only is it an attractive watch, but it does a good job of tracking your workouts. Và when you"re not working up a sweat, you can use the Gear thể thao to answer calls và text messages, kiểm tra up on sports scores, and more. However, Tizen"s continued lack of apps is still a source of concern. Because of its limited features when paired with iOS, iPhone owners would be better served by the $329 táo bị cắn Watch Series 3 (without LTE), which has built-in GPS and a robust ecosystem of apps. Drawbacks aside, the Samsung Gear sport is a very good fitness-focused smartwatch.