One year with the Samsung Gear S2

Many people haven't found their groove with smart watches. As someone who flipped between smart watched and FitBit devices it's nice to be happy with a long term device. As you can tell with FitBit as my alternate, I am into health monitoring. As a gadget junkie, it's nice to find something that pushes enough buttons that I can live with the compromise.

First up the compromise. I loved the search on the original Gear, it was an assistant based on Google. Now that Samsung has purchased Viv, I hope a virtual assistant is added back in. Also the vibration is a little weak but I'm into notification NOT interruption. It does work as a silent ringtone and that's all that matters.

The Gear companion software has really improved making it much easier to assess which apps are draining the account. It is fairly intuitive in layout. I have android wear installed because it provided some additional features for replying to messages but I haven't actually used that lately.

The changes over the past year in the Gear app and the gear software have given me those new feature. The latest update brings some more features to SHealth. I now use the sleep tracker since it broke Sleep as Android. I have had the automatic activity tracker kick in but not often, even though I work out most days. I use respond to texts a lot from my wrist and the new keyboard is a lot of fun to use. Using the screen as a blank slate is fun. Handwriting recognition is pretty good as is word prediction. Speaking still is the best though and you have the option to send an audio file or convert to text.

The app selection continues to grow although how many apps do people really use? I still the idea of lots but only really use the 4 shown above. If I lived in a city or had a GoPro I would use more apps. I've just started using Facer which is a nice alternative for watch faces that also work for Android Wear. Music is accessible from the pull down screen and because of the storage I can go work out or for dog walks without fastening my phone somewhere on my body.

How has the hardward held up? You can see from the pictures that there is very little physical damage to the case and I wear my watch pretty well all the time. I've hit walls etc with it. I've not worn it swimming but have pulled dogs into the kayak while wearing it. The bezel is just as fluid and screen just as responsive. I LOVE being able to easily change watch straps. After Christmas I'll be shifting to a navy leather band. I could get a couple days of use from a single charge but frequently do a top up if I'm sitting for 10 to 15 minutes.

Overall, I think the Gear S2 is still a good buying decision and it was wise of Samsung to continue selling/supporting it.