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48 hours with my Neo...**UPDATE
After having my Gear Neo for 48hrs now and putting it through some "real world testing" I thought I would share with you my experience with the device.
Design - I love the look of the Neo. Looks great on the wrist and I love how easy it is to put on with that metal snappy clasp...much easier than my previous watch.
Battery life for the watch - at the end of the day with moderate to heavy use I was at 42%. This is fine for me as I will be charging each night...and good to know if I miss a charge I could get about a day and a half.
Pedometer - Contrary to what I read in other posts, the pedometer runs non-stop throughout the day once you start it the first time. For me it continues throughout the week as well and resets your steps each morning. No doubt the steps can be wildly off, but this is true of all pedometers and once you learn you own goal # I think it still serves its purpose of keeping you moving through the day.
Media Controller - While I would love to see a Spotify app, I doubt we will see one at least any time soon. However once you start playing Spotify or other audio app on your phone...the media controller can play, pause, forward, backward and even control the volume. This will be a handy feature when I take my bike out this summer and wanna advance a crappy song on my phone which is in the holster while riding.
Remote Control - - I was surprised at how easily it paired up with my TV and works flawlessly. I see myself using this alot more than my remote when laying on the couch.
Notifications - - The notifications work great. Even the non "instant" ones come in immediately for me. I love that it works with all my apps which do notifications. The only app that doesnt work for me is "Youmail." I also LOVE the vibration feature. I have zero use for another beeping device (I already get that from my phone & ipad) and it's awesome being in a meeting, restaurant or church and being able to get notified in a discreet manner. If I want to glance down sweet, if not my watch just moves on and I can get the notification later on my phone.
Wake Gesture - While some have complained that the wake gesture is either too sensitive or not enough...it seems to be just right for me. Maybe about 5% of the time when I bring my arm up to look at my watch the screen doesn't turn on. Might be cool to have an option in a future update to modify the sensitivity though.
Lock Feature - I hate putting a lock on my phone but being able to set one to turn on when I am out of range from my phone is genius! This way I can always easily unlock with a simple push of the power button and have security when my phone is somewhere I am not.
Battery life for my phone - now I am still tweaking some of the stuff on my phone, but it definitely is causing a greater drain than I am comfortable with. I turned off NFC for example because I dont need it leaving bluetooth on all day. Also I am using on an S4 which doesn't have Kit Kat (Verizon blows here!) so Im not sure if it would improve with the bluetooth low energy update? Can anyone out there confirm this is the case? I plan on getting the S5 in July when my upgrade is available so just a few months to wait.
Persistent Neo Notification - typical Samsung, you have a persistent notification that without root you cant dismiss as long as the Neo is connected. I wouldnt mind having one in the bar at the top of the screen...but it takes up too much real estate in the pull down menu IMO.
Lack of apps - This perhaps is the biggest reason I consider returning the Neo...Samsung just doesn't have any apps to download. While I hope some are on the way, with their recent announcement of doing a watch with Android Wear I am concerned it wont get the massive support from developers like upcoming competing devices will. Alas for $200 I will likely keep it and if something better comes along sell it and get that.
Jury still out...
Heart rate monitor - my experience with this sensor has been mixed. It works about 80% of the time. Doesn't work in a car for example...I assume because of the movement of the vehicle. Also when I was working out, it definitely began to fail once I became pretty sweaty, kept saying to clean the sensor for a reading. As I read in another post, the only way to get a constant read during a workout is through the "Exercise" app. I chose "Walking" this morning even though I was doing weights and steps. This made the sensor keep an always on approach and when compared with a heart rate sensor reading on a machine at the gym gave pretty accurate results.
S-Voice I currently have S-Voice set as my double tap app. It does work fairly well and I've been using it alot in the car to respond to messages and make calls while driving. I was also surprised to see it has some of the same commands that the phone app does such as "Find Restaurants" which gave me a list of local restaurants based on my location AND allowed me the option of calling them. I put it in the Jury is still out section because the app is a little on the slow side and has failed me a few times...just feels like it was rushed out or something...needs alittle more polish. I would really like to see a Google Now app come to the Neo but again I am doubtful given the Android Wear devices just around the corner.
Hope that helps some of you considering making a purchase. For those with a Neo how has your experience compared with mine?
**UPDATE - after downloading the 4.4.2 update for my Verizon S4 and facing another round of bugs I gave up and returned my Neo. I just think it was sent out too early with too many software bugs and a lack of app support. Its too bad because I loved the look, feel and alot of the features...but now I will save my $200 for a better Android Wear device.