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  1. Thread Author  Thread Author    #1  
    LowIQ's Avatar

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    Thumbs down FYI: Samsung Gear Live vs. Gear 2

    Samsung Gear Live vs. Gear 2

    As soon as Google teased Android Wear back in March, it looked like smartwatches were about to take a big leap forward. Let's try to see how big of a leap, as we compare the features and specs of two Samsung smartwatches: the Android Wear-running Gear Live and the Tizen-running Gear 2.

    The Samsung Gear Live (left) has an always-on display; the Gear 2 doesn'tThe Gear Live is compatible with any Android phone running Android 4.3 or higherEstimated battery life, with typical useThe designs are a little different, but both have stainless steel framesView all
    Software
    FYI: Samsung Gear Live vs. Gear 2-samsung-gear-live-vs-gear-2-smartwatch-22.jpg

    It's Android Wear vs. Tizen
    We're putting this category first, because it's probably going to trump all other differences between these two watches. The Gear Live is one of the first two watches to run Android Wear, Google's new wearable-focused OS.

    I've been testing the Gear Live (see our full Gear Live review for more), and think Android Wear is (far and away) the best smartwatch software to date. It takes Google Now, the company's service that combines voice search with contextual notifications, and puts it on your wrist. This is just the beginning for Android Wear, but it already looks like it's going to be the first serious wearable platform.

    As for the Tizen software running on the Gear 2, well, it's hard to get too excited about anything there. It includes a lot of basic apps, and with this second Gear, Samsung finally released an SDK for developers (which has more third-party apps popping up). But Android Wear's direct integration with the apps that are already running on Android phones – along with Google Now's perks – gives it the massive advantage.

    Size
    FYI: Samsung Gear Live vs. Gear 2-samsung-gear-live-vs-gear-2-smartwatch-8.jpg

    The Gear Live is 11 percent thinner
    The watches have a similar design language, and there aren't any dramatic differences in the sizes of their main bodies. The biggest news here is that the Gear Live is 11 percent thinner.

    Build
    FYI: Samsung Gear Live vs. Gear 2-samsung-gear-live-vs-gear-2-smartwatch-3.jpg

    The designs are a little different, but both have stainless steel frames
    We're looking at slightly different looks and textures here, but each watch's face is framed by a stainless steel body. Neither can really pass for a piece of jewelry, and they come off more like gadgets than designer watches. But at least they're pretty slick-looking, as far as tech products go.

    Colors
    FYI: Samsung Gear Live vs. Gear 2-samsung-gear-live-vs-gear-2-smartwatch-6.jpg

    Color options
    We're looking at two color options for the Gear Live and three for the Gear 2.

    Swappable band
    Both watches let you swap their bands for any default 22 mm
    If you want to personalize things a bit more, both watches let you swap their default bands for any standard 22 mm strap.

    Physical buttons
    FYI: Samsung Gear Live vs. Gear 2-samsung-gear-live-vs-gear-2-smartwatch-4.jpg
    Physical buttons
    Each watch has a clean and minimal aesthetic, with a lone physical button. The Gear 2's front-facing button is a home button and power button combined, while the Gear Live's is just for powering up or dimming the display.

    Weight
    Samsung Gear Live vs. Gear 2
    Unless a watch is ridiculously heavy (neither of these are), then its weight isn't going to be as important as it would be in a tablet or phone. But the Gear Live does come in at 13 percent lighter than the Gear 2.

    Android compatibility
    The Gear Live is compatible with any Android phone running Android 4.3 or higher
    Both watches require a Bluetooth-paired smartphone. But things veer off quickly from there, with the Gear Live coming out ahead. The Android Wear watch will work with any Android phone running 4.3 Jelly Bean or higher. The Gear 2 only plays nicely with select Samsung Galaxy handsets (also running Android 4.3 or higher).

    iPhone compatibility
    Neither watch is compatible with iPhones
    One thing that neither phone can do is pair with an iPhone. If you're an iPhone owner that's interested in a smartwatch, then you might want to look at Pebble Steel ... or simply wait for Apple's rumored iWatch.

    Display (size)
    Screen sizes are even too
    Both watches have 1.63-in screens.

    Display (type)
    Both screens use Super AMOLED technology
    In fact, it looks like both watches use the exact same display. Each has a Super AMOLED display, delivering deep colors and high contrast.

    Display (resolution)
    Display resolutions and pixel densities are identical
    Yep, still the same. Moving right along ...

    Always-on display
    FYI: Samsung Gear Live vs. Gear 2-samsung-gear-live-vs-gear-2-smartwatch-0.jpg
    The Samsung Gear Live (left) has an always-on display; the Gear 2 doesn't
    Ah, finally we have a display difference – even if it is more about function than hardware. The Gear Live, along with Android Wear watches as a whole, is designed to keep its display on at all times. When it's inactive, you'll see a black & white (dimmed) version of your chosen watch face.

    When you're ready to use the Gear Live, lifting your wrist will bring the display to life (out of dimmed mode) and ready for use. With the Gear 2, the display stays off until you lift your wrist (or press its button).

    Voice control
    FYI: Samsung Gear Live vs. Gear 2-samsung-gear-live-vs-gear-2-smartwatch-26.jpg

    The Gear Live's Google Now voice control is in an entirely different league from the Gear ...
    This is no contest. The Gear 2's S Voice is a pretty underwhelming (and slow) Siri knockoff with extremely limited capabilities. The Gear Live's Google Now voice control is very fast and has a much wider feature set. In fact, it's so good that voice is the primary way of controlling Android Wear watches.

    Notifications
    Both watches handle notifications, though the Gear Live handles them much more maturely
    Like most smartwatches, both of these specialize in notifications. But, much like with voice control, the Gear Live's Android Wear is far ahead in this game. Not only can Wear's Google Now cards respond to circumstances like time, location, upcoming events and your recent interests, but its Android integration also lets you do more with those notifications.

    For example, on the Gear 2, you can read incoming emails, but can't do anything about them on the watch. They might also get cut off after several lines. On the Gear Live, you can read full Gmail messages, and then reply to or archive them right from the watch.

    Water resistance
    Both watches have some water and dust resistance, rated IP67
    Both watches have the same IP67 water and dust resistance. That means they can sit in 1 m (3.3 ft) of water for 30 minutes, and keep on ticking.

    Heart rate monitor
    Both also have heart rate monitors
    Each watch also has a pulse monitor. This is also one of the biggest ways that the Gear Live differentiates itself from its Android Wear rival, the LG G Watch.

    Fitness tracking
    Both watches track your daily steps in the background
    Both watches can track your steps in the background, throughout the entire day. You can also set daily step goals (the default is 10,000) and your watch will notify you when you hit that mark.

    Camera
    The Gear 2 has a 2 MP camera on the top of its main body (facing outwards, not towards the...
    If you want a camera in your watch, then that's one thing that the Gear 2 has on the Live. Its 2 MP shooter sits on the top of its main body, facing outwards (rather than towards the wearer).

    Phone calls
    FYI: Samsung Gear Live vs. Gear 2-samsung-gear-live-vs-gear-2-smartwatch-18.jpg
    You can have phone conversations on the Gear 2, while the Gear Live only lets you answer, ...
    If you want to make phone calls on your watch (handy in private, kinda awkward in public), then the Gear 2 has that base covered. The Gear Live will let you answer, reject or reply by text – but you'll need to pick up your phone to take the call.

    Battery life
    FYI: Samsung Gear Live vs. Gear 2-samsung-gear-live-vs-gear-2-smartwatch-2.jpg

    Estimated battery life, with typical use
    Another perk for the Gear 2 is that its battery lasts longer. Based on my early testing, I think the Gear Live will easily last a full day – but you'll still need to charge it every night. The Gear 2 can last two or three days per charge. That's partly due to its power-friendly Tizen software, but also because its display turns off when you aren't actively using it.

    Standalone music player
    The Gear 2 can also serve as a wrist iPod of sorts, storing music files for playback on th...
    Samsung made the Gear 2 into a sort-of wrist iPod. You can load up some songs ahead of time, and listen to music, even while offline, straight from your watch.

    Infrared
    The Gear 2 has an infrared blaster, so you can use your watch as a remote control for your...
    You can use the Gear 2 to change channels on your TV. This could potentially be a cool trick, but I wasn't extremely impressed: Samsung's barebones remote app lacks the ability to scroll through menus or guides on your cable or satellite box.

    Storage
    Storage is even, at 4 GB
    Smartwatches don't need much storage, so the 4 GB we see in each of these should be more than enough.

    Processor
    The Gear Live has a faster processor, to handle the more intensive Android Wear
    The Gear Live has a faster processor, to handle its much more advanced software. Having spent time with both watches, I'd say they're both plenty fast for everything they're designed for.

    RAM
    RAM is even, at 512 MB
    Today's smartwatches have RAM totals that are roughly what you'd get out of a 2010-11 era smartphone.

    Release
    The Gear Live is scheduled to ship by July 8
    Samsung has been, by far, the most aggressive company in this budding smartwatch space. The Gear Live marks the company's third-generation Gear watch already (and fifth total), and it comes only nine months after the original Galaxy Gear hit store shelves.

    The Gear Live is available for pre-order now, and is set to start shipping by July 8.

    Price
    The Gear Live, with much more advanced software, is US$100 cheaper
    In case the Gear Live hadn't already cinched its status as the better buy here, maybe this will convince you. It rings up for US$100 cheaper than the Gear 2.

    If this comparison was based on hardware features alone, you could argue that the Gear 2 – with its camera, longer battery life and IR blaster – wins out. But, again, this is all about software. I've been impressed with Android Wear so far, and that's without any third-party app integration. Once app developers start updating their Android apps with Wear integration, this platform could become the first thing in wearables to get really excited about.

    Want to know more about what we're talking about? Okay then, you can hit up our Gear Live review, as well as our Android Wear review. And if you insist on considering the older Tizen-based watch, you can hit up our Gear 2 review.
  2. #2  

    Default Re: FYI: Samsung Gear Live vs. Gear 2

    Thanks for the comparison and your other contributions. Does the Gear Live allow you to connect with a bluetooth headset earpiece, so voice commands can work accordingly? I have been using a BT earpiece on my Gear 2, and it has been great with SVoice, texting, and taking calls.

    Sent from my SM-G900T using AC Forums mobile app
  3. Thread Author  Thread Author    #3  
    LowIQ's Avatar

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    Default Re: FYI: Samsung Gear Live vs. Gear 2

    not that I can see with Live and how it's setup, BT is thru the phone, This is a weird setup if you come from the Gear 2 Neo where you can do both? I'm not really seeing the benefits other than the Google Now access of which eventually that might be accomplished with a Tizen app in the same.
  4. #4  
    zhelf's Avatar
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    Default Re: FYI: Samsung Gear Live vs. Gear 2

    I have owned the gear 2 returned it to wait for android wear and now i have the lg G watch and yes the OS is nice as far as voice commands and functionality there goes but that is sort of all it does if i am going to really wear a watch for just notifications why not just use the pebble steel and get great battery life.

    Don't get me wrong i love google now and the android wear platform is very very promising, but i guess i am in the minority or people who think the ability to answer the call on my wrist is amazing or even little features like the IR blaster or camera, they are niche features yes but i think they add some value to the device. My one issue if i answer a phone call with a pebble or android wear device i have to take it on my phone not the watch, ok bugs me but i can accept that if they did at least one of two things if i have a bluetooth headset connected send the call there OR at least have my phone answer in speakerphone! Why would i need to answer my call on my wrist when i have to pick up my phoen anyway. But if i am at my computer and am typing and dont want to have to pick up my phone or maybe it is in a dock or cradle why would it not answer in speakerphone??

    Maybe someone can tell me if IFTT can recognize if the device is answered externally to auto enable the speakerphone?

    That is the one great thing about android is we can work around anything but sometimes i can't help but feel like we shouldn't have to.
    Android: Moto X (2014), Galaxy Note 3, Lg G3
    iOS: iPhone 6 64 gb
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    johnmltb33 likes this.
  5. #5  

    Default Re: FYI: Samsung Gear Live vs. Gear 2

    At best, this review was bad and clearly biased.

    It spent plenty of time going over what the author felt were benefits of Android Wear and quickly glossed over or downplayed all the benefits of the Gear 2. Not to mention if the extra $100 was such a big deal, just get the Neo for the same price and still have the better battery life, IR and ability to make and receive calls.
  6. #6  

    Default Re: FYI: Samsung Gear Live vs. Gear 2

    Quote Originally Posted by Harry_Yambag View Post
    At best, this review was bad and clearly biased.

    It spent plenty of time going over what the author felt were benefits of Android Wear and quickly glossed over or downplayed all the benefits of the Gear 2. Not to mention if the extra $100 was such a big deal, just get the Neo for the same price and still have the better battery life, IR and ability to make and receive calls.
    I had the Gear 2 and brought that back to get the Gear 2 Neo and actually I'm very happy with that decision. The difference may be minimal but I noticed right away that the Neo felt lighter on my wrist and thus more comfortable. I loved both watches really but for $100 less, the Neo is great. I don't use the calling feature a lot but I am absolutely glad I have it o n there not to mention the ability to play music. The Gear Live has no speaker and could never be used for either of those functions. I also like the look of the Gear 2/Neo better than the Live or any of the other watches currently out there. I love the band on the Gear watches as well and do not look to change it other than possibly for another color. The watch as a whole works great for my needs and other than maybe having Evernote, have no immediate needs above what it gives me now. I suppose they could always improve some of the current apps but I am very happy with my Neo. I hope the Gear line continues as so far I like that better than any of the Android wear watches I've seen.
    Connie L "Go BIG or Go Home"
    johnmltb33 likes this.
  7. Thread Author  Thread Author    #7  
    LowIQ's Avatar

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    Default Re: FYI: Samsung Gear Live vs. Gear 2

    I agree!, The LG Android Wear is OK?, but not to the level of abilities of what the Neo can do. for the short time of Tizen apps are getting out some are getting interesting and more functional than Android Wear. The hardware limitations are the biggest challenges for Android Wear watch in making apps for it, camera aside the speaker and ability to have BT headphone direct to watch is a plus.
    Tizen has just begun and is interesting to see what happens a year from now...
    Tizen Experts | The OS of Everything
    and
    Tizen Apps Downloads
  8. #8  

    Default Re: FYI: Samsung Gear Live vs. Gear 2

    Quote Originally Posted by clitrenta View Post
    I had the Gear 2 and brought that back to get the Gear 2 Neo and actually I'm very happy with that decision. The difference may be minimal but I noticed right away that the Neo felt lighter on my wrist and thus more comfortable. I loved both watches really but for $100 less, the Neo is great. I don't use the calling feature a lot but I am absolutely glad I have it o n there not to mention the ability to play music. The Gear Live has no speaker and could never be used for either of those functions. I also like the look of the Gear 2/Neo better than the Live or any of the other watches currently out there. I love the band on the Gear watches as well and do not look to change it other than possibly for another color. The watch as a whole works great for my needs and other than maybe having Evernote, have no immediate needs above what it gives me now. I suppose they could always improve some of the current apps but I am very happy with my Neo. I hope the Gear line continues as so far I like that better than any of the Android wear watches I've seen.
    I completely agree. My fiancé and I both have the gear 2 and absolutely love it. I have used the phone feature on it and the camera has come in handy as well. My only gripe is with Samsung. I have almost zero apps available on either one of our phones, while others on this site are seeing tons of them available (I have 17 in utilities compared to them seeing 100+). That isn't a downfall of the watch, this is clearly an issue with Samsung and its store.
  9. #9  

    Default Re: FYI: Samsung Gear Live vs. Gear 2

    Quote Originally Posted by Harry_Yambag View Post
    I completely agree. My fiancé and I both have the gear 2 and absolutely love it. I have used the phone feature on it and the camera has come in handy as well. My only gripe is with Samsung. I have almost zero apps available on either one of our phones, while others on this site are seeing tons of them available (I have 17 in utilities compared to them seeing 100+). That isn't a downfall of the watch, this is clearly an issue with Samsung and its store.
    Have you checked for updates to Gear Manager? There was one recently and it doesn't seem to update on its own. Current Version is 14070105.01.021.1 There aren't as many as even the first Gear which was android but its enough for me for the time being. I'm fine with waiting for more apps and improvements to current ones.
    Connie L "Go BIG or Go Home"
  10. #10  

    Default Re: FYI: Samsung Gear Live vs. Gear 2

    Quote Originally Posted by clitrenta View Post
    Have you checked for updates to Gear Manager? There was one recently and it doesn't seem to update on its own. Current Version is 14070105.01.021.1 There aren't as many as even the first Gear which was android but its enough for me for the time being. I'm fine with waiting for more apps and improvements to current ones.
    Yup, I got the update for that version yesterday. I was hoping that would fix the issue but it hasn't. I'm still happy with the watch and what it has, its just annoying knowing there is so much more out there for me to try.
  11. #11  

    Default Re: FYI: Samsung Gear Live vs. Gear 2

    Quote Originally Posted by Harry_Yambag View Post
    Yup, I got the update for that version yesterday. I was hoping that would fix the issue but it hasn't. I'm still happy with the watch and what it has, its just annoying knowing there is so much more out there for me to try.
    I wouldn't say there's an abundance. Hard to tell because some apps are in more than one category. Other than what comes on it, I have added CNN, News Republic, Life 360, a calculator and a flashlight. I would add Evernote if/when it comes out and also a sports app if there was one but notifications are fine for now (I use Score for that)
    Connie L "Go BIG or Go Home"

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