12-29-2015 11:53 PM
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  1. Active55's Avatar
    Hello ‘Driods!

    Let me start by giving you a little background on myself. I’m a 55 year old active male living in the United States and not much of a techie. Most (if not all) of my cell phone experience is talking and texting. Data is not something I use on my phone. Before I bought this Samsung Gear S Smartwatch “phone” on AT&T in the USA, I was a T-Mobile Pay-As-You-Go no contract customer, using a Samsung Galaxy S DUOS quad-band factory unlocked phone bought outright from overseas. I’ve never liked cell phones in my pocket or contracts of any kind, but I eventually gave in to the progress of modern technology and joined the mobile revolution several years ago (somewhat). Today I became an “early adopter” of the Samsung Gear S, because I have been waiting for a decent watch phone from day one. I’m hoping I won’t regret it.

    After reading what I could find on the internet it was unclear if you can purchase this device as a standalone phone, so I went to my local AT&T store to inquire. I was told I can purchase it for $199 with a 2yr contract at $30/mo. with unlimited talk and text, plus 300MB of data or outright for $299 without a contract at all, but can still get the $30 unlimited talk/text/300MB data on a monthly plan. The rep said they will set the phone up for me and activate it. This sounded too good to be true, so I slept on it for a couple days and did some more research on the net.

    Everywhere I looked it appeared you have to have a “compatible phone” to pair it with for setup. None of the carrier’s state they sell this as a standalone phone on their sites and AT&T online chat said you have to have an existing plan with a compatible phone, plus pay another $10 per month to add it. Well, my AT&T store said they can do it, so I went down there today to take them up on their previous offer.

    I first selected the $199 2yr contract plan, but when it can down to the end they tried to charge me an additional $40 setup fee. I told them I thought you said the setup was included? He said it is if you buy the phone outright at $299, but not with the $199 2yr contract plan. So I told him I’d rather pay $299 without a contract, then $199 plus a $40 setup fee and be locked into a 2yr contract. He said that’s fine if you want to do it that way. I asked if I can still get the $30/mo. unlimited talk/text/300MB data plan without a contract and he said yes. Heck, sign me up!

    Then came the error message on his screen when he tried to change the 2yr contract out for a no contract sale and into the back room he went… When he came back out he had a high-end earphone set in his hand and said when he changed the plan it gave me a promotional item choice for free (maybe because I was porting my number over from another carrier, who knows?). I told him I have plenty of earphones already, I’d rather have a Bluetooth ear setup, so he grabbed a $99 “sweat proof” Plantronics Voyager Legend off the shelf and threw it in for free. Suddenly my too good to be true deal just got even better. ;-)

    He set the Gear S up using one of their compatible phones and we tested the talk and text. It worked great. So here I am sporting a brand new Samsung Gear S Smartwatch running as a standalone phone for $299 without a contract and a very reasonable $30/mo. unlimited talk/text plan I can cancel at any time, and a nice sweat proof Bluetooth ear piece to boot. Can’t say if all the features will work right yet, but he said I can bring it in to update anything I need anytime.

    The first test will be to remove the Nano-SIM (if you can) and put it into a Micro-SIM cradle (after I order and receive it) to try it in my factory unlocked Samsung Galaxy S DUOS to see if it works. If it does, I’ll be a super happy camper; because I can always revert to that phone should I need to on a moment’s notice or if this whole early adaptor experience doesn’t work out.

    Please don’t start asking me to test everything quickly. Like I said earlier, I’m not a techie and this stuff doesn’t come easy to me. I haven’t even figured out how to send a text yet; it receives them perfectly. I will eventually get to trying everything out and hopefully (time permitting) will post it here.

    Can’t wait to go for a ride on my ElliptiGO with my new toy on my wrist and NOTHING IN MY POCKET!

    Cheers all.
    johnmltb33, Elements95 and pre1561 like this.
    11-09-2014 05:16 PM
  2. daddyd302's Avatar
    You're paying $30 a month? I thought it was $10 or am I missing something here?

    You might of been better off going to T-Mobile, it's $349 but their plan is only $15 a month if you're not a post pay customer, $5 if you are.

    I honestly think you're gonna be disappointed if you think this thing will replace a phone. I don't think the battery is gonna last long enough.
    11-09-2014 06:11 PM
  3. jlczl's Avatar
    You're paying $30 a month? I thought it was $10 or am I missing something here?

    You might of been better off going to T-Mobile, it's $349 but their plan is only $15 a month if you're not a post pay customer, $5 if you are.

    I honestly think you're gonna be disappointed if you think this thing will replace a phone. I don't think the battery is gonna last long enough.
    I think it's $10 if you're adding it to a family share plan. In his case it's $30 because it's a single line. As far as battery, I'm pretty sure it's better than most phones since this goes for a couple of days and most smartphones need to be charged daily.

    Posted via the Android Central App
    11-09-2014 06:18 PM
  4. Active55's Avatar
    I think it's $10 if you're adding it to a family share plan. In his case it's $30 because it's a single line. As far as battery, I'm pretty sure it's better than most phones since this goes for a couple of days and most smartphones need to be charged daily.

    Posted via the Android Central App
    That's correct. This is my ONLY phone. $30 for UNLIMITED talk/text/300mb data is great! Better than a Go-Phone AT&T/Walmart plan that is $30 for 250 mintues talk/unlimited text/plus some small amount of data. My TOTAL monthly bill is only $30, period.

    I was using $25-$30 a month in Pay-As-You-Go at $0.10 a minute with T-Mobile. T-Mobile requires a $50 a month plan, plus $5 to add this phone, PLUS $350 cash! That's what they told me at the T-Mobile store. Wouldn't sell it to me as a standalone phone. They may wise up as time passes...
    Elements95 likes this.
    11-09-2014 06:39 PM
  5. Active55's Avatar
    Plus, if my SIM card swap works I have use of this and my old Galaxy S DUOS with one phone number ofr a total of $30 a month. My choice. SWEET!
    Elements95 likes this.
    11-09-2014 06:43 PM
  6. albertdc's Avatar
    My guess is that you won't be able to respond to a text with voice dictation since I think that depends on the phone being there with s-voice. You could probably respond with the pre-written stock replies. You could also try downloading and installing the Fleksy messenger app which then gives you a miniature keyboard to type on. Its impossible to hit all the correct letters on it, but it does a commendable job at autocorrecting. I just have no idea how you could get it installed without being synched to a phone.

    Sent from my SCH-I545 using Tapatalk
    11-09-2014 07:30 PM
  7. Sammuel1973's Avatar
    Good for you! Like others said, be very careful with playing too music, and try to minimize the display screen level to elongate the battery. If you can average 20 calls per day at 5 mins per call, and 50 incoming/outgoing texts per day, I think you would be fine with nightly charging needed. Keep us posted on how things progressed!
    11-09-2014 08:48 PM
  8. Active55's Avatar
    My guess is that you won't be able to respond to a text with voice dictation since I think that depends on the phone being there with s-voice. You could probably respond with the pre-written stock replies. You could also try downloading and installing the Fleksy messenger app which then gives you a miniature keyboard to type on. Its impossible to hit all the correct letters on it, but it does a commendable job at autocorrecting. I just have no idea how you could get it installed without being synched to a phone.

    Sent from my SCH-I545 using Tapatalk
    You may be right about S-Voice. If S-Voice isn't "on the Gear S", that might be a deal breaker for me. I haven't even figured out how to send a text manually yet. The rep and I tested incoming talk and text, but we didn't test outgoing in the store. When I go to a recieved text and swipe down, the only option is "Clear All." I'm also hoping that text messages are threaded (?).

    There is clearly going to be a learning curve. I can't believe you wouldn't be able to send a text and make a call while away from the phone it was setup on. That defeats the whole purpose of a standalone wrist phone; which is what this is suppose to be when you leave your phone at home.

    What I thought was a small hardcopy manual in the box turned out to be a "Health & Safety and Warranty Guide." There is nothing about phone operation in it (that I can find). I'll have to download a .PDF Operations Manual somewhere...
    Elements95 likes this.
    11-09-2014 11:04 PM
  9. Active55's Avatar
    Good for you! Like others said, be very careful with playing too music, and try to minimize the display screen level to elongate the battery. If you can average 20 calls per day at 5 mins per call, and 50 incoming/outgoing texts per day, I think you would be fine with nightly charging needed. Keep us posted on how things progressed!
    Yeah, it's a rsiky move, but worth the try Nightly charging doesn't bother me at all. I'll take it off each night anyway, just like a watch. Being a light user and having the extra full charge battery bouster that comes with it may come in handy on heavy use days. I don't stream music or listen to it from memory either. Talk and text on the go, that's me. Hope to figure out the talk and texting ablitlies tomorrow.
    11-09-2014 11:14 PM
  10. terrain's Avatar
    Gear s is a companion device imho. I personally would not want to use it without being able to load apps etc


    Perhaps the gear t u or v will be more.
    11-09-2014 11:28 PM
  11. Active55's Avatar
    Some good and bad news so far.

    The good news is that the Nano-SIM in a cradle works perfectly in both of my factory unlocked quad-band world phones without a hitch. Just slide it in and start using either one. So the $30 monthly plan without a contract is good to go with or without the Gear S.

    The bad news is I see the rep somehow loaded his address book onto my Gear S during setup. Don't know how to delete it yet and don't want to delete contacts on his phone by deleting them on mine. And the phone has started doing something on it's own twice. Trying to call LuLu when I did nothing. It may be something the rep is doing on his phone that he used during setup and the pairing is still intact remotely (?). Once it wouldn't allow it and the second time it looked like it went through, stating it was using S-Voice (?). I didn't initiate either call.

    So, I will likely have to go back to AT&T to get that checked, the address book cleared and do an onsite test of outgoing talk and text using both keyboard and S-Voice (if you can). No big deal if it all works and I learn how to do it in the process.
    11-09-2014 11:34 PM
  12. sux2bu's Avatar
    My guess is that you won't be able to respond to a text with voice dictation since I think that depends on the phone being there with s-voice. You could probably respond with the pre-written stock replies. You could also try downloading and installing the Fleksy messenger app which then gives you a miniature keyboard to type on. Its impossible to hit all the correct letters on it, but it does a commendable job at autocorrecting. I just have no idea how you could get it installed without being synched to a phone.

    Sent from my SCH-I545 using Tapatalk
    S voice works just fine with out a main phone. Also, you do know the Gear S comes with a full keyboard,r ight?

    To the OP, you can compose a new message by going into messages and taping the three dots in the top right hand corner. Fixing your contacts will be trickier. What I think you will have to do is buy or borrow a compatible main phone. You won't have to use it but you will have to use it to be able to set up your contacts. You'll have to set it up with all your info just like if you may bought a new phone. Then sync your watch to that phone so it gets all your contacts (you can't add/edit/delete contacts from your watch). The good thing about having a main compatible phone is that you will have the phone ready if you ever need to change anything or do any updates. If you borrow a phone you will have to go over that whole set up process again.
    You can pick up a used Galaxy S3 for under $100.
    Active55 likes this.
    11-10-2014 12:25 AM
  13. CehowardNote7's Avatar
    A good read!!

    And stay clear of "lulu"...
    aitt and Active55 like this.
    11-10-2014 07:32 AM
  14. Active55's Avatar
    sux2bu said: S voice works just fine with out a main phone.

    Good! I just have to learn how to do it.

    sux2bu said: To the OP, you can compose a new message by going into messages and taping the three dots in the top right hand corner.

    When I go to an existing received message, there are not three dots in the right hand corner. Don't known how to get to the compose message screen or message program yet? My box didn't have a manual in it, only the health & safety book. Tried to download the manual from Samsung, but the computer or connection just hung. Flying blind and not an experienced device user...

    sux2bu said: Fixing your contacts will be trickier. What I think you will have to do is buy or borrow a compatible main phone. You won't have to use it but you will have to use it to be able to set up your contacts. You'll have to set it up with all your info just like if you may bought a new phone. Then sync your watch to that phone so it gets all your contacts

    Maybe I can upgrade my Samsung Galaxy S DUOS from Ice Cream Sandwich to Kit Kat? I'll have to look to see what operating systems are available for that.

    sux2bu said: (you can't add/edit/delete contacts from your watch)

    That stinks! :-( You can't even add a contact if you receive a call from a person not in your contact list either?

    sux2bu said: The good thing about having a main compatible phone is that you will have the phone ready if you ever need to change anything or do any updates. If you borrow a phone you will have to go over that whole set up process again. You can pick up a used Galaxy S3 for under $100.

    It's looking more and more like I will need to have an Android V4.3 or higher phone handy to use this device properly even if I only have one SIM card. I suspected that when purchased, but thought I'd give it a try without one, because I wanted that phone out of my pocket so bad.

    Is there a local US site to download a .PDF manual for the Gear S that is isn't overseas?

    Was there suppose to be a manual in the box?
    johnmltb33 likes this.
    11-10-2014 09:29 AM
  15. Active55's Avatar
    Found a manual to download from the UK using Google. My problem finding the applications screen apparently was due to me swiping my finger too quickly upward. The left, right and down swipes worked great, but I never got a screen when swiping up. The manual said to swipe up, so I tried that several times and when I slowed down it came up just fine. Now that I found the applications screen things are getting interesting.

    Make a call, no problem. Write a text, no problem. In fact the small keyboard is surprisingly easy to use. Nothing like the other cheap Chinese quad-band watch phones I’ve tried in the past. THIS 2” CURVED SCREEN IS SIMPLY AWESOME!

    After sending a text the mysterious “LuLu” appeared again. I think it is a Samsung device tutorial stating how to use S-Voice to call your theoretical “LuLu” contact. Not a mysterious remote connection to the AT&T rep’s phone the device was setup on. My “LuLu” paranoia is gone.

    The reason I didn’t have the three dots at the upper right of my messages was because I was in “notifications”; the right swipe screen. When I swipe up and go to the proper message sending application everything is as it should be and easy as pie.

    So, my basic needs are now met after a few hours of learning curve. I can receive and send calls and text messages, but have to type in the phone numbers manually until I can pair with my contact list down the road (and delete the rep’s contact list currently loaded).

    Text messages are threaded too. Yahoo!

    Next I will explore the Settings application to fine tune this baby...

    Any possible buyer’s remorse has completely disappeared and I couldn’t be happier with my new wrist buddy. ;-) My pocket free life begins today!!!
    johnmltb33 likes this.
    11-10-2014 11:04 AM
  16. Pool Shark 2's Avatar
    Please keep us posted with your ongoing experiences.

    I'm in exactly the same boat as you; I want to use the Gear S as a standalone device, and don't intend to get another Samsung phone to set it up or update it.
    I've been with Verizon for years, but am appalled that they want more for the Gear S with a contract than Best Buy is selling it without a contract.
    I am particularly interested in how it functions with your Bluetooth earpiece. I hate carrying around a cell phone and just want a simple phone for making calls and texting; I don't need all the other junk that comes with a full-blown smartphone.
    11-10-2014 12:03 PM
  17. Active55's Avatar
    Please keep us posted with your ongoing experiences.
    Will do.

    Made it through the first day running solo without any issues at all. Turned off thecharger about 2am when I happenned to get up and noticed the light was fully charged. Got up at 6am and put it on. Played with it while having my morning coffee and checking the markets on the boob tube. Found the applications screen (swipe up) and went through the settings throughout the day. Completed a survey via text message regarding my experience at the AT&T store. Sent a few text messages and just a couple calls. Most of today's use was palying with the settings and learning more about the phone itself. It is 8pm now and battery life is 53%. Not bad!

    I found S-Voice, but haven't given "LuLu" a chat yet (lol...). Just found the Bluetooth (BT) settings under Connections. It's worth noting BT was on all day. Tomorrow I'll see how that connects to my BMW/MINI system. It has a separate search for a headset. I'm thinking about taking the BT earpiece I got back and getting one of the new Gear Circle BT necklace-earbud systems. That way I can use it with my bike helmet, snow ski cap, etc...

    Also found a unique way to avoid having to type in phone numbers to place calls and texts more than once (until I get my address book loaded). Just use the text or call log. Tap on the number and it gives you the option to call at the push of a button.

    Finally I changed my watch face to the brown/gold one. It will have to do until I find a download I like more; maybe something like the BIGLCD Launcher Watchface mentioned in THIS THREAD.

    Also, there's an app listed in THIS THREAD that will allow you to REPLY to messages from the Notifications screen. That would be nice to have too.

    (ADDED: Contrary to what I thought earlier, the Gear S does let you respond to calls and messages from the “notifications” screen. You just swipe “up” (not down) and the three dots appear at the lower right. Tap them and up comes a window with Call, Open app and Clear. Nice!)
    11-10-2014 10:26 PM
  18. esseff's Avatar
    Just wondering if you can setup your email on the watch, or does it get the settings when you sync with a phone?

    Also can you plug it into a PC and copy music to it?

    Thx
    11-10-2014 10:37 PM
  19. terrain's Avatar
    Your ATT store is selling the gear circle now?
    11-10-2014 10:39 PM
  20. Active55's Avatar
    Just wondering if you can setup your email on the watch, or does it get the settings when you sync with a phone?

    Also can you plug it into a PC and copy music to it?

    Thx
    Believe it or not, I don't use email at all on my cell phone. With that said, I doubt you can do that without being paired, but the Gear S does have WiFi and BT, so who knows? Sorry I can't help you with that.

    I'm wondering if you can set this up with a compatible cell phone that doesn't have a SIM card installed, just using WiFi. I may try that if I can get my S DUOS upgraded to V4.3 and then download the Gear software via WiFi, but that will be some time before I get around to playing with the pairing and setup stuff. Just want to use it as is for now and get a good feel for the device.

    ADDED: Or put my SIM card in the V4.3 phone and set up the Gear S without a SIM. Hmmm...
    11-10-2014 10:57 PM
  21. Active55's Avatar
    Your ATT store is selling the gear circle now?
    Don't know, but I do like the Gear Circle design and can wait until available if it isn't. Most of my calls are through my BMW/MINI BT stereo system with steering wheel controls. At home I have a full size Curve Bluetooth Handset. Haven't been using it for years with my old cell, but might pull it out again to try it with this little guy.
    11-10-2014 11:06 PM
  22. esseff's Avatar
    Believe it or not, I don't use email at all on my cell phone. With that said, I doubt you can do that without being paired, but the Gear S does have WiFi and BT, so who knows? Sorry I can't help you with that.

    I'm wondering if you can set this up with a compatible cell phone that doesn't have a SIM card installed, just using WiFi. I may try that if I can get my S DUOS upgraded to V4.3 and then download the Gear software via WiFi, but that will be some time before I get around to playing with the pairing and setup stuff. Just want to use it as is for now and get a good feel for the device.
    Thx for the reply. So I assume if you go to settings on the watch there is nothing about email, incoming mail server, etc?
    11-10-2014 11:06 PM
  23. Active55's Avatar
    Thx for the reply. So I assume if you go to settings on the watch there is nothing about email, incoming mail server, etc?
    Only says, "No emails", with a dialog box that says, "No Connection" with "OK" button.
    11-10-2014 11:21 PM
  24. Active55's Avatar
    One puzzling thing is the temperature near the 3:00 location on the watch face. Mine says 93* F, but I know it isn't 93* F in my home. Does anyone know what this temperature represents? Maybe the high for the day at the GPS location of the watch??? Just guessing...
    11-10-2014 11:25 PM
  25. Active55's Avatar
    It's now 9:45pm here and it's at 50% now. Not going to charge it tonite. I'm going to let it go all the way, then snap on the battery charger block that comes with it and see what happens. I like to let new batteries go dead two of three times after the initial charge to break them in, if you will. Be interesting to see how long the initial full charge on each will carry me. Good night all.
    Sammuel1973 likes this.
    11-10-2014 11:48 PM
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