Samsung Gear Sport review: Hands on with Samsung’s sporty new smartwatch – now with a UK pricetag
Update: The Samsung Gear Sport has an official UK price – and it’s predictably an insult to currency conversion. The UK Gear Sport will set you back £299 at launch – a direct dollar to pound conversion of the $299 price announced at IFA. Suffice it to say, putting $299 into a currency converter comes out at £226 – and while US pricing doesn’t include sales tax, which varies by state, it’s still a disappointing turn of events.
Our original thoughts continue below.
Last year, Samsung’s wearable line was pretty clearly defined. You had the Gear S3 for those that wanted a smartwatch you could pass off as a classical timepiece if you squinted, and the Gear Fit2 for people who were all about putting the running miles in.
This year at IFA 2017, Samsung has decided to close the Venn diagram for those stuck in the middle, with the Gear Sport. That is to say it looks closer to the S3, but it’s aimed at those who get their kicks on the trail, in the gym or even in the swimming pool.
That’s right: the first trick up the Gear Sport’s sleeve is water resistance to a depth of 50 metres. Granted, it’s a little showy if the only other thing you’re wearing is a pair of speedos, but if you’re serious about fitness, you probably care more about the tracking than the fashion faux pas.[gallery:1]
Not that it doesn’t look nice. Samsung will initially sell the Gear Sport in either black or blue, but both allow you to change the wristband if you want something a little more exotic. Unlike the Huawei Watch 2, the bezel can be rotated to control apps and tasks – although as it’s Tizen-based, you won’t be getting your standard fare of Android Wear apps here.
On the back is a heart rate monitor, and as with the Gear Fit2 before it, tracking is done via the Samsung Health app that is built into Samsung phones but will need an extra download for other Android handsets. This will do its best to count your steps and calories burned along the way.[gallery:4]
Like the Gear Fit2, the watch will automatically track workouts without you having to actively tell it you’re starting. That works pretty well on the Gear Fit2, in my experience, and I’ve little reason to doubt it’ll function as well here – theoretically being able to break apart the walk to your bike from the subsequent ride down the hill. It will do this pretty accurately, thanks in no small part to the built-in GPS chip.
It certainly looks like it’ll be a serious contender when it comes out later this year – although no UK price or release date was forthcoming at IFA. We know that the watch will cost $299 in the US – we hope that won’t translate as a straight £299 in the UK, but it seems depressingly plausible. We’ll know more when we get our review units later in the year.