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Which Samsung Gear smartwatch should you buy?

Ever since the original Samsung Galaxy Gear was unveiled back in September 2013, we’ve seen a plethora of smartwatches land from the Korean company – but which one should you choose?

The Gear 2, Gear 2 Neo and Gear Fit were announced in February 2014 and the first Android Wear smartwatch from Samsung, the Gear Live, hit the shops in June 2014. The huge-screened Gear S arrived in time for Christmas 2014 and, if that wasn’t enough, the Gear S2 was unleashed at IFA 2015.

Essential reading: Samsung Gear S2 v Apple Watch

There’s been a bit of a gap between the S2 and the latest device to land but now the Gear Fit2 is on sale, we thought we better give our Samsung smartwatch guide a spit and a polish.

So, read on to see which Samsung Gear smartwatch should you buy?

Samsung Gear S2

The Samsung Gear S2 boasts a beautiful round-faced design which guns straight for the Apple Watch, with its all-new rotating bezel control setup. The interface is intuitive; you go left for notifications and right for apps and then in turn you scroll through the options when they appear around the edge.

It’s faster than Apple’s Digital Crown on the Watch and the touchscreen prods and gestures of Android Wear. You can control everything with your finger on the right half of the bezel, which means you will always be able to see the whole display.

There are two versions, the S2 and the S2 Classic, both of which pack a 1.2-inch Super AMOLED display, and a sharp 360 x 360 resolution. Like the original Gear S, it runs on Tizen. There’s also a GPS model, which is great for accurate run tracking.

Price: From $299 | Amazon

Buy it if you… want to set yourself apart from the Apple Watch brigade and fancy yourself a bit of a smartwatch hipster.

Samsung Gear Fit2

Okay – so not technically a smartwatch as it falls more comfortably in the fitness tracker group but the Fit2 still packs the usual smartwatch, er, smarts and it runs Tizen so has access to third party apps (albeit not too many at present)

The Gear Fit2 bucks the crap-display tracker trend with a sumptuous 1.5-inch screen with an eye-popping 432 x 216, 322ppi display.

On the fitness side there’s GPS built in for run tracking and an optical heart rate monitor – all for a very competitive price tag.

Check out our full and definitive Samsung Gear Fit2 review.

Feature check: Steps, sleep, GPS and optical heart rate.

Price: $179 | Amazon

Buy it if you… want a fitness tracker and a smartwatch but haven’t got money for both. Sure, there are Garmin and Polar devices that tick this box too, but none with such an awesome display.

Samsung Gear S

The Samsung Gear S is a standalone smartwatch that doesn’t need a smartphone for connectivity as it packs its own SIM card slot for 3G capabilities – although you’ll need a new phone contract in order to take advantage of the untethered call and message features.

Samsung’s biggest smartwatch certainly looks the business, with a 2-inch, curved, Super AMOLED display that boasts a 480 x 360 resolution; one of the best out there. It also packs in GPS connectivity for accurate run tracking.

Price: $329 | Amazon

Buy it if you… want the biggest smartwatch display, want to use your smartwatch to track your runs or ditch your smartphone and go all-out Dick Tracy.

Samsung Gear Live

Sammy’s debut Android Wear smartwatch, the Gear Live takes its design cues from its Tizen-toting older brother, the Gear 2 Neo; it’s pretty much identical save for the different position of the physical button and the lack of an infrared LED.

It features a 1.63-inch, 320 x 320, display and runs stock Android Wear, in its purest vanilla form, as per the rest of the new Google smartwatch brigade. As such, it will work with any Android smartphone, and is not reliant on a trip to the Samsung Galaxy.

The new Android Wear 2.0 update won’t be hitting the Gear Live though… Google isn’t providing the new features for old Wear watches.

Price: $149 | Amazon

Buy it if you… want to get involved in the Android Wear revolution and aren’t bowled over by the newest Google-powered smartwatch offerings.

Samsung Gear Fit

The Gear Fit was Samsung’s original answer to the activity tracker revolution. It turned heads with its curved 1.84-inch Super AMOLED display, which rotates so you can have it portrait or landscape.

The big problem with the Gear Fit, and the reason you’d probably be best off buying a different fitness tracker, is because, well, it’s not a very good fitness tracker – and obviously it’s been succeeded by the Gear Fit2. Sure, it will count your steps, set you goals and track your runs and cycles too, but not with any great accuracy. It looks great though.

Price: $101 |Amazon

Buy it if you… want a smartwatch that looks like a fitness tracker, and not a fitness tracker with smartwatch features.

Samsung Gear 2

The Gear 2 has upped the style stakes over the original Gear, adding a classier edge to the first generation’s plastic finish; giving it a classic timepiece styling that’s often neglected on smartwatches.

It also boasts a lovely, 1.63-inch, Super AMOLED screen with a 320 x 320 resolution and a 2MP camera for wrist-shot photos on the go.

Price: $169 | Amazon

Buy it if you… like to take photographs from your watch. Exactly. Seriously though, the Samsung Gear 2 is a decent design and the display is terrific.

Samsung Gear 2 Neo

The Gear 2 Neo is a (average at best) fitness tracker and notifications system in one and there’s a built-in heart rate monitor to boot. Sure, it might not have the camera of the top-of-the-line Samsung Gear 2 watch but for our money, that’s no great loss.

For simplicity, the Neo wins out. It’s got all the best bits of the Gear 2 (i.e. that gorgeous display) and none of the nonsense (i.e. that camera).

Price: $149 | Amazon

Buy it if you… like the idea of tapping into the Tizen revolution, and its array of over 1,000 apps, but don’t have the budget or wrist strength to take on the Samsung Gear S or S2.

Samsung Galaxy Gear

The original and the worst, the Galaxy Gear is very much a first-gen device that screams, “we beat Apple to market”. It has screws on the front. Screws. Actual visible screws.

It also has a camera, which is of no interest, we’re quite sure. What is notable is that, although it was originally an Android powered device, it now runs Tizen and the plethora of apps Sammy’s in-house platform affords you.

Price: $199 | Amazon

Buy it if you... like collecting first generation devices. There’s really no need to own the original Gear smartwatch, it’s already out of date even if it’s only a year old.


Recommended smartwatches

Samsung Gear S2

Samsung Gear S2

$235.99

Apple Watch 42mm

Apple Watch 42mm

$358

Sony SmartWatch 3

Sony SmartWatch 3

$148.99

Huawei Watch

Huawei Watch

$299

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