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Discussion Starter #1
Hello,

this little review/impression is written one week after my purchase so it may be biased by the novelty and the honeymoon.
Novelty, not so much: two years ago I was wearing for three months a Samsung S3 Frontier, another bezel driven 46mm smartwatch. It was beautiful but I did not find it reliable on one important point: sudden battery drains especially when using the simple of function of... stopwatch... the samsung application was a disaster.
I had enjoyed the ergos and the beautiful screen but regret not to be able to swim with it.
Anyway from the Frontier i have jumped in the Garmin Fenix 5X and 5XS experience and since November into the Garmin instinct the last being a real technological wonder IMHO.
My first thread about the Instinct is here:
https://forums.watchuseek.com/f296/garmin-instinct-light-powerful-4824981.html


So I was a happy bunny with my Instinct minding my own business when as the occasion of Father's day, the wifey deiced to surprise me with a Samsung Galaxy Watch 46mm. She's is an Apple user and I am an Android user. I really like the way she uses her AW4 for being able to answer to many different sollicitations on the go.

Well, now I'm obliged to wear that 46mm GW. And the only way to be freed of it is to push it to its limits and then being able to go back to my beloved Instinct.

So how will I include that "smart watch" when I only need a good Outdoor watch ?

The Samsung Galaxy is now one year old. The 50meters water proof case is also rated to some military level. So it means it is suppose to withstand some action life. I have read review of surfers using their Galaxy Watch everyday with zero issue and we know how salt water can be aggressive to any gear.
The case is silver, metallic with some shiny parts and brush steel parts: it looks really high quality.
Two years ago I have noticed the bezel of my Frontier was really "scratchproof" . A friend of mine got his Frontier for two years of everyday use and the watch is still beautiful: I expect at least the same longevity for the GW46mm. The OEM band is nicely done with curved spring bars which give it a very modern and masculine aspect. Coming from G-Shocks, I don't feel it "that" clunky at all. The bezel is still fun to use and the two large buttons complete it well. A friend of mine even thought they were two USB plugs !!
No plug in that watch: everything is done by induction.

The watch act like a proactive robot: it study the owner and then propose services without to be intrusive. It has learned quick that I dont want to be disturbed in the evening and even recognize when I fall asleep. It recognize when I am brisk walking for more than 900 steps and transform the walk into activity. It is done automatically and I enjoy that.
Also it propose some briefing in the evening or the morning.

I don't have any issue with waking up with my wrist BTW. I am even able to wake it up in a slow wipe by raising my arm.
Everything works perfectly. Zero frustration.

What I loved with my Garmin was the possibility to have shortcuts by combination of its 5 keys.
With only two buttons, there is only one shortcut on the Samsung by pushing the Home Button twice.
I have chosen music control. Because I need to be able to shut it off quick in cas of a phone call or visit.

My widgets/pages chosen so far
One push on the home button and I have set the menu to bring me the last application I have used. It worst almost all shortcuts.
Also they are shortcuts widgets you can for example add 6 applications on each them. I have two group of widgets: one with timers, multitimers, stopwatch and alarms and another one with different navigation and GPS applications.
Then is the Weather widget which works great. I was happy with the Instinct weather widget but this one works great too by bringing forcast for the 6 next days and also the time of sunset or sunrise.
Then the altibaro widget: nothing to report, it is beautiful and seems to work OK. My main grief is not being able to have a longer graphic than the 6 last hours. On the Instinct I was able to see a 48 hours graphic.
Then comes the Samsung Health which I'm trying to couple with MapMyRun.
MapMy Run is working great, I have been able to get the same kind of visualization as on my Fenix 5X.
The Watch can use its own GPS/Glonass chip or the smartphone's if you carry it.
As I always carrying my phone, this morning I have been able to walk one hour without losing 1% of battery: I have left home at 100% and back at 100% !! And I was waking up the screen a lot of time to check the red track on the map.

Ah battery life: that was one of my biggest concern especially after being a Fenix 5XPlus user.
Hey so far so good: I have not be able to go below 70% after a full charge in a day of playing a lot with the watch.
I have even noticed it has lost only 5% in 8 hours of rest.
Also I have re install the infamous Samsung Stopwatch application and this time the battery drain issue seems to be solved.
BTW I am on Tizen 4.0.0.6 and UI One 1.0: everything works perfectly. No concern at all.

So MapMyRun seems to be the bread and butter for my walks as it uses in priority my big phone battery and sensors (Samsung S9 Plus) for the GPS position. I always got a powerbank with me, so I don't mind using the phone battery.
I only need now to figure how it will exchange it information with Samsung Health but at least I got a simple way to track my walks. Most complains about that application seems to come from users who run without their phone. Hey, I walk with mine so zero issue. But beware if you want to leave your phone behind.

Sleep monitoring works fine too and brings me the same as Garmin's. The novelty is that the watch brings me also all the charts: I'm not obliged to fumble in the phone application to find them. It's complete monitoring with all the sleep phases: light deep and paradoxal sleep.

I have tested some other activities apart from walking. It is fun to here the watch following my dumb bells reps by counting.

My last widget is a calendar.

On the application side I have downloaded some multitimers and stopwatches. I can monitor 4 events beyond 24 hours. This is great as "mission" timer or just for cooking.

I also need a calculator with % and I have found it.

One thing i have enjoyed is some Wrist Camera application (Camera One) which works great for spying and remot controlling my phone camera. It is useful as some kind of light endoscope too: it's been used in a car engine to spot a leak.

Also I have a Tide Chart which is something I really enjoy on a watch.

So, so far so good. The battery last very long: around 20% by day. The Super OLED screen is gorgeous and visible even under the sunlight. I can check emails, messages and even answering a phone call when I got both hands trapped in camera handling. This is a fun watch. Looking forward testing it in the sea. It is really what I wanted on my Frontier 2 years ago: waterproof and long lasting battery.

I"m going to upload some pictures from my phone.:-!









Wifi has surprised on the Samsung: for any reason if the bluetooth connection is lost with the phone, the watch will look for a known wifi network to continue to be connected to your samsung account.




First thing I have notice: the Samsung GW46mm got no compass. Why do I need a compass in the first place?
I often need to know where is the South for my video jobs for example, especially when they are clouds.
So I have found a work around with a GPS compass.
 

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Nice review.

The gear watch is definitely a useable advance on the Gear S3 - in particular regarding battery life and improved screen.

It is slightly larger however at 46mm, compared to 43mm of the S3, although it doesn't wear that much larger.

By the way, the Gear S3 frontier was also IP68 and milspec rated, so you definitely could swim with it.

I swam with mine regularly. A quick rinse under a tap after immersing in salt water kept it clean.

Samsung health can be set to collect input from the watch, or the phone, or both.

I used to leave it on both, and it was smart enough to pick up duplicate activity, (I.e. steps, running) and would adjust by rejecting one data set afterwards.

Not sure what sort of algorithm it used to do this, or how accurate it was, but it passed my, (much less than rigorous) testing.

^^ tells the truth on Internet forums
So many watches, So little time...
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Nice review.


By the way, the Gear S3 frontier was also IP68 and milspec rated, so you definitely could swim with it.

I swam with mine regularly. A quick rinse under a tap after immersing in salt water kept it clean.



So many watches, So little time...
Thank you ! :)
Yes, I could as I have found a lot of stories of people surfing and swimming with their Frontiers. Great case!

Have you updated yours to the last Tizen and the One UI ?
 

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Thank you ! :)
Yes, I could as I have found a lot of stories of people surfing and swimming with their Frontiers. Great case!

Have you updated yours to the last Tizen and the One UI ?
Yes, I have.

I got 2 Gear Watches on pre-order, as I rotated my smart watches to ensure I always had a charged one. (I got around 2 days out of my Gear S3 Frontier and Classic)

Unfortunately I only used them for a little while and they get limited use these days, (by me), as they have been appropriated by my kids and they won’t give them back!

My son uses my 46mm as his daily and my daughter took my 42mm Rose gold.

They even regularly use some of my 20mm straps with them!

That’s another point - They should have left the 46mm with 22mm straps as 20mm looks too thin on them.

At least I got back my G-Shocks they previously “borrowed”. (Somewhat worse for wear - but what that’s what G-Shocks are for - yes?).

I probably shouldn’t have sold off my S3’s so quickly and should have held onto one. LOL.

I may get another Gear Watch for myself if I see a good deal come up in the near future.




^^ tells the truth on Internet forums
So many watches, So little time...
 

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My 46mm got 22mm band.
I like the original one with its curved spring bars.


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Sorry. Of course you are correct.
My bad.
I meant to say the 42mm has 20mm, not the 46.
I have a bunch of straps for my Gear S3 (and my Carrera), that couldn't be used on my 42 so can't interchange between the two like I used to.

My son is using a 20mm black mesh strap on it at the moment that looks silly but he likes the fit and the convenience.

He's much more practical and less concerned about aesthetics than his old man.


^^ tells the truth on Internet forums
So many watches, So little time...
 

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Discussion Starter #10 (Edited)
OK let's do some update.

Battery life is excellent and much better than my two years ago S3 Frontier experience.
Around 1% by hour even if sometimes the 100% level stays for three hours after a full recharge.

Stopwatches and timers can drain your battery unless you use third party apps which are less consuming than OEM Samsung apps...
(Samsung is really a phone builder and not a watch maker...)

Voice recognition works all right in French for answering SMS. Surprisely good.
The T9 keyboard is a pleasure to use again. It was the best way to answer fast with only a thumb.
T9 was just a wonderful input experience prior to all those touch screens madness.

I have swim all Saturday in a wonderful salty swimming pool able to create white marks on the black band.
The "submarine" mode is fun to use and sometimes I have been obliged to launch the "cleaning sound" twice before to got all water out of the speaker's hole.
The swimming mode is not very practical compared to my Garmin Experience. Garmin watches got no touch screen, it means, you are able to use all function when the watch is wet. Next time I will not lock the Galaxy watch into swimming mode and use the cleaning sounds in the end. I still want to be able to use the functions.

Wrist movements are accurate. It can switch on and ... switch off. Soon you find your marks.

I have also use Always On Display. The battery is drained faster but it can be handy when you need to check the time without any wrist movement: discreetly. Super OLED screen got a very wide angle better than STN and at the same level as Garmin's screens. But the AOD can be tricky under the sunlight and not discreet in the evening.
I use an orange (red) digital OEM watchface then.

For now on I got no plan to change the bezel or the band. More to come... (and some pictures loaded when I will be back to my phone.)
 

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I bought a 46mm Galaxy Watch recently and absolutely love it. It took some trial and error to get it just right -- to get all the widgets set and put things in an order that made sense to me -- but now it's just put it on and forget about it. The battery life is excellent (I've gone more than 3 days without charging and still had plenty of battery left) and it's just got a good wrist feel to it. My only, and very minor, complaint was the stock silicone strap. I just didn't like the look of it, and with the vertical grooves in it, it trapped a lot of gunk. I swapped it out for a curved-end stainless steel band from Amazon that is just fantastic for every day wear, and also picked up a different silicone band for exercising. One of these days I need to take a hack at designing my own watch face with the Samsung app.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
Have picked the V-Moro stainless?
I'm very interested in this one...

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Discussion Starter #13 (Edited)
Chapter 4...

The voice recognition for messages (text to speech) is amazingly accurate in French.
The T9 little keyboards is also very easy to use. T9 was the best way to have a keyboard on small items.

I have found different solutions to map my walks. Locus free seems a good alternative to Map my Run.
On all those cases the watch seems to use the phone GPS and it suits me just well.

Also Here now is able to guide me to destination and help me on the time table for buses and trains. So it's easy to rely on it in foreign cities.

Edit: found a Peeble leather band to be Snake Plissken.

More to come soon.


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Discussion Starter #14
Still exploring style and feel.
The milanese loop (12 euros on Amazon with shipping) is on test.
The watchface is a free one from Denis Ananev.
(Simple Civic Analog)

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Discussion Starter #15
Trying the activity tracking.

Once you have found the sum up (journal in French) everything fine and useful.
Especially the map on the end.

Also Samsung Pay works great with my bank and this is really something handy to use.
No need to dig in my pocket anymore.
The immediate control on the watch and the smartphone helps for a better control of expenses.

Now is it going to kill loose change?
I hope not.


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Great review Nemo. I have had mine a couple of months now and have to say I'm very impressed, actually way more than I expected, the battery life makes it very usable. I was recently in Paris for 4 days and I didn't need to charge it, which was lucky as I didn't pack my charger. Samsung health works great on it as do all the other apps I use. My only complaint is not with the 46mm but with the height, which will no doubt be decreased in future models.
REIj9Ca.jpg
 

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Discussion Starter #17
Great review Nemo. I have had mine a couple of months now and have to say I'm very impressed, actually way more than I expected, the battery life makes it very usable. I was recently in Paris for 4 days and I didn't need to charge it, which was lucky as I didn't pack my charger. Samsung health works great on it as do all the other apps I use. My only complaint is not with the 46mm but with the height, which will no doubt be decreased in future models.
View attachment 14323073
Thank you for the nice words ! Very nice bezel and band !! Very classy result !!
Right now I'm tryin a Milanese Loop.
 

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Discussion Starter #18 (Edited)
The adventures is continuing with the installation of Google Assistant on that Tizen OS watch. A tour de force from à Java développer who has made it for free.
It works really great!
It is as fast as Siri on an Apple Watch 4 and solely in English for the moment.
But is a nice tour de force to bring Google Assistant on that ' Bugxby ' watch.
Bigsby is an horror. It is sluggish and inaccurate.
When the watch voice recognition for messaging works just great in French.

So.... that Google alternative is really welcome and works just perfectly.


On the strap side, the fun never ends.
I should get a James Bond nylon later but for today...
The Nick Mankey hook strap is a nice confortable solution.
https://forums.watchuseek.com/f222/nick-mankey-hook-strap-4865385-post47871073.html#post47871073
(The milanese loop is also very confortable and breathable.)
On the hook strap the thickness works well with that 46mm watch. It is elastic and easy to remove. I had bought it for my Garmin Instinct but it seems. To be much confortable on the Galaxy watch.

Oh. There is something which I really enjoy on that watch... The hour chime!
It is elegant and discreet. Very useful.



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Great review Nemo. I have had mine a couple of months now and have to say I'm very impressed, actually way more than I expected, the battery life makes it very usable. I was recently in Paris for 4 days and I didn't need to charge it, which was lucky as I didn't pack my charger. Samsung health works great on it as do all the other apps I use. My only complaint is not with the 46mm but with the height, which will no doubt be decreased in future models.
View attachment 14323073
I love the bezel! How did you go about replacing it (as I'd love to do something similar with mine)?
 
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