The Samsung Gear Live is a perfectly fair smartwatch, and it is reasonably inexpensive for an Android Wear device. But, really, what is the point? Find out in our Samsung Gear Live video review. See also: Best smartwatches and wearable tech of 2014 and 2015.
It's compatible with smartphones running Android 4.3 or later. Note: only phones, and not tablets.
Pairing is a simple affair - you install Android Wear on your smartphone and it guides you through the rest of the process.
The Gear Live is perfectly comfortable to wear. Masculine in look, it's a chunky device, clean and simple to look at. At 59 grammes, even for a smartwatch it is light.
Around the back of the watch face is the heartrate monitor. Other sensors include gyro, compass and accelerometer. You can change the black rubber straps using the provided clasps. The Gear Live should fit any 22 millimetre watch straps. Or you can wear the watch on a different wrist.
Samsung Gear Live: display
The Gear Live's square watch face has a 1.63-inch Super AMOLED display with a 320 by 320 resolution. That gives a pixel density of 278 ppi, which is extremely good.
You get only 4 gigabytes of non-user-replaceable internal storage, but most things will be stored on your smartphone. The Gear Live is mainly there to show alerts from apps installed on your Android smartphone, alerting you to incoming messages, news events, and diary items. It is an activity tracker and health monitor, too. (See all Smartwatch reviews.)
Water- and dustproof, the Gear Live tracks your activity and monitors your health, prompting you to do more. It's also a portable Google device: you are encouraged to 'Okay Google' as you go.
There are Android Wear apps to install, although again the value is really in extending apps on your smartphone.
Samsung Gear Live: battery life (or death)
Battery life isn't great. We needed to charge it every day. Every. Single. Day. Even when we consciously didn't use the watch as much as we might like, we still got to the end of the day requiring a recharge.
And charging is in itself a bit of a faff. This device comes with an ugly and clunky, thin plastic claw that wraps around the Gear Live and charges via a spindly USB charger.
The Gear Live is not a terrible smartwatch, but it isn't great either. On the plus side it is cheap and well built, offering a good array of features and Android Wear. But we can't get past the battery life. (See also: Apple Watch vs Motorola Moto 360 comparison review.)