Nov. 2

In The Queue: Samsung Gear Sport

The last holdout of the Fall 2017 new smartwatch season battlefield, and it’s now on my wrist and tracking my workouts.  This rounds out the Apple Watch 3, Garmin Vivoactive 3, and Fitbit Ionic showdown!  Expect a full in-depth review in the coming weeks.  But in the meantime, feel free to use this page for any questions and/or specific things you want me to take a look at.

November 2. 2017QueueComments (266)
Nov. 2

In The Queue: Samsung Gear Sport

The last holdout of the Fall 2017 new smartwatch season battlefield, and it’s now on my wrist and tracking my workouts.  This rounds out the Apple Watch 3, Garmin Vivoactive 3, and Fitbit Ionic showdown!  Expect a full in-depth review in the coming weeks.  But in the meantime, feel free to use this page for any questions and/or specific things you want me to take a look at.

November 2. 2017QueueComments (266)
Nov. 2

In The Queue: Samsung Gear Sport

The last holdout of the Fall 2017 new smartwatch season battlefield, and it’s now on my wrist and tracking my workouts.  This rounds out the Apple Watch 3, Garmin Vivoactive 3, and Fitbit Ionic showdown!  Expect a full in-depth review in the coming weeks.  But in the meantime, feel free to use this page for any questions and/or specific things you want me to take a look at.

November 2. 2017QueueComments (266)
Nov. 2

In The Queue: Samsung Gear Sport

The last holdout of the Fall 2017 new smartwatch season battlefield, and it’s now on my wrist and tracking my workouts.  This rounds out the Apple Watch 3, Garmin Vivoactive 3, and Fitbit Ionic showdown!  Expect a full in-depth review in the coming weeks.  But in the meantime, feel free to use this page for any questions and/or specific things you want me to take a look at.

November 2. 2017QueueComments (266)
Nov. 2

In The Queue: Samsung Gear Sport

The last holdout of the Fall 2017 new smartwatch season battlefield, and it’s now on my wrist and tracking my workouts.  This rounds out the Apple Watch 3, Garmin Vivoactive 3, and Fitbit Ionic showdown!  Expect a full in-depth review in the coming weeks.  But in the meantime, feel free to use this page for any questions and/or specific things you want me to take a look at.

November 2. 2017QueueComments (266)
Nov. 2

In The Queue: Samsung Gear Sport

The last holdout of the Fall 2017 new smartwatch season battlefield, and it’s now on my wrist and tracking my workouts.  This rounds out the Apple Watch 3, Garmin Vivoactive 3, and Fitbit Ionic showdown!  Expect a full in-depth review in the coming weeks.  But in the meantime, feel free to use this page for any questions and/or specific things you want me to take a look at.

November 2. 2017QueueComments (266)
Nov. 2

In The Queue: Samsung Gear Sport

The last holdout of the Fall 2017 new smartwatch season battlefield, and it’s now on my wrist and tracking my workouts.  This rounds out the Apple Watch 3, Garmin Vivoactive 3, and Fitbit Ionic showdown!  Expect a full in-depth review in the coming weeks.  But in the meantime, feel free to use this page for any questions and/or specific things you want me to take a look at.

November 2. 2017QueueComments (266)
Nov. 2

In The Queue: Samsung Gear Sport

The last holdout of the Fall 2017 new smartwatch season battlefield, and it’s now on my wrist and tracking my workouts.  This rounds out the Apple Watch 3, Garmin Vivoactive 3, and Fitbit Ionic showdown!  Expect a full in-depth review in the coming weeks.  But in the meantime, feel free to use this page for any questions and/or specific things you want me to take a look at.

November 2. 2017QueueComments (266)

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  1. Ray Middleton

    Ray will any of the smart watches work for cycling? Especially, will they connect, pair to my power meter, HR speed and cadence sensors?


    Ray, would this connect with a chest HR strap?

    • shane

      No it will not connect to an external HR strap 🙁

    • Jason

      I read but cannot confirm that ther is an app called sporty watch that will allow the gear sport to connect with a chest strap HTM. Anyone else have knowledge of this?

    • James

      I’ve used Sporty Watch with a Gear Fit 2 and it works well. The GF2 isn’t ANT+ compatible (only Bluetooth), so my old Garmin chest strap wouldn’t work, but my Mio Link worked a treat. I looked into this in some depth before buying the GF2, as being unable to link to a more accurate heart rate strap was a non-starter for me.

  3. John Aubrey

    Any chance of swimming in the review? I use Samsung Pay a lot, would be interesting to compare it against Garmin Pay. As someone that has a smart watch with fitness features this watch interests me. I’m basically down to the va3 or gear sport for Xmas. I can’t wait.

  4. Richard Zellner

    Does a Garmin Forerunner 245 fit in the smart watch category or is there still hope for an update?

  5. Aleksander Helgaker

    Will you be testing the gear sport paired with both Android and iOS? Really looking forwards to hearing about the Gear Sport :).

  6. Julian Divett

    I’ve just bought one too, there is very little hands on assistance, but so far so good. done a couple of runs links to strava etc… listening to off line Spotify via Bluetooth

    If you can figure out 3
    things they are..

    How do I get podcasts onto it either via Spotify or off my android phone from a 3rd party app
    Where is the Speedo app which I want to test next week in the pool.
    I can’t find a decent track running watch face with lap timer etc.

  7. Mats

    Looking forward to the review!
    Hoping for the usual level of fitness-focus as you usually do, and also interested to hear how well it integrates with 3rd party sites (ie Strava).
    How well the sensors work, which (if any) external sensors can be used, what type of fitness metrics are supported (VO2Max etc), how customizable the different sport modes are (data fields etc), what type of battery usage one can expect when using it as a fitness watch, how the music options (Spotify/local) works when doing workouts.
    Also, if you could test out some of the gym/strength training features that would be wonderful!

  8. Mad Hatman

    On Gear S2/S3 there is no HR tracking for the following workouts : lunges, crunches, Squats, jumping jacks, rowing & other.

    Is that still the case with Gear Sport? Or did Samsung Fix it and now shows HR in all Activity Types.

    Also on Gear S2/S3 there is no calculated value for Resting HR. You need to look through HR history & find your lowest HR yourself.

    Does Gear Sport now show Resting HR & if so is it more accurate than what Fitbit

    Can you use an external HR strap? Gear S2/S3 can not ?

    Are you also going to review Gear Fit 2Pro ? I would like to see how it compares to Gear Sport?

    Being that I already have Gear S3 & hoping will get same software update as Gear Sport, I would consider supplementing Gear s3 with Fit 2 Pro for swimming. It’s $100 cheaper than Gear Sport. And I am not going to replace Gear S3 for Sort because it lacks: LTE, MST (Pay) & a Speaker for handsfree calls.


  9. Aleksander Helgaker

    Interested in knowing if screen can be “locked” during a workout. I’ve heard that some have had issues with sleeves ending activities on the Fitbit Ionic. When I go hiking I often have the watch under a jacket sleeve, so this would be a problem if the screen can’t be locked.

  10. John Aubrey

    In honestly, you could walk around the block with the GPS and it would be the most athletic review I have seen.

  11. Doug

    I also am interested in the swimming capabilities of the watch. I tried the Ionic in the pool but it was pretty much useless. I had these issues with it:

    The watch face disappears after a couple of seconds. It isn’t always on. Yes, I understand that this is a compromise with increased battery life. However, the hand/arm motion required to turn on the watch face is just ridiculously impractical while swimming.

    On 2 separate swims, the watch paused while I was swimming even though I have set it to not pause. What is most infuriating about this is that I can’t even tell it is paused as I can’t get the watch face to turn on while swimming!

    HR is turned off while swimming, so to get HR, I have to use the setting for treadmill instead so the choice is either HR or swim metrics but not both.

    I have the watch set for “Strong” vibrate but even when I’m waiting for it to vibrate I usually miss it as it is so weak. What is funny though is that when I once reached my “Step goal” while swimming, it vibrated perfectly!

  12. Charles

    Just FYI, I can see this post on the mobile site, but not the desktop version (either actually on my laptop or using the link below to show desktop version on my phone). I’m in the Midwestern U. S. if that matters for your troubleshooting.

    Keep up the great work!

    • Hmm…I suspect that’s because it’ll typically show as ‘In The Queue’ on the desktop site, versus mobile it gets all stuffed together.

      Totally agree though, not consistent and wonky. Will add to my list to decide how to fix. Thanks!

    • Charles

      Yup — Now I see it on desktop. User error on my end, sorry about that.

    • Eli

      When the last post in that section was almost a year ago no reason to check that part of the site

    • True. I don’t tend to use it often because there’s lots of stuff I poke at but never end up writing a review. Additionally, I’ve somewhat shifted for more popular items to just doing first look type posts instead, which take the place of the Queue in many ways.

  13. Ofris

    Hi . Im mainly interested in pool swimming as this is my main sport. I know that for the more advanced metrics the SpeedoOn app supposed to take care of. However the SpeedoOn app reviews on the PlayStore are horrific at best. So the overall swimming experience is crucial for me. I’m considering either the gear sport or the vivoactive 3. I would really love to hear your thoughts on which one is better for swimming. Thanks so much.

  14. Ivan

    Curious what the experience is in combination with the runtastic phone app.

  15. Aleksander Helgaker

    Noticed your tweet about the terrible accuracy of the gps. Was it a one off, or is it always that bad?

    • I’ve done two short cross-town rides and the run. The rides seemed more or less fine, and the run was more or less a disaster.

    • Julian Divett

      Hi Ray I’m trying to decide whether to keep this watch, I’ve got poorish results too. What location settings do you use, WiFi and GPS or just GPS. I’ve got a long run tomorrow (Nice marathon) so will be a good test for battery and GPS. Also trying a longish bike ride in the mountains later today. Will report back.

    • Nathan

      It has been a bit since I’ve owned the gear S3 frontier, but I think remember that when used in standalone mode (without a phone connected) there was no way to know if it had gps lock. This led to all sorts of poor gps tracks as it would be all over the place. Between the poor performance with GPS, poor accuracy on the HRM, and lack of external sensor support, I decided to give a Garmin a try.

      The other issue I had with the gear S3 was that the screen didn’t always come in when I raised my wrist to look at it while running. Sometimes when it did come on, the auto brightness wasn’t working properly so you couldn’t read the screen in bright sunlight. One run with a Fenix 5 and I realized how much of a pain the gear S3 was to use as a running watch.

    • Alex

      I had sometimes similar issues with the Samsung gear S3. I do not think the problem is the GPS hardware but the software. The Samsung running app starts counting before locking the GPS signal and that sometimes creates very bad results. Also, I had issues exporting the date to Strava throught S-health. Results were different making no sense..

      Endomondo software works better but you cannot export the data to Strava.

      If you are interested, I found an app called Run4Gear which works quite well for running. You can wait until the GPS signal is locked and you can export to Strava (or many others) without issues on the results. The problem is that you have to pay for this app and visually is not fantastic (is not an app design by a company but by some individual..).

    • Yeah, with the Sport, it does show you when your GPS is locked – so I waited for that. But I also noticed in playing around with it a bit over the weekend that it can show locked, and then a few seconds later it shows not locked. Like a false lock.

      Same goes on Strava exports. It’s a mess. I used Fitness Syncer to export the file, which I then put on Strava. But even then, it was all wonky. I shot a note to a Strava dev lead I know and he ‘fixed’ some of my file for a simple cross-town ride, but it’s still got wonk in it.

      Of course, you can’t use native Strava sync on the iOS app from S Health (no partnerships allowed there), only on Android.

    • Alex

      I agree, the Samsung app for running or Cycling is a disaster whenever you export the data to Strava. I do not understand what is wrong between S-heatlth and Strava, clearly something is done incorrectly with the data. I thought the new Tizen software on the Gear Sport would fix this but I can see is not…

      As I mentioned, the Run4Gear app created by some user has no problems sending the data to Strava. Everything is ok. How Samsung with an entire team of people working on this cannot do this correctly?? They don’t do any testing?? Strava is a very important app in todays market…

      I believe ENDOMONDO software does a better job on the Samsung but STRAVA is the app I’m currently using with my friends..I wish we had a native app for it or at least a good syncing from S-health..

    • Dear runners,

      With the latest Run4Gear version ( ), you can go for premium account for free. Run4Gear enables to export to Strava, RunKeeper, Endomondo, MapMyRun, Runtastic and also email your tcx file.

      It works on GearS3 and GearSport ! According to user comments it is the more accurate running software on Gear.


  16. Edwin Aerts

    Hello Ray
    What features does the Cycling app show in real time and more specific related to altitude.
    I can’t find this info anywhere, so thanks for informing me.
    Thanks and kind regards.

    • In a default configuration it shows:

      Page 1: Distance, Duration, Heart Rate
      Page 2: Calories, Speed, Heart Rate
      Page 3: Calories, Heart Rate, Speed
      (Yes, those two are kinda duplicates)

      I haven’t dug too deeply yet on whether or to what extent it’s possible to tweak the default pages in the default app, and if there are difference in that between iOS and Android.

  17. Keith Rudder

    Somewhere I read where the Sport “may” be able to track your heart rate while swimming. Could you test this and see if it works at all? Also, I want to know if I can just drag and drop music onto the watch or if I have to stand on my head to get music on the thing.

  18. ShawnD

    Ray – does the Gear Sport support laps for outdoor/treadmill running and indoor pool swimming?

  19. Chris

    Curious will it connect to bike cadence speed via ant or BT.

    Also didnt see in ur review of the A3.. do they track skiing.

    Thanks. Love ur reviews. Most trusted IMO

  20. Chad

    Very disappointed in Garmin Vivoactive 3 after a weeks use. Reviews of Sport Gear are virtually non-existent; why bother with what little has been said. Looking forward to Sport Gear review by DC Rainmaker.

  21. Joey

    Hi had it a week now but just can’t get it to continuous track heart rate one the LG v20 it’s specific to the Samsung phones?

    • Hmm, shouldn’t be phone specific. It works for me on my iPhone 7. It doesn’t seem to record a ton of data points though (or at least transfer them), compared to other devices. Especially since the sensor appears to be on 24×7. But I’ve gotta see if perhaps it’s got some other behavior on my Pixel (Android) phone.

    • Joey

      Sorted it when I did a factory reset it then gave me the option to choose the heart rate ( continuous,frequent or off) then I notice the 3 little dots at the side of the screen touched this and gave me another menu I knew nothing about ? with all the options.

  22. John Lewis

    I’d like to know which exercises are available on the watch. For prior models, there’s a bazillion on the phone app but a shorter list on the watch.

    Supplementary question; can you setup custom guided runs (pace target) on phone and have it appear on the watch with audio cues?

    Thanks for reviewing this watch! All reviews to date of the SPORT have been couch potato reviews

    • 1) Sports on watch: There’s two places you can enter the sports menu. One is via the rotating bezel, which is far shorter (just Running, Walking, Cycling Swimming). The other is via the sports app menu (Apps > S Health > Scroll down to Workout Option > Work Out > list), which has many more options (Running, Walking, Cycling, Hiking, Swimming, Elliptical Trainer, Excercise Bike, Step Machine, Treadmill, Lunges, Crunches, Squats, Jumping Jacks, Pilates, Yoga, Rowing Machine, Other Workout).

      2) I don’t see any way to set it up on the iPhone apps (S Health or Gear S app). Perhaps Android is different, I’ll be switching over to that on Wednesday. However, on the watch you can do that via the S Health method and then under guided targets do stuff like ‘Pace Setter’, but even that’s kinda wonky and super dumbed down. It has run segments like warm-up/cool-down, but it simplifies pace to just ‘Endurance Run’, whatever the heck that means.

    • John Lewis


      1. Shame extras like golf don’t make it to the watch

      2. Attached is screenshot of what it looks like setting up on Android. You go to start a run with Pace Setter, go left off the end and there’s a way to add a custom. It’s very basic, but helpful for a novice like me trying to stick to a particular speed

    • John Lewis


      That’s on phone in SHealth app. Need to do a little estimation to make it work (add 10 minutes and 0.5km to account for warm-up/down sections).

      On old watch (Gear Fit2) they show on the watch under the custom names I give them. Here’s a couple I’ve made

    • Julian Divett

      Hi John, I have the watch and been using for a week. I agree that the GPS is weak but for me it has been acceptable. I’ve been on other discussion forums but no-one else seems to be using the watch as a proper sports watch. Can you help with a couple of things.

      Can the training programs that you create in s health be exported to the watch to be used in standalone mode.

      Have you found a way to display pace while running


    • John Lewis

      Hi Julian
      I have an old Gear Fit2 only.
      Fairly sure the program workouts don’t transfer to the watch, but it’s been a long time since I’ve used them. Custom made ones like I picture above do transfer for stand-alone use; hopefully the Gear Sport is the same.

      Gear Fit2 shows pace, duration, distance, calories, speed, cadence or heart rate. Be surprised if they removed pace for the Sport.

    • John Lewis

      Only app I recall watch stand-alone training plans is Pear, which looked good (even vo2max) but I didn’t follow through with.
      Not sure if they make a round face version:

      link to

    • Julian Divett

      Thanks, it seems that they have not set up the app store for the gear sport yet. I’ve tried several apps and they don’t work. I just tried endomondo and it just crashes. In fact the companion app for the phone doesn’t have the gear sport as an option…

      The pear watch face is not in the app store.

      The standard s health apps on the watch are fixed training programs as far as I can see.

      I think this watch has potential but only if app developers and Samsung sort this out. Otherwise a nice fitness tracker with music. On a plus note I’ve figured out how to get podcasts across..

    • Julian Divett

      I found pace it was on the standard running app, but it was useless I think it was working off my arm motion!

      As soon as I looked it slowed right down…

      The voice feedback was accurate and gives cumulative pace but not great if you have a warm up.

  23. Random tidbit within the camp of ‘Things I learned today’: The Gear Sport will actually latch onto any nearby BLE HR strap, without any user interaction or confirmation. That’ll override the optical HR sensor for that activity. This is using the default sports app.

    I noticed it in analyzing the HR data from the last few days where it 100.000% matched the TICKR strap I was wearing. Good news for those that want external HR. Bad news for those of us (me) that was hoping to track optical HR. Gotta use an ANT+ only strap now…

    • Nathan

      That is interesting. Glad that the are implementing external sensor support. Any chance it will do the same for BLE speed/cadence?

    • Alex

      Did you try turning off the Bluetooth on the watch? I know you do not use the phone and like this there is no need for you to change the strap..

      By the way, did samsung department mentioned anything interesting regarding your tweet?

    • John Lewis

      That’s very interesting. Perhaps that’s why when I tested HR on my Gear Fit2 against TickrX it seemed to do so well…

    • Nathan – Hard to know if anything else will come of it. There’s zero interface or settings options I can find on it.

      Alex – Good call. Though, I might just use an ANT+ strap just in case it’s still doing some sneaky!

      John – Haha!

    • Shane

      Ray, that is good news about the Gear Sport able to connect to an external Blue tooth HR strap. I was in the Gear Sport developer discussions and was told no, that it would not support external heart rate straps.

    • Zsolt

      Hi Ray,
      can your Gear Sport still connect to external Bluetooth HR sensor ?
      It has not been disabled by any of FW updates ?

    • No.

      I think earlier what was happening is the export software I was using to get the darn data out of S Health was merging it with an existing Strava activity which had HR. Kinda wonky.

    • Henri Guay

      Hiyo. Did you ever confirm if the Gear Sport (assuming in S-Health workout) was directly connecting to your BLE chest heart rate monitor or if the data was being pulled in later, from another source? I’m trying to solve for the sometimes wildly erratic HRM when I’m running or XC-Skiing, but not when I’m Zwifting (where I wear a Wahoo Tickr)…. Can I take my Tickr with me out on my runs to stabilize the readings? Thanks.

  24. Aleksander Helgaker

    Sorry if this has been answered already. Have you tried running using one of the Under Armour apps? I was wondering if perhaps there was a bug in the built-in tracking app causing the weird gps issues. Maybe ether UA apps do better.

    • Julian Divett

      I’d love to try but the under armour apps all crash – I’ve tried endomondo and mapmyrun. I don’t have a Samsung Phone so that may be the issue, in the small print in the manual it mentions only a small number of phones which they say are compatible, mine is not included (ZTE Axon 7).

  25. John Aubrey

    Any change this review makes it out before Thanksgiving? Best Buy is having it $50 off as well as the VA3.

    • Julian Divett

      I would seriously hold off buying, I’ve just been in touch with Samsung about various issues with the watch.. GPS/ heart rate inaccuracies, missing/not working apps, no notifications, and now I just discovered that the offline Spotify does not allow shuffle…they are suggesting sending in for repair. I’m waiting on Ray a review but I suspect he will discover the same issues.

    • I’m hoping so. I’m struggling a bit more with getting data off the darn watch than I thought (out of S Health in a usable 3rd party format). I initially was using Fitness Syncer, but as I look more closely at the data I’m realizing it’s actually blending data from multiple sources. Seriously, it’s merging files together making the Samsung data look better than it is. Sigh…

    • Nathan

      It just seems like Samsung isn’t serious about building a fitness watch. They are serious about building a smart watch and trying to market it to the fitness crowd. The smart watch functions of the Gear line are quite good. The fitness stuff sucks. The only way i was able to get anything at all out of the S3 Frontier was to hook S-Health up with Mapmyrun and/or Strava. At least at this point it isn’t stuck in S-health, but good luck doing anything else with it.

      There was a developer that created a watch face called “sporty watch” in the samsung app store. His face had the ability to record runs/rides in straight up .fit files. You could then sync these to Google Drive, Strava, or transfer them off the watch directly via a web server if i remember correctly. He also had built in the ability to hook up to a BLE HRM. This face made the watch almost a decent running watch.

    • Alex

      Besides Sporty Wautch, another app called Run4Gear also do this function. The problem is that you have to pay for both apps and the design of them is not as good as an official app from Samsung or Endomondo. What I do not understand is how an individual can create a much better app than a whole team of programmers/designers… Makes no sense…

    • Nathan

      When i was talking with the Sporty Watch developer while i was beta testing for him, it became clear that no matter what he did he wouldn’t be able to make it look as nice or have as good of an interface as the standard apps because some of the hardware features were locked down and developers couldn’t use them.

      I may have been mistaken, i believe the sporty watch app was creating .tcx files, not .fit.

      I liked what he was doing and gave a lot of feedback, but his hands were tied by Samsung in a lot of cases. I took one run with the gear on one side and the fenix on the other and sold the gear on swappa the next day. With Samsung i felt like i was jumping through hoops to make it work “not great” for a fitness watch. I suspect that Ray is finding out how frustrating it is to work with the Samsung line if fitness tracking is your primary goal.

      On a side note, with the Gear Sport do you get an even remotely usable instant pace? The S3 Frontier would jump all over the place.

    • Alex

      Just for your information Ray, the Samsung Gear Sport has received a new update which supposedly fixes/calibrates all the watch sensors.. Tizen 3.0.1.. I do not know if it really makes any difference.

    • Hmm…for me when I have it check for software updates, says the latest update is already installed (3.0.0.).

  26. Gillian

    I too am interested in the Samsung Gear Sport for swimming. I’d like to know if it displays swimming information viewable during the swim. I currently have a poolmate and I can see laps, time etc. during my swim (I’m not great at remembering which lap I’m on so this is really helpful!) Trying to decide what to replace the poolmate with as I’d like to track outdoor swimming too.

  27. Julian Divett

    Ive got the update which means I now have the speedo app and a few things seem to work – notifications coming through, under armour apps working.

    I tested the built in swim app yesterday for an hour swim but there was not really much useful info on the watch – just distance and time. It seemed to log HR but there was a section which looks like it lost that for about 10minutes. Didnt even tell me how many lengths, lets hope the speedo app is better.

    Supposedly the sensors work better with this update too. Will do a run tomorrow and fingers crossed we will have some progress. Starting to believe again!

    • Aleksander H

      This is very interesting. Hopefully they fixed the issues. Really strange that none of the other reviews I’ve read have made any mention of issues with gps. even said the GPS was spot on, but for some reason they didn’t show any screenshots comparing the track with a different device. I thought that was strange as they’ve almost always done that in the past.

    • GPS is back to crap again for me.

      As for other sites, best I can tell nobody actually worked out with the thing. Or they considered walking around the block once for 2 minutes a workout.

    • Aleksander H

      Well. Looks like I’m definitely not getting this then. I guess I’ll continue to use my phone for step competitions with my friends on Samsung Health.

      I’ll definitely be contributing $20 to the site with my next pay check (I’m already paying for the analyzer software which has been great by the way). This site is a tremendous resource. No one else seems to do the kind of reviews you do. Keep it up :).

    • Julian Divett

      Totally agree – just ran my regular 12.38k run which I’ve measured using several devices over many years, Well the Samsung thought it was 11.5k. Not even close! How can they sell this as a sports watch with that level of inaccuracy… Have you had any feedback from Samsung?

    • Thanks all!

      The Samsung person I’ve touched bases with is in another division coordinating response from the correct Samsung division, but the correct Samsung division hasn’t made contact yet back to me.

  28. Jasonandrew

    Are these issues also present on the S3? I can’t find a detailed review

    • Nathan

      My experience says yes. I had unreliable GPS and poor hr monitoring with my gear S3. Samsung pay and the other smartwatch features were pretty good, but it sucked as a fitness watch.

  29. Jason Peck

    I’m looking at the sport, S3, vivo 3, ionic…I run, bike, and would like the daily tracking sort of stuff. Phone is a Galaxy Note 8..whats my front runner?

  30. Barry Foster

    I’d be interested in hearing your opinion on this versus the Apple Watch 3. I’d also like to know your thoughts of this versus the gear s3 as I’m comparing them myself for purchase. I use an iPhone also.

    thanks much

  31. Barry Foster

    one other thing would be the Gear sport or S3 versus Apple with regards to heart rate variability and heart rate accuracy

  32. Brian Crow

    I prioritize Spotify offline more than most, perhaps, and I also already use a Samsung phone so I took a risk on this device with the hopes that the GPS might be better where I run in Prospect Park, Brooklyn, than it has been for others. I’m attaching a photo of a 7 mile out-and-back run I did yesterday with this watch, hopefully folks can see how significant the GPS issues are with this device. I wore an old TomTom Runner on my other hand, which cost me less than $100 3 years ago, and by the end of the run they were about .3 miles off. I can’t seem to attach both files to this post so I will try and attach the TomTom map in a separate post. Not only was the GPS massively off, but also I began the run at 38% battery life and the watch died before it could even finish this sub 1 hour run. I had Spotify on the whole time, but still it appears that you could not do a 3 hour run with Spotify on with this watch even if you started at 100%. I will note that I really liked everything else about this watch, Spotify worked great for me and it was very well-designed especially if you already have a Samsung phone. It’s a shame about the GPS, and the battery life. All the reviews I read said the battery life was fine, but many of the Amazon reviews indicated the same issues I had.

    • Julian Divett

      I had the same issue with spotify – seems to really hammer the battery. Did you have screen on all the time during your run. I noticed that also has a big effect on battery drain. I also turn off wifi, to sync a spotify playlist you need wifi so you have to remember to turn it off afterwards.

      Weirdly on bike rides it seems pretty accurate I did a 40k bike ride yesterday and it was within a few hundred meters of a Suunto and Bike computer. At least that gives hope that this is a software issue.

      I will be trying out the speedo app later this week in the pool – the only concern is that it seems to be standalone, so not sure what you do with the data.

    • Brian Crow

      I did not have the screen always on, but I did not turn off the wifi. It would be annoying to have to turn wifi off before every run, but I certainly think it would help with the battery issues.

      I’m surprised it was accurate with biking, for me it was so inaccurate I can’t imagine it working for any reasonable GPS tracking activity.

      I genuinely hope it’s a software issue, as I mentioned I really liked the watch but for the GPS and battery issues and am sad that I will be returning it.

  33. Brian Crow

    As mentioned in my previous post, here’s the same run with my old TomTom Runner.

    • Alex

      Is a pity to see how different the opinions are about the sport watch performance. There is people satisfy with the GPS and people experiencing many problems. From my experience with the Samsung Gear S3, sometimes it gets the data right but sometimes is a disaster. I believe is a matter of software more than hardware because using some external user apps like Run4Gear/Sporty Watch, everything seems fine…

      Is strange nobody is mentioning the issues in the many reviews you can find on Internet. I even visited many forums and people seemed happy with the device. Probably nobody did a serious sport analysis and many users do not really check the map/data after an sport session.

      About the battery, I never had any problems and I’m very happy how long it last. I do not use spotify but music downloaded directly into the watch..

  34. Brian Crow

    I too am confused by how this seems to be a major issue for some but not others, I had hoped it was a geographic issue and that perhaps I’d get lucky and it would be accurate in Brooklyn, but that wasn’t the case. I suspect many reviewers don’t run with any level of seriousness and wouldn’t notice a tenth of a mile off every 2 miles (that was the rate of inaccuracy for my run). Some folks just do their morning run and don’t really care about anything other than the broadest sense of how far they went.

    I’d be surprised if Spotify was causing more battery drain than downloaded music, I would think the Bluetooth usage would be the culprit. But as I mentioned in another post, perhaps it was that I didn’t turn wifi off. Regardless, I’m returning mine due to the GPS issues, don’t want to run any more tests and risk accidentally damaging it.

    • I think the answer is honestly really simple: Most other reviewers are focused on the non-sport parts of the Gear Sport.

      I see it a lot in non-fitness reviews. Doing a single indoor 10 minute ‘workout’ and saying ‘it looks good’, without any comparative data. Or going for a walk to the nearest Starbucks and back as a workout, where said Starbuck is across the street.

      Fear not, I’ll have close to 2 weeks of workout data in the mix.

  35. Tom

    I am waiting for your review. Like others have said reviews on the internet are limited. A few years ago this site helped me choose the M400. I have enjoyed that watch for the last 3 years. Now it;s time for something new. I had the M600 for me and the Vivoactive 3 for my wife in the shopping cart at clever training but am very curious about the S3 Gear. I have always used polar flow and I like the lay out. I didn’t know you could transfer data from S health to strava. I just created a strava account and like it as well…. so now I can get an S3 and transfer data to strava? I just put a pause on my purchase. I can’t afford several watches so I choose one I can use every day. I like the M600 except for the look. Other then that it seems like a nice watch…… but the S3 looks very nice (like the round face) just wonder how it does on runs on a tread mill lifting weights etc…… thanks to all that have one and have posted in here it helps….. also frustrating lol

    • Barry

      I bought the vivoactive 3 and returned it as it just didn’t have the visual clarity the Samsung or Apple Watch do. I could visually see the difference and was t willing to spend 329 for something with a screen that wasn’t as good

    • Nathan

      Make sure you test either of the other options in full sunlight. The Gear S3 has a fantastic screen and i’m sure the Sport is awesome as well, but occasionally the auto brightness would freak out when i’d lift my wrist to look at the while while running. The screen would stay pretty dim and as a result you couldn’t read any of the content. I’d end up covering the screen (to shut it off) with my hand and then raising my wrist again several times to get the screen on with brightness high enough to be of any use in direct sunlight. This behavior was highly annoying. Screen readability in direct sunlight matters, so make sure you test.

    • From a running standpoint, I’ve seen no issues with either the VA3 or Gear Sport in increda-bright sunlight. All good there.

    • Nathan

      That’s good to know. Maybe they have improved the functionality of the auto-brightness in the new sport. The screen on the Gear S3 gets plenty bright enough, just sometimes it wouldn’t kick into the bright sunlight “overdrive” mode that they build into these devices.

      Hopefully Samsung can fix some of the GPS and Sensor issues with their watch platform.

    • Sorry, yes, I know exactly what you’re talking about. I had that happen on a run last week. But hasn’t seemed to be a problem since. I don’t exactly what caused it.

    • John Lee

      Tom, avoid the Polar M600. Android Wear is a hot mess. I just returned mine. And the text is sooooo small.

  36. Zuhallem

    Is the Samsung Gear Fit2 Pro compatible with Garmin and Strava?

    • Marc Taylor

      Hello All

      Can anyone please tell me how the Gear Sport is working in the pool for measuring iaps? Has anyone done open water swimming and what does the watch show?

      Thank you very much

    • Julian

      Hi I’ve tested both the in built Samsung app and now the speedo app in the pool.

      Both apps were reasonably close on laps. I am in a club so we do drills, which can be changing strokes at half a length, intervals etc..probably makes things tricky so I can allow some leeway. The Samsung app attempted to read heart beat although not very accurate, lots of drop outs. The speedo app looks like it should measure hr but didn’t. I had hr turned off so perhaps you have to manually turn in on first. Other apps turn on hr automatically.

      I don’t understand the stats from speedo it shows 1h 06m, 110 lengths and 2750m which was close, but then shows I averaged 1.28 for 100m which is way out. It even showed 52s for my fastest 100m which is a bit optimistic!! Clearly some bugs to be ironed out. Also I haven’t found a way to get the data out of speedo into strava or mapmyfitness. For now the internal app looks better.

      Whilst swimming I don’t tend to look st the watch but if you press a button you get laps and distance I think.

      I’ll try and do an open water soon, need to dust of the wetsuit, I live in the south of France but the sea is getting cold!

    • Marc Taylor

      Thank you very much

  37. advaitasiva

    are you going to review the Samsung gear fit pro 2?
    thanks for your hard work and discipline

  38. Jburnaa

    I haven’t read all the replies, but I’m a longtime gear S2 LTE user. I can probably answer most of your questions based on nearly 2 years with the S2. The watches are nearly identical in functionality.

    TLDR: I now rely on a Polar M430 for running. The Gear S2/3/Sport line is not up to snuff.

    Quick tip. Use SyncMyTracks app in order to get your data onto other platforms. Once there, you’ll likely see that runs initiated with the S Health app on the watch don’t translate the gpx data accurately. I believe the data IS there…. It’s just jumbled up by Tizen somehow. Using Endomondo from the watch yields much better results, and when synced across platforms via SyncMyTracks there is consistency. BUT… getting Endomondo to actually start up and not crash from the Gear is an excercise in frustration.

    My wife is using a Gear Fit2 right now…. Endomondo seems to run much more reliable on that device.

    Feel free to ask more questions.

    My advice though, Gear is a great smartwatch…. Not a great running watch though.

    • Jeremiah

      I found the same thing on the Gear Sport that Endomondo on the watch gives better data but after 4 activities, Endomondo lost 2 out of the 4 activities and they never made it to the app even though the watch told me they were synced, I gave up on that.

    • Joseph

      Can you let me know whether the S3 can be used as an external HR monitor in Endomondo. I use Endomondo on my phone (S8+) to run and cycle and a Garmin ANT+ sensor.

      Can you confirm I can turn off the S3’s HR sensor and use the Garmin HR instead whilst still outputting the Garmin HR data to the S3?


  39. Matt Funk

    Have had this watch for 3 days now.

    I like the screen and the overall appearance and I got a good deal as in Canada Best Buy is currently selling the sport for $299.99, I really want to like this watch but…

    Two runs on treadmill and I am pretty frustrated. I can’t really look at the watch face while running, it is constantly shutting off when I’m looking at it; I press a button to bring the screen back and it goes off again. Has anyone else run into this and is there a fix?

    Also, the HR data can be all over the place. Three minutes ago it said 130 and now it says 71. Its crazy making. I was using a $80 CAD Amazfit Bip and it was more accurate and consistent. In fact the GPS on that watch was dead-on. Haven’t had the weather to try this one yet.

    Another problem, when listening to music (via my phone, haven’t downloaded or tried spotify) if I get a notification or an interval alert the music stops and I have to manually start it up which is very difficult because the watch face wants to shut off every time I’m about to press it.

    Some of the smart-watch features are great and like I said the screen is very nice but if the HR is going to be like this and the GPS is as bad as what others have said then it is going back.


    • Julian Divett

      What app are you using for running? With mapmyrun the screen seems to stay on so I’ve not had that problem.
      Music on the watch works fine either in spotify or the built in player – notifications pause then restart ok.
      I’ve had a better heart rate on my last couple of runs – there was a update and I use mapmyrun, I have the watch on pretty tight too.
      GPS is still pretty bad though – yesterday I ran in a city and it was over 100m out at some points. The end distance was ok but when you look at the map is it just hopeless at times. You wish it would have some internal maps which it could reference to correct the tracking.

    • Matt Funk

      I am also using Map My Run. Two more tries on the treadmill and I think I’ve had it with this watch. If I have continuous HR on I don’t even get 20hrs out of a charge, withourt ever turning on GPS or always on display.

      I think I’m going back to my cheap Chinese Amazfit. I get 3 weeks on that battery using GPS 3x a week and running continuous HR.

    • Paul Mares

      it sounds like you have a duff product, I’ve had the gear sport for 2 weeks now with HR on continuous, I worked out 3 x week for approx 1 hour at the gym and log drinks steps etc throughout the day. with this use I get min 2 days charge, it would probably stretch to 3 but I don’t wear for bed so charge it.

      Regarding the HR, I see the tracking as pretty good.

      I haven’t tried the GPS yet.

      Previously I’ve used Garimin, I’ve had the 910, 735 and fenix 3, all great watches.

      It all depends on the level of data you need

    • Julian Divett

      I agree – the battery life just using the basic watch features is ok – 1% per hour I’d say with HR off and screen saver on.

      I reckon if you have gps running that takes around 10-15% per hour,
      Listening to music via bluetooth another 10-15% per hour.

      I average 1.5 hours of workout per day and tend to listen to music/podcasts for up to 2 hours, I normally give it a 1hr charge in the morning whilst I load up my latest podcasts, this seems to be enough. I do think a 4 hour bike ride with bluetooth would probably be the limit though, but I’d probably take my phone for that anyway.

    • Jeremiah

      For me the HR tracking was very good (almost as good as my Garmin VA3) with one BIG exception. When it’s tracking, it’s great but it often loses the HR and just won’t track for a while. Deal breaker for me.

  40. Rui

    Looking forward for this review, i only trust your reviews. 🙂

  41. Barry

    Samsung just released an update for the Gear Sport and the Gear S3. i’m downloading it now to update the watches to see if they improve things. i would encourage everyone else to do the same


    i look forward to hearing from your review the results.

    thanks much


  42. Chris

    Hey all, I have done 4 runs with the sport so far and the GPS seems to be good for me based on the same runs i did on my Fenix 3. The main problem i have is using S Health for my activities the screen does not stay on during the run so i have to tap the screen or turn the bezel which is frustrating coupled with the average pace seemingly having to gain momentum from me turning the screen on again to display correctly as when i get the audio prompts on my progress the average pace is spot on compared to the Fenix 3. Odd.

    Has anyone figured out how to keep the display on during a run? I have ‘always on’ on so its not that.

    • Did you take your phone with you on those runs?

    • Chris

      No, was just my watch as I’m only wanting the data from the gear sport.

    • Matt Funk

      I also made it outside today to test the GPS. On a 400m track it was about +30m over 2k using the app it comes with. I had left my phone at home so it was all watch.

      I also still cannot read the watch except for brief flashes while actually running. I haven’t figured out how to work around this issue.


    • Chris

      Hi Matt,

      Regarding the GPS I find that an acceptable margin. Do you use the audio promps and if so did you notice differences between that and what the watch screen displays?

      Yeah the screen timeout is really frustrating, surely they will fix that issue.

  43. mario thibau

    Hello!!! As a runner I am a very good swimmer, so I am anxious to hear from you about the gear sport performance in the pool and open waters. I am pretty sure that for running it must be similar to the others (garmin, tomtom,..).
    Let us know soon your opinion about it.

  44. Andreas

    Today I purchased a Samsung gear sport (on sale for $250), and also got the huawei watch 2 (only because it was on blackfriday sale for $180). Wanted to compare how well the two watches perform and then return one of them.

    Only had them for a few hours, but I managed to get some runs…and I can confirm that the Gear sport gps is really bad (as Ray has reported so far). On a 5K run, the Gear sport watch recorded 180m less compared to the Huawei watch. The real time pace of the Gear sport was laughable, with readings that did not make sense (despite that the average readings on the km were much better). Even after the run, when I exported the data from the S health and imported them into runtastic, the gps route on the map was way off the road I was running.

    I run in central park (NY) for the last 6 years now and I know every single bend (so I can tell how far and how fast I’m going). The readings of the Huawei watch were so much more believable and the map data were much closer to the road i was running (but not perfect). I also enjoyed a lot the metrics I got from the Huawei health (with VO2 max estimation). I also downloaded the runtastic app, which was great to have (the good part of the android wear).

    Don’t get me wrong, the samsung Gear sport is an excellent smartwatch. It is the one that I will probably end up keeping, but that is because is a better smartwatch (compared to Huawei) and much easier to operate and understand (the interface of android wear is a mess). But anyone that wants a good gps watch…don’t get the samsung gear sport (actually the Huawei watch 2 is a bargain for $180….if you don’t care about the mess of Android wear)

    I will do some more testing with the endomondo app in the samsung gear…but I’m not too optimistic. I think their gps antenna is either weak….or the metal frame of the watch interferes with the signal!

    Looking forward for your review Ray

    • Barry

      Did you update the sport to the latest release before you did your comparison? if not i would do that and then rerun with it noticing if there are any improvements

    • John Lee

      Agree with Android Wear being a hot mess. I returned my Polar M600 just for the sheer idiocy of the Android Wear file management. Putting music in the watch was a nightmare. The menu interface was inefficient. It was just too awful.

  45. Andreas

    Yeah, the Gear sport got the update as soon as i switched it on. I doubled checked and it was indeed running the latest version. Still the GPS was bad. I did a smaller 3k run and the Samsung gear sport was all over the place. The live pace information in particular was very bad. But the pace problem I believe is more of a software/filtering issue, because when I saw the data in S health the numbers were closer to the Huawei watch

  46. Chris

    After alot of mulling it over i’ve decided to take my gear sport back and hope to exchange. The fact the screen doesn’t stay on during a run, the pace being wild going from 11.30 to 7.30 and GPS being unreliable I just cant use it confidently. Its amazing having a great screen and using the offline music function. That alone nearly convinced me to keep it but overall i want a device that is accurate and reliable so either going for the vivoactive3 or the FR935 as coming from a Fenix 3 these seem a logical choice!

    • Jason

      Thank you for advice Chris. I’ve found this to be one of the harder product choices I’ve ever had to make. It’s as if every watch is missing one feature I want. I was trying to decide between the vivoactive 3 and the spark 3 plus cardio plus music. Music is my biggest motivator. I purchased jaybird X3’s which I love.
      The Tomtom can store music but I realized I’d rather just use my spotify subscription. My (preferred) criteria are: not be an apple product, ability to play spotify without my phone, accurate GPS, cycling mode that has auto pause, HRM chest strap connectivity, decent software to track and show progress, easy to navigate while working out. For now it looks like this watch doesn’t exist so I guess it’s the Vivoactive 3 (does it at least act as a spotify remote for my phone?) and a search for a waist belt to carry my samsung S7 running. Not ideal.

      Thanks again

    • Jburnaa

      Unfortunately a software update isn’t going to fix your biggest issues with the watch. The screen timeout is by design and is the exact same function that’s been on the Gear S2 & S3. They consider it to be a feature to save battery.

      The GPS thing is weird. Like has already been stated, if you take the .gpx file and upload it to anther service, then the plot seems a little more accurate.

    • Chris

      Hi Jason, yeah it’s a tough one as I really want to like the gear but the issues I stated make it too frustrating to use as a sport watch. I believe the vivoactive3 does have music control and I use a spie belt to put my phone in (s7 edge) which is great.

      Looks like we will have to wait for the watch that does it all!

    • John Lee

      Ditto. A non-Apple device is an important criteria. I have the VivoActive 3 and I loathe having to lug around my phone just to listen to the music. I really, really wanted the Samsung Gear Sport to be THAT ONE – running, swimming watch with spot on GPS and my commute watch to listen to music and check my phone for SMS and calls. Alas, I don’t have to wait for Ray’s reviews to know the following:
      1. The time display is not always on which is super important.
      Or if it is, it’s only that watch face which I don’t like.
      2. The GPS sucks.
      Oh well, non-starter.

  47. Aleksander H

    Does anyone know what the battery life is like when piggybacking on a phones GPS? Imagine the gear sport has 100% battery, one is using the optical hr, and ignoring the battery of the phone doing the GPS tracking, how long would one be able to go for?

  48. John 1045

    Can you read “what’s app” ‘s on the gear sport.

  49. Chris

    Hi John, yes you can read whats app on the sport bit just the lastest message sent. I just returned my sport yesterday and have went for the fenix 5. Massive price difference but as i used to have a fenix 3 everything else feels below par on all accounts. The FR935 would be a go to but i want the more rugged look!

  50. Steve

    I know this is a little off subject DC but will you be including strength training in your review. I only ask because I came from Android Wear to tizen and that is the one thing I miss with Android wear is the depth of strength training options vs. Tizen and on that note if anyone knows of a future update for strength training please let me know.

  51. Robin Mukherjee

    Hi DC. I am stuck between Vivoactive 3 vs Ionic vs Gear Sport. Only your Gear Sport review can help me 🙂

    • I’ve yet to find much positive when it comes to sports on the Gear Sport. Heck, even trying to get latest firmware is failing miserably. Gonna spend some time trying to troubleshoot it tonight.

    • Robin Mukherjee

      Hi DC. Oh what a shame 🙁 I really liked how it looked but that is not the reason for purchasing a smartwatch. I do not like the boxy design of Ionic but love it’s software, simplicity and user base and your review of Vivoactive 3 is pushing me in that direction too, though I am finding it’s display a little washed out so not sure. Now I am really confused.

    • Barry

      I found the vivoactive 3 to washed out for me compared to the Apple Watch and the Gear sport. I returned it. I’m not going to spend that kind of money on something that is not bright enough in my estimation. it’s dimness is worth at most 179.99

    • Ultimately your changing battery life for screen brightness.

    • Robin Mukherjee

      Hi DC. Do you think increasing the brightness on Vivoactive 3 helps with the colors? I mean it might brighten up the screen but all the pics on your review and even the ones on their website look somewhat dull (not brightness but rather the colors look pale).

    • Jeremiah

      If you are anyone else is interested, I’m currently testing all three also trying to make a decision. Here are some rough notes I’ve made so far: link to

      But in short:
      Gear Sport: Great screen, awesome smart watch, great battery life (for a smart watch), good heart rate but sometimes loses HR, GPS good but I always have my phone so I think it might be using my phone. App and ecosystem are really lacking. Data exported from app is horrible. Using other syncing apps, you can get better data but it’s no where near as details as Garmin/fitbit data.

      Fitbit Ionic: Awesome screen!! Seriously you can see this screen in the sunlight better than the Garmins. HR is almost always 10-30bpm low for me. Notifications suck. Smart watch functions barely exist. App and ecosystem better than Samsung but super buggy (ios app is better than android app). I really wish they’d improve things here because the screen on this thing is amazing. oh and batter life is amazing. Four hours into the day yesterday, battery was still at 98%!

      Garmin VA3: Very utilitarian but it just works. hr was dead on compared to a chest strap. app/ecosystem is fantastic. Battery lasts for days. If you could use the Ionic form factor with Garmin software and accuracy, we’d be all set! If only!

  52. Jordan Keil

    I would like to be notified when you post your review of the Samsung Gear Sport.

  53. Chris

    Having had a fenix 3 then sold that to a mate and got a gear sport which I used for 2 weeks and took back and now have a fenix 5. I should not have moved over to samsung, it basically comes down to accuracy of activity tracking or having a very nice display with great smart features. Having had both I can confirm if you’re more into sport tracking just go with a garmin or similar calibre but if display and smart features are your thing go with samsung or similar.

    • Nathan

      This is exactly where I ended up on the Gear S3 Frontier. I got tired of trying to make it work as a decent running watch (and charging it all the time). I ended up with a Fenix 5x and haven’t regretted it one bit. The smartwatch stuff is nice on the Gear line, but the more I used it for sports, the more I was frustrated. I picked up a Fenix and did a run with it on the opposite wrist from the Gear S3. It only took one run to realize how much better designed the Garmin line is for active use.

  54. Jason

    I finally made a decision and purchased the vivoactive 3. I usually try and figure things out on my own without reading instructions. I found the vivoactive 3 to be fairly intuitive. Today was my first full day with the watch. I was able to set everything up including spotify control, interfacing with my phones messaging and calls (speaker and microphone would be nice) workout menu, synching with treadmill and so on…but damn, I’m going to have to read up on the strength training widget. I can’t figure out how to use it properly. I’ve been really happy with the watch. I walked over 25k steps today at Disneyland and it was nice to have my phone tucked away and have my wrist vibrate when I got a call or read a text from my wife. I also like the end of the day stats at a glance. Shows your workouts, steps, calories, stairs climbed or whatever else you would like to include. I also liked the live pace feature while running. Now, If garmin would just get internal storage for music and shove a Mic and speaker in there, it would be the perfect watch for me.

    • Julian Divett

      I’ve had this watch about 4 weeks and used it for running swimming and cycling. My view is that as a basic sports tracker it does a reasonable job. Yes the gps is a bit off and live pace is useless. I’ve been swimming with someone who has a garmin and both our watches are not great at distance in the pool, probably because we do drills and sets which I think messes with the algorythms.

      I think it boils down to whether you want a full on sports watch or more of an activity tracker/smartwatch. For me I am ok with keeping a log of my activities and having music/podcasts on the go. I’m not so sure if I had a garmin I’d really spend much time analysing my performance.

      For sure it has its faults but it is very easy to use and looks quite nice. Having said that when Garmin eventually adds music functionality I would definitely look closely.

  55. Jordan

    So I went ahead and purchased the Samsung Gear Sport.

    Here is some background… Historically, I’ve used an Apple Watch Series 2 for indoor and outdoor running since its release. The distance tracking both indoor and outdoor has been very accurate for me when using GPS or not. Maybe because my strides are really consistent, or maybe because I have hundreds of runs with GPS on the same path… Either way a 5.00 mile run on my typical path will register at 4.96 miles without GPS enabled.

    Now for Samsung Gear Sport; thus far I’ve done 10 indoor runs and 2 outdoor runs as it is too cold for me to run outside and have any fun.

    Outdoor: The Sport will register my outdoor, GPS, enabled runs & walks with great accuracy. The map details the exact path, to include turns that I took without any squiggles. When I disabled the GPS on my walk only (i’ll try a run tomorrow morning), it registered a .25 mile walk (I did four test .25 mile walks) at .23 miles each time whereas GPS hit .24 each time… so over a mile you lose nearly a tenth of a mile in accuracy.

    Indoor: Over the course of 10 indoor 2 mile runs without any breaks or pauses, the sport has never registered better than .58 miles in total distance during each 2 mile run… which is extremely annoying. Also, I ran 20 sets of double flight stairs with credit for 3 flights in total….

    Maybe indoor is worse because I’ve not calibrated the way through GPS use enough?

  56. A-lo

    I have googled my fingers off trying to figure this out before I buy the Gear Sport, but is it possible to create interval training workouts either on the watch itself or by syncing from a smartphone? I use interval training for my runs and gym workouts but so far, I haven’t found any convincing internet info that this is easy to do or possible at all on the Gear Sport.

    I was looking forward to the Gear Sport because it seemed like it would hit that sweet spot of flexible fitness watch/tracker and attractive smartwatch that could be worn while working out or going to the office, but it seems like the performance is not acceptable and the functionality is too limited. I think Google needs to just create the ideal smartwatch for Wear 3.0, similar to what they did with the Pixel smartphone.

  57. Aleksander H

    Well, I decided to get one despite the talk of lousy GPS accuracy. The fact is I love Tizen as a smartwatch os. I’ve looked at a few android wear watches, and I just don’t like android wear. I find it clunky and ugly. I also have 12 friends on Samsung Health with whom I compete with regularly with step challenges. So I’ve decided to use the Gear Sport for activity tracking and smartwatch smarts and continue to use my TomTom Spark for running. I’ll just have to put up with having one on each wrist when running :p. Who knows, maybe the GPS problems will get fixed with an update at some point. Also, Spotify without a phone sounds awesome.

  58. petdev

    Gear Sport GPS gives me very consistently 3.5 % less distance than certified running track; tested on 4 different tracks from 7 to 15 km. Time/avg. speed per km need therefore same correction, which is annoying. Graphs shown for speed and pace rather inconsistent; swings are too large. Would like to enter own heartrate zones.
    1-hour run takes about 20 % of battery (WIFI always on, GPS only on during run, no music); otherwise about 1 % per hour.
    Otherwise nice watch in use, but annoying on point of GPS-accuracy if you use it for running.
    Should be solved in software by Samsung….Come on guys!

  59. petdev

    Additional: Shown track of runs on the map to me looks fine and accurate, also after transfer to phone.
    Stairs: 1 floor at my place is about 2.80 m.; Taking the stairs does not count, unless I raise my hand to the ceiling once upstairs. Would be nice if I could reset to count at say 2.75 m instead of 3.00 m.

  60. John 1045

    Is the review coming before X-Mas , i can’t wait to choose my present 😉 Gear Sport or Vivoactive 3

  61. Andreas

    Just had a second update on my Gear Sport (after the big update), claiming to improve ‘Distance estimation’ within other things. Update was small, but surprised to see it.
    Did anyone else got this update, and did it improve anything in GPS accuracy? I did not have any time to test it yet

  62. PetDev

    Have not yet seen this small update. Building on my earlier remarks:
    Zooming in on the route-map, it looks like I cut corners. (the routes were in woody areas, taking numerous turns, and curved paths). From other forums I gather that Strava/Runkeeper … try to match GPS with the roads and paths on the map, thus trying to avoid cutting corners. Also it seems like Samsung GPS may measure GPS at some longer intervals.
    1 GPS exact point every 10 seconds.
    Case 1:
    Say a 400m athletics track takes 2 minutes to round, of which 1 minute straight, 1 minute on the bends. Then it will split the bend circle in 6, and would measure (6*1)/(2*3.14) *200m = 191m. Per hour 30*9=270 meter short on 12 km or 2.25 %.
    If the speed goes up to 18 km it would measure the bends to be(4*1.4142)/(2*3.14) *200m = 180m. Per hour 30*20=600 meter short on 18 km or 3.33 %.
    Case 2:
    Speed 10.8 km or 3 m/s, GPS again every 10 seconds.
    If the GPS-point is exactly at a 90 degree turn, measurement is OK. If the turn is exactly between two GPS-points, the distance measured will be 1.4142*30m/2= 21m. On average each turn will thus be 9/2= 4.5m short. A U-turn on average will be 15m short.
    Taking a turn every 200m, and 2 U-turns in total, and you’re short by 54*4.5+2*15=273 meter short on 10.8 km or 2.5%. (Same with turn every 150m = 354 meter short or 3.3%.)
    Above is all theory, however it shows the influence of speed, curves/turns/direction changes, and GPS-intervals. The hardware puts the GPS coordinates in a file. Three people running the same track with the same hardware, but at different speed will measure different distances. Feed the coordinates to three different apps, and you’ll have 9 different distances.
    The challenge in the software is to correct for these variables that influence one another, and some apps seem to do that better than others. In particular the GPS exact intervals should be made as short as possible in the software.
    The lost meters in curves and turns explain while average speed/split times fluctuate more in the graph than in reality. A 3.3% deviation will turn 5:00/km into 5:10/km.
    Clear that Samsung Health is less accurate, but I don’t know if that is due to the app. or due the GPS-interval, as I have no idea how these compare to other watches. In both cases it is a matter of software in my opinion.

    Hope this gives some insight in the difficulties of exact distance measurement with GPS, and the challenges for the softwaremakers.

    • Julian Divett

      Thanks for sharing this – I’ve definitely seen that accuracy is more of a problem in trail running, I have a standard 12.4k trail (measured on several phones over 5 years), the samsung has measured it as 11.3, 11.4,11.4, 11.9,11.6….so on average about 800m short. At the same time I have a regular road bike route I do which I’ve measured at 29k and the Samsung has shown 28.1, 28.4 so much closer although still low.

      So this ties in with your theory because the road biking has fewer tight bends where it will cut corners.

      Hopefully they reduce the interval in the update which I’ve not got – when I do I will let you know if things are better.

  63. Barry

    looks like Samsung did another update on the watch. hopefully this one fixes the HR accuracy and the GPS.

  64. PetDev

    I can not find out if there was an update, as my watch is on auto-update.
    However I did a run and a short biketour today. I also loaded the app GPX-viewer on my phone. Afterwards I loaded all the GPX-files in the viewer, and it may be Samsung is now much more accurate (100% accuracy will never be there).
    The GPX viewer shows also the number of datapoints on the GPS, which is nice, cause it enables calculation of the average GPS intervals in seconds (Time in seconds divided by datapoints).
    Let me share the data:

    Date Gear S km GPXviewer km diff. % Interval in sec
    nov26run 9.49 9.775 -2.92 8.20
    dec02run 9.56 9.814 -2.59 6.47
    dec03run 6.56 6.717 -2.24 7.10
    dec12run 8.47 8.535 -0.76 6.97
    dec12ride 6.76 6.720 +0.60 5.48

    As you can see the last two sets look much better, than the first three, so if this is due to an update of Samsung Health or other Gear Sport software, this should be confirmed by future runs. Would be nice if somebody can confirm these findings with his own runs/rides.

  65. Mike

    Tried running my Gear Sport on left wrist and Garmin 235 on the other, over 3k the Gear Sport using the SHealth running app was about 50m ahead of the Garmin.
    I then turned back and tried the MapMyRun app on the Gear Sport and after the 3km it was more than 0.5km behind the Garmin!!

    I suppose the good thing about this is that it suggests it’s a software issue that can be fixed as it seems to vary wildly. I will try again later with the Endomondo app this time and the Garmin on the other wrist.

    I do hope Samsung can fix this, i’m not sure how you can release a ‘sport’ watch without some level of QA to make sure it’s accurate…

  66. Aleksander H

    The fact that all these issues went more or less unnoticed by other reviewers shows just how important this site is. I spent yesterday looking over reviews from other sources again, and practically no one tests the sports aspect properly. Despite it being a sports watch. If none of the reviews bring up the issues, then Samsung will have no incentive to fix them. We need reviews by people who know what their doing when it comes to fitness and sports trackers. No one else seems to come close to the quality of the work you do Ray Maker. Keep it up!

    One site I’ve been a regular reader of over the last two years, which gave the Samsung Sport a good review and called the GPS spot on, never approved my comment asking for more info on GPS performance. I’ve posted comments on many of their articles before, and my comments always appear after an hour or two. When I asked questions about the GPS performance, both on Gear Sport and Gear Fit 2 Pro article, none of them appeared. Almost as if they don’t want it discussed. Weird. I’ve more or less stopped reading their site now.

  67. PetDev

    Every GPS is “spot on” (within a few meters), as it is the satellites giving the data, not the watch.
    However the next step is how the software calculates the route. If you draw straight lines between the GPS-points, you’ll find the problems I’ve shown earlier. So there should be some correction, by either matching effort to most likely existing paths, and or reconstruct by taking various GPS points to assume direction changes, likely curves and turns taken, etc…
    If you put 3 identical watches on the same arm, they still will have differences, as they don’t connect to GPS at exactly the same points/intervals.
    If you feed one GPX file to different apps, you’ll get differences in result as well, because of how they interpret the data, and correct for change of direction etc..
    Garmin, TomTom, Apple and others are inaccurate as well, but depending the software that they use they seem to be closer. This is app-related, not watch-related. I do not know the differences in GPS-frequency between watches, but that is still a software (firmware?) issue.
    I frequently do organized runs on certified tracks, and often people tell me the track is short by xx meters, based on their GPS-reading. They assume their GPS is exact. Yes, that goes for the individual spots measured, but not for the calculated track distance.

  68. Dan Kim

    Hello. I’m a casual runner(about 30k a week) looking for a GPS watch to check my current pace while running.

    After reading most of the comments here, is it safe to assume the Gear Sport’s current pace function is not reliable for running?

    If that is the case then that’s a big disappointment for me, cause I pretty much like everything else about the Gear Sport;
    the music storage function so I don’t have to carry my phone during runs
    the price(FYI the Garmin products where I live are *crazy* expensive, like up to $300 more expensive. You’d have to pay about $580 for a vivoactive the Gear Sport’s price is very appealing),
    the compact design etc.

    But if a GPS watch fails to show a reliable running pace, I see no point in having one in the first place.. at least in my point of view.
    Unless Samsung fixes the problem(assuming it’s a software issue of course) guess I’ll have to pass the Gear Sport for now 🙁

  69. PetDev

    Some very good links on GPS accuracy;
    link to
    link to
    Looking at these data, Samsung Gear Sport isn’t less reliable than other brands.

    • Neither link even mentions the Samsung Gear Sport, unless my browser isn’t happy somehow.

    • PetDev

      No, doesn’t mention Gear Sport.
      I gave the links, to show more background on accuracy of GPS in general. If the range of discrepancy is up to 6%, then Gear Sport is not worst (nor best). I get up to 4 % discrepancy in wooded areas with turns and bends, while on straight tracks it can be as close as 1%. I participated a 15km certified run this weekend with few bends, and clear sky and my Gear Sport showed 14.78; Others with TomTom, or Garmin had similar distances, but none equal.
      I like my Gear Sport for a lot of reasons, in spite of the inaccuracy on GPS.
      If you look for a watch that is exact on GPS, it isn’t there, so It’s up to potential buyers, whether they can live with this, as other brands have equal problems.

    • The problem with Fellrnr’s methodology is that he uses smart recording on Garmin devices, which means he’s only getting a fraction of the data points. When you do that and then try and do statistical analysis on it, it completely falls apart.

      Generally speaking, for accuracy these days you’re looking at +/- 1-2% ,with the better units being at the +/- 1% range. Wooded areas can be an outlier though, which can reduce accuracy. Unfortunately, that’s pretty much the only terrain that Fellrnr tests (which is fine to do for trail runners, but extrapolating that to other terrain isn’t useful).

    • Dan Kim

      Pet Dev, does your Gear Sport show ‘current pace’ in a steady manner?

      I frequently see reviews pointing out that the Gear Sport’s ‘current pace’ fluctuates a lot
      hence I’m reluctant to buy a Gear Sport.

      I don’t think ‘GPS accuracy’ would be an issue.
      There is a video where someone ran 31.10 miles wearing Gear S3, a Garmin Forerunner 735XT, Apple Watch 2 and all three watches showed very similar distances.(31.19miles, 31.10miles, 31.34miles)
      That difference I can live with and I’d assume the Gear Sport would be better than
      the Gear 3s in the video since the video was shot a year ago.(software update, better hardware etc)

      So yeah, I think the Gear Sport’s GPS accuracy would be fine for me
      just curious whether the ‘current pace fluctuating thing’ is too bad..

      PS. the video link I mentioned : link to

    • Aleksander Helgaker

      With that accuracy I would be more than happy. I’ve ordered one anyway as I really like Tizen on smartwatches.

      Current pace was always crap on my TomTom Spark as well, so I’m rather used to that :p. Would be nice if they added support for ble foot pods to increase pace accuracy. All the training plans in Samsung Health for running base themselves on pace, so it would be useful for those that use them to actually have an accurate pace.

  70. Aleksander Helgaker

    Do any of the apps, either Samsung Health or the UA apps, support the use of a foot pod? Would be nice for treadmill runs.

  71. PetDev

    Re Pace:
    The steps per minute with my Gear Sport looks very steady during my runs. Also on the graphs.
    When you look at speed per km, it fluctuates quite a lot, depending the terrain.

  72. Zsolt

    Hi Ray,

    may we expect your review in these days (i.e. before X-mas) ?
    Or Samsung prayed heavily for postponing it until 2018 😉 ?


    • John 1045

      I was also waiting for the review , doubting between gear sport and garmin vivoactive : bought the gear sport 5 days ago … must say really impressive screen , for me one of the best things isthat you can download the frre program gear watch designer and create your awn watchface included “fastcuts” to your favourite apps … fantastic only for this worthe buying te gear sport … did a mountainbike single track ride mainly in the woods, with gear sport ( stand alone mode no phone connected and garmin edge 800 )
      Edge 800 : 42,3 KM gear sport 39, 9 KM , gear sport cut of some sharp corners , where i turned back and was only one time for 100 meters off the track.. reason ??? ( cold weather watch covered by 1 long wintersleeve + winterjacket )
      Heartrate seems oke for me..

    • John 1045

      Correction Edge : 42,3 KM gear sport 41,9 KM , excuse me for the bad englisch and writingfaults

    • Zsolt

      Thanks John.
      It seems perhaps the GPS inaccuracy has been fixed by a new firmware.
      Could you confirm that a Bluetooth HR strap can be paired with Gear Sport ?
      (as Ray experienced it in his comment #60)

    • John 1045

      For bluetooth HR strap connection ? can’t answer .i don’t have a bluetooth HR strap ,
      create your own watch face in ” screen always on situations” and you an constantly see your “performance”

    • John 1045

      ssee picture as “cutout” part of track

    • John 1045

      Own created “constant on watchface , updates constant

  73. Yannik

    I am about to buy a gear sport, va3 or maybe the huawei watch 2 for 170€.
    But still waiting for a helpful review of the gear sport 🙂

  74. Andreas

    Something a bit off topic, but has anyone tried to get the ‘remote connect’ function to work on the gear sport?
    I have tried everything (including resetting my watch and re-installing the gear manager app), but my watch will never connect remotely to my phone (even when they are both hooked up to the same wifi).
    I’m using an android phone, but it is not a samsung one. I hope the ‘remote connect’ feature is not only for samsung phone users

  75. Nick

    Dying to read this review! When will it be ready?

  76. Mike

    Just updated my gear sport to new firmware which explicitly says it fixes GPS measurement issues, will test tomorrow. Seems Samsung are acknowledging an issue at least.

    • mike

      Ok happy to report that post update of software R600XXU1AQK4 the GPS accuracy is much improved. I just completed a run with my Garmin 235 and the Gear Sport (using the Endomondo App).

      Endomondo: 5.09km
      Garmin: 5.05km

      Which is perfectly acceptable given the explanations earlier in this thread.

      Note I have chosen to use endomondo on my Gear Sport because I can then sync the run to various other places from there and don’t need to use the horror that is the SHealth app on my phone (which also destroys my phone’s battery life).

    • Aleksander H

      Have you had any issues with lost workouts when using endomondo on the Gear Sport? I’ve seen a couple of complaints about sync issues in the Gear app store reviews for the endomondo app.

    • Jeremiah

      I tried it 4 times. 2 out of the 4 expertises said they synced but dissappeared into the ethos. I don’t use emailing on the watch anymore. I submitted it with an app called sync my trqcks, later.

  77. Mad Hatman

    Hey it’s been about a month & 1/2 now since you put Gear Sport into the que! Christmas is only a week away. Any idea when we can expect the review?

  78. Jorge Villarreal

    DCR- Re the Samsung Gear Sport: a) is it compatible with ant + system/sensors? b) does it have microphone & speaker for phone conversations? c) Can it be used for amateur snorkeling, i.e. deeper than 5′ but likely no more than 20′? Does it have a virtual assistant? I look forward to your thorough and very useful review. Jorge

  79. Andreas

    After the latest update in the gear sport (and the positive comments I saw from other users) I decided to make one more run to see the ‘improved’ GPS performance.
    I had the Huawei Watch 2 sport on one hand and the gear sport on the other.
    Did multiple runs…but unfortunately the gear sport remains as bad as it used to be 🙁

    I’m attaching the gps route of one of the runs. I exported the gpx files from S Health (for gear sport) and from runtastic (for the Huawei) and displayed them both on the GPX viewer (green line gear sport, blue line Huawei).
    My run was in central park, where is very open, so signal should not be a problem.
    As you can see, samsung was off from the beginning (but not by much), until later in my run where it shows me going for a swim in the lake 🙂 And of course I don’t need to mention the current pace readings on the gear sport that is….laughable at best! Huawei Watch did way better on tracking my run (and showing me on the right path) and the current pace was believable. At the end, the Huawei watch recorded 3.98km, where the gear sport recorded 3.75km!

    It is a shame because the gear sport is a very good smartwatch….but if you are buying a watch to primarily track your runs I would suggest to look at different options!

    • John 1045

      Biggest mistake is tracking with samsunghealth use for example under armour app on your smartwatch…and do the same run again …today i went skiing with the gear sport tracking with ua record…5 hours skiing still 80 procent battery and the track looks great grtz

    • Jeremiah D Pierucci

      If you are using the “export” in samsung health, they only export a subset of the data points or something. I noticed this too. If I exported from samsung health and then imported to Edomondo, everything looked like crap. But if I use an app (in my case I use “SyncMyTrack” to sync it to Endomondo, it looks great.

    • Andreas

      John, I took your advice and did one more run in the park. Again the same set-up: gear sport on one hand, Huawei watch on the other. I used the endomondo app in the gear sport this time and runtastic on the Huawei. After the runs were synced, i exported the GPX files from the websites and loaded them to the GPX viewer to compare.

      Even if the difference in the total distance is small and acceptable (4.22km for gear sport and 4.79km for the Huawei), from the graph you can see that this was just luck. The Gear sport is showing me all over the place (according to the gear watch I went for a swim in the central lake again). Not surprised that the current pace readings from the Gear watch are so off, when gps readings are all over the place.

      The Huawei watch was not perfect either…but the current pace was believable and stable and the route much closer to what I did. I’m attaching the routes from the GPX viewer (green line – Huawei watch, Blue line Gear sport).

      At this point I think that the problem is weak gps hardware…but I might be completely wrong and is only software (I’m sure DC will give us more insight). Maybe is my watch that is faulty…or the central park is not a great place for gps signal 🙂

    • Aleksander Helgaker

      You lost only 20% in 5 hours? That sounds low. Are you sure the watch wasn’t piggy backing off your phones gps during this trip?

    • Mike

      Can you try using the Endomondo app on your next run?
      That’s what I used when I got an acceptable result.

      I don’t know how to do this but I would love to see the raw data from the samsung GPS, is it actually recording you are running in the lake or is there an algorithm smoothing it so it ends up looking like you were?

      As you mentioned, I really want to love this watch, it’s fairly good at most things it does but if its marketed as a sports watch and has bad GPS then…

      Two other annoyances that I don’t have a solution to:
      1. Sometimes when I get the every 1 km read out it stops my spotify I am streaming from the watch and I can’t get it back. It’s playing but never comes out of my earphones.
      2. I don’t know how to read multiple messages, so lets says I get 3 whatsapps from one person, I can only read the last one, I can’t find a way to read the previous ones also. Any ideas?

      Lastly, has anyone raised these GPS issues to Samsung?

    • Mike

      Ok I just did my own test, 5km, iphone 6s running Strava app in one hand, Gear Sport using the native shealth app in the other. At the end of the test the distance was practically identical, 5km Strava and 5.02 Samsung however I think Strava was at 5.2 when I pressed Finish and it rounded down.

      Samsung’s pace whilst running cannot be trusted, it’s all over the place and I think only calculates when you raise the watch to look at it so if you want a real pace you need to keep your hand raised while it works it out. It also strangely shows one of the laps way slow and the subequent one very fast whereas Strava shows them fairly equal as I would expect (as thats how I ran.

      In terms of route Samsung did have me running through some buildings but distance wise it does seem to be spot on to me using shealth app.

      I really don’t know what to make of this, I want to love this watch. Samsung please fix this permanently and give us some decent apps (and a more portable charger if possible).

    • Mike

      edit: I meant Strava was also at 5.02, not 5.2.

    • Andreas

      Mike, this looks like a decent tracking.
      My gear sport was never consistent or close to the route that I was running! For most of the route the watch was showing me way off from where I was actually running (both endomondo and shealth were bad – which make sense since they both get readings from the same API). Not sure what is happening. If it works for you…it should work for everyone.

      The ‘current pace’ readings is a software issue since it is calculated and not measured by sensors (you just integrate the gps positional signals). Samsung seems to use a very bad filter and slow GPS sampling frequency (which makes integration more sensitive to noise)….and as you mentioned it seems that the watch is not working on current pace when the screen is off (which is just stupid).

  80. John 1045

    Biggest mistake is tracking with samsunghealth use for example under armour app on your smartwatch…and do the same run again …today i went skiing with the gear sport tracking with ua record…5 hours skiing still 80 procent battery and the track looks great grtz

  81. Andy Storm


    Any news on this? Its bugging me that the gps/tracking issues persists. I kinda had my heart set on this watch, but Im holding off and dont really see how they could fix it.

    Maybe its as some has said, Its a great smartwatch that they tried to tack on some fitnesstracking on and it didnt work out (haha)… Pershaps it would be better looking at something a bit more dedicated..

    I guess my problem is I am really wanting the fenix 5 (not sure the small maps makes the 5X worth it), so I look at the 935. Its still a bit steep, but the next step down in price muddles it all up. That’s where the gear sport came in, as it looked a bit sexier than the 235. Maybe I should turn my eyes to the Suunto. Sigh 😀

    Anywhat.. It would really be interesting to read some more about where the Gear sport stand today, so I can decide if I should drop it altogether.

    Thanks for great reviews!

    • Mike

      See my gps comparison yesterday, it seems usable to me now and I presume Samsung will continue to work on it given this is one of their flagship watches. I am happy enough to give up my Garmin 235 at this point.

  82. Julian Divett

    I’ve had this now for a couple of months and for sure the GPS is not good enough, even with the updates. I’ve tried most combinations of the software on the watch and syncing to various apps on my phone. I think it comes down to a poor GPS hardware setup. I can just about live with this because I am only using it as a fitness tracker. It is annoying though, for example I really went for a Strava Kom and it wasn’t picked up by Strava because it has me running through some houses! Biking seems better.

    Also if you want live pace, intervals, triathlon/multisport tracking then forget it.

    Swimming is ok as a tracker but not much more.

    Music/podcasts are great for running without a phone.

    Notifications are also useful if your phone is in your pocket. You get a what’s app messages, sms etc.

    So buy a garmin if you are really into accurate stats and tracking and the Samsung if you are after a waterproof SmartWatch with music.

    • I haven’t seen any meaningful accuracy shifts either with respect to GPS with the recent updates, it’s still often hundreds of meters away from where I’m actually running.

    • Andreas

      I had the watch for some time now and every time I was getting an update I was immediately out running hoping that Samsung fixed GPS tracking. Every time I was coming back disappointed 🙁

      Julian, i think you nailed the description of the watch: A good activity tracker and an excellent waterproof smartwatch (with sleep tracking, HR monitor, alarms, reminders, music, texts, payments, nice UI), but no good if you want to use the metrics to improve performance (especially in running).

      Frustrating indeed, because Samsung came close, but didn’t want to make it a true sports watch (exactly like their S health platform, which is good for an overview of activities and healthy living, but never makes a useful analysis of the data for performance).
      I bet they know the problems but the audience that they want to target dos not care too much about the GPS accuracy problems. Fair enough I guess

    • Aleksander H

      I went ahead and purchased it despite the GPS issues. I did a test run, and the track wasn’t particularly close to where I was running. No tall buildings, no tree cover, blue skies. I love it as a smart watch though. So I’m happy with my purchase, but I’ll be using my TomTom for running. Hopefully future watches Will do a better job, as I’m loving the Tizen OS.

    • Mike

      Is everyone definitely using the latest software? Just want to check it’s not a phased global roll-out or something – I am on R600XXU1AQK4

    • Mike

      Ok so I just looked at the contents of the two GPX files I used for my previous comparison (Gear Sport vs Iphone) and the crux of this issue appears fairly obvious. The GPS sampling on the Gear sport varies but at minimum is five second intervals but quite often at 11 seconds. Some quick maths tell me that 11 seconds at 12km/h is about 36 metres, thats a fairly large distance to guesstimate what happened in between two points. Do that over 3 times in a row and you only have 3 points at which to map a 100m route, thats a huge bit of guess work to draw the lines in between…

      Gear Sport GPS Position Record Times
      2017-12-26T04:16:38Z9 seconds
      2017-12-26T04:16:48Z10 seconds
      2017-12-26T04:16:57Z9 seconds
      2017-12-26T04:17:13Z11 seconds
      2017-12-26T04:17:32Z9 seconds
      2017-12-26T04:17:41Z9 seconds
      2017-12-26T04:18:23Z11 seconds
      2017-12-26T04:18:32Z9 seconds
      2017-12-26T04:18:43Z11 seconds

      Compare this with Strava on iPhone, maximum 2 second intervals, usually 1:

      So an obvious solution would be for Samsung to increase the GPS sample rate, I presume this would impact the battery or they would have done so but who knows…

    • Andreas

      Here are the raw positional data (latitude and longitude) from the run I posted above with the GPX viewer (in central park). No map overlay this time, but easy to see that the gear sport estimates position differently (and less accurately – it is not an interpolation problem) than the Huawei watch. Also sampling rate is an issue with gear sport, which seems patchy at a few points. I think this is mostly gear sport loosing gps signal (for a few seconds) and not under sampling on purpose (to save battery).

      The data were recorded with the endomondo app in the gear watch and then exported from the endomondo website. I have to say the exported data look weird…gear sport (or endomondo) will make multiple time stamps for the same position, creating much more data….that are useless

      I do use the latest firmware update.

    • Mike

      What makes you think this? Do you not have similar gaps in your .gpx file as I do?

  83. DarthDad

    Really wanted this watch, but these comments gave me second thoughts. I really don’t care much about GPS on watch as I’m not a runner and i wouldn’t ever run without phone due to a heart condition anyway.

    How are the fittness tracker stats? Like calories burned, steps taken and so on. I’m just a 40+ old guy who needs to lose about 25-30 pounds and get a bit healthier.

    • Julian Divett

      For steps and calories I think it is pretty good. Floors climbed depends,at my house it does not pick up the 2.4 m unless I raise my arm at the top of the stairs!!

      I think unless you really need waterproof and off line Spotify there are better tracking watches with longer battery life.

      On the previous comment about GPS I agree that it is more an issue of inaccurate data than under sampling. Why would my GPS tracks be running parallel to my real position?

      Also had a major bug today, did a 110k ride which was tracking fine when I stopped for lunch halfway. When I got home it had somehow turned this into a 3hr 6k ride! Used the Samsung health app… clearly not a good idea..

  84. Keith

    Just one request…why spend almost double for a Garmin Fenix 5 over the Samsung S3 i.e. Where does the S3 fall short?

  85. John 1045

    Another MTB-ride , recorded with run4gear ( link to on the gear sport , and garmin edge 800
    left my smartphone @home so no use of gps from smartphone.
    started with 70% battary on gear sport , ride for about 2h20min.ended with 34% battery …
    i think it’s not so bad for gps-tracking.
    for the runners among you this app shows your pace just by twisting your arm ( or for cyclist your speed ) among others stats .
    the only problem now is even when i’m not using the app run4gear my gear sport turns on everytime i twist my wrist ;-(

  86. Aleksander H

    I’ve been doing some runs with mapmyrun on my Gear sport. For some reason the track accuracy has improved on the last couple of runs. All my runs with it have been in the same location, so not sure what happened. Probably won’t last :p.

    One thing that’s annoyed me is that when I do a run using mapmyrun on the Gear sport, the activity doesn’t carry over to Samsung Health. I thought they were supposed to sync over from mapmyrun, or is it only the other way round?

    I’ve had an interesting problem with using s health to track my run on my gear. I’ve set it up so that activities sync with mapmyrun. They transfer as soon as I get back in range of my phone. But when I view them in the mapmyrun app on android, the pace data seems corrupted for splits (see screenshot). This doesn’t happen if I use the mapmyrun app on the gear to record the run. I contacted mapmyrun support. They got back to me stating that the issue is that the run in question didn’t contain enough data points. Not sure if data points are being lost on sync between the two, or if s health on the Gear Sport simply isn’t recording them.

  87. petdev

    Looks like there’s an error in latest S-health update.
    Intervals are set at 0.5 vs 1.0 km.

    • Alex

      Any news about the review of this watch? I’m excited about it since november!


    • Nathan

      Every time the Gear Sport is mentioned in Ray’s other reviews as a test device it is clear the testing is not going well. The latest mention I think was in the Tickr Fit. In that review he mentioned that the watch recorded exactly 2 useful HR points. In the FR645 hands on he mentioned that he was waiting for “another watch to figure itself out” in the GPS section. While this isn’t a specific mention of the gear sport, chances are that is the device he was talking about since it fits with other comments he”s made about how long it takes to get a GPS lock.

      Bottom line I would look elsewhere if you want a fitness focused watch. If this review ever comes it will probably not be pretty.

  88. Andreas

    I think the gps on my gear sport is getting worse by the day!
    It was always inaccurate, but in my latest run it showed me running more than 100m away from where I was actually running! At this point I think it is better to use the pedometer to calculate distance!

  89. Flavio

    Subscribing for future updates.

    1 week with the watch.

  90. Percy

    Just wondering if you will still be doing a review on the Gear 3?

    • Alex

      Hello Ray. I own a Gear S3 and I really was looking for your opinion on this Samsung Gear Sport. I’m not sure if there are hardware differences between them (specially on the GPS) but my Gear S3 is not as bad as some other users mention on this posts…Despite that, for your comments, I’m not expecting a very positive review… Thanks!

  91. Ryan Garnett

    Any update on this review?

    I’m debating between the Gear Sport and Fitbit Ionic.

    Gear Sport – Better smartwatch with answerable notifications, Samsung pay, poor GPS from what I’ve heard, Spotify
    Fitbit Ionic – Better fitness tracker, better battery life, hard to transfer music to it.

    My main use it fitness, wondering if the Gear Sport is good enough in that respect.

  92. Mark

    from what i see there is about 50/50% that either you get a watch that has gps accuracy like garmin or to get a watch that has gps about 20% off… in my opinion this has nothing to do with software, there are probably different suppliers of gps chips, ones are shit and others aren’t…

  93. Barry

    Are you still planning on doing this review? I know you’re very busy, and may have scrapped it due to quality issues, but I am still curious your opinion?

    thanks much


  94. Chris Collins

    Yup, even a cursory followup. I am curious if after you made initial contact with the manufacturer, and you were to be redirected to the employees who reslly work on the product, were you really put in touch with someone on their “wearables” team? How did that go?

  95. Percy

    HI had a few discussions with Samsung about compatibility issues after buying a gear fit 2 Pro and noticing that it kept disconnecting from my Android (Non-Samsung) phone.
    Samsung told me that their devices are designed to be compatible with Samsung phones, and although they may work on some Android devices, I am likely to encounter issues along the way.

    If this is the case then buying a Samsung Gear 3 is pretty pointless unless you want to stick to a Samsung phone for as long as you have the watch.

    • Earl

      Hi Percy

      How do you find the gear fit 2 pro? Thinking of buying one as general activity tracker and for use in the gym. Crucial to me is the ability to use with Spotify and Bluetooth headphones.


  96. Earl

    Same for me also. Almost bought one today but thought I would wait for Ray’s review. Anyone know when it is likely to be?

  97. Julian Divett

    Ive got one and honestly I don’t think that Ray will ever review it because it just doesn’t work as a sports watch. GPS is terrible and the apps are not good enough. Save your money. Or if you really must have one I’ll sell you mine cheap!

    • Earl

      Does it track steps and HR ok? Also how’s music and bluetooth headphones?

    • Julian Divett

      Steps are fine seems pretty accurate.

      HR is ok provided you wear it reasonably snug on your wrist. For running I’d give it 7 out of 10, with the occasional drop off. On the bike not good I guess vibration may be to blame. In the pool it is also poor.

      Spotify works fine, there is a bug where if you are running with voice prompts (distance/hr) then it sometimes does not return to the playlist after the announcement.

      Loading podcasts or MP3 from your phone is quite easy.

      Bluetooth is fine.

    • Graham

      I’ve had mine (Gear Sport) for about 3 months, but have only recently started using it outside for runs. I’m using it with the free run4gear app and it’s been very accurate for GPS. I’ve previously used Nike Sportwatch and Fenix 3 HR and I can tell you that it maps my usual routes (which are typically 6-15kms) just as accurately as the other watches I’ve owned (I compared using Strava that can group your similar runs). I’m yet to have one that I would consider anything but good. I did notice that when using the native app for the watch that there were sometimes discrepancies between what the watch/Samsung Health report and what Strava reports when the run is imported. I’ve had no issues when using run4gear. I suspect some of you are seeing errors introduced through the conversion processes. Perhaps Samsung has done some strange things with the data recording and it confuses some of the apps that are converting. Either that or as someone posted earlier … maybe there are hardware differences in the Gear Sports (different GPS chips being used). All I know is that it is working really well for me as a running watch …

    • Joseph

      Can you let me know whether the S3 can be used as an external HR monitor in Endomondo. I use Endomondo on my phone (S8+) to run and cycle and a Garmin ANT+ sensor.

      Can you confirm I can turn off the S3’s HR sensor and use the Garmin HR instead whilst outputting the Garmin HR data to the S3?


  98. Earl

    Thanks Julian. You are referring to the samsung fit2 pro, correct? Or is it the sport?

  99. Julian Divett

    Gear sport…

  100. Joseph

    Can you let me know whether the S3 can be used as an external HR sensor monitor when using Endomondo on the phone? I use Endomondo on my phone (S8+) to run and cycle and a Garmin ANT+ HR sensor.

    Can you confirm I can turn off the S3’s HR sensor and use the Garmin HR instead to output the Garmin HR data to the S3? It’s possible on AndroidWear so I guess should be possible on Tizen as well(?).


  101. Henry

    General: It would be nice to read in this place actual time according news to subjects which are in the queue. But now this part of your homepage seems to be forgotten.
    In this case it would be better to take it out of the menu.

  102. Harold

    Since februari 2018 I have the samsung S3 (Sport). Use Map My Run from UA als running app. GPS is accurate, I doubt about the HR accuracy. 3 -4 times per week I run in total 40 to 60 KM( I live in the Netherlands). My experience until now is that it s a nice watch but not really suitable as a (running) watch. But for me it’s unclear if that’s a challenge for under armour with the MapMyRun software ore the integration of both.
    The last month I got a lot of problems synchronising runs when finished. (I lost 10 runs, cannot find them anymore under workouts). Restart of the watch, new installation and pairing nothing seems to help.

    Also the possibility to use interval (select exercise) you can’t set time / distance for warming up, als not set a time between two intervals and a cooldown.

    I use it sometimes with offline spotify. Needed some time to get used to te buttons and switching between 2 apps (spotify and MMR). There is a bug using voice feedback in MMR and Spotify. (the spotify app doesn’t play when voice feedback is to switched on.

    I used Nike Plus and also TomTom watches for running, overall with those two watches more satisfied because they are more focussed / specialised. As a watch it’s nice to wear and the offline spotify is good to use but overal as a sport-watch a bit dissapointing

  103. Andreas

    I have the gear sport for a few months now and I had lost every hope about GPS accuracy. Nice smartwatch with a nice screen…but useless as a running watch.
    The GPS was all over the place (together with the current pace readings) and I tested the device many times to make sure it was me (posted multiple runs in this site to prove my point).

    However, last week I received a software update (R600XXU1ARC4). The update notes said that it was changing the way the data are displayed on the screen (they are actually much better now – larger fonts and more clear) and fixing several bugs (nothing about GPS).
    I went out for a run (hoping for nothing) and it was a miracle! GPS was accurate and the current pace was steady and very believable! I did only one run and I’m hoping it was not a fluke.

    I had given every hope on this watch (in terms of GPS). I had multiple updates since I bought it (claiming they were fixing accuracy problems) but GPS was always very bad. Suddenly the latest update seems that has fixed the GPS problems.

    It is still not a great ‘Sport Watch’ but the update made it a much better running watch. Well done Sammy

    • Zsolt

      After installing the latest firmware on last weekend I also experienced that the counting of floors has become more accurate.

  104. Jang Tog

    When will the review be coming out? I’ve been anticipating it for a while now, and it looks like a good offer, but I’d like to see your review before I purchase.

  105. Thom

    When might we expect a review on this watch?


  106. Rob

    Any word on when we’ll get to read a review? It’s been in the queue for 6 months now with no word – definitively not confidence inspiring

    • Sorry, at this point I don’t plan a full in-depth review. I used it for a number of months with mixed results in data. The biggest challenge though was simply getting comparative data out of it (meaning, getting clean files I could do comparisons on). I used one app/tool (Fitness Syncer), but I found I couldn’t often trust the data coming from it was actually the data from the Samsung device.

      I never got it to acquire satellite faster than a few minutes, nor be very accurate for optical HR. I did however very much like the rotating bezel, but overall didn’t feel like the watch had a cohesive fitness story. It had tidbits of it, but they were kinda thrown against a wall and not woven together.

    • Velt

      Damn thats a pity, was interested in your review as well. Maybe a short bit on the ‘fitness story’ you mention?

    • Joseph

      The Gear S3 is a flawed device – beautiful but only good for you if you like great looking watch faces. GPS is quite inaccurate, heart rate sensor is also off I couldn’t live with it. Also Tizen is quite limited particularly in app support but hey, those watch faces look great :-).

      I went back to Android Wear and found the Huawei Watch 2 Sport (with sim card) to offer a great balance of smart and sport functionality. It won’t work for a triathlete but I normally cycle and occasionally run and it’s been fantastic – I actually think it’s a very underrated product. GPS and HR accuracy are spot on – I was actually impressed with its HR capabilities. Coupled with LTE / GSM support and Bluetooth connection to headset, I no longer take my phone with me when I cycling / running or out and about. I just wish it has a slightly larger screen but I guess you can’t have it all.

    • Jeremiah

      Interesting. I found the Gear S3 to be my favorite device by far. The heart rate was as accurate or better than my Vivoactive 3 that I’m now using. The screen and apps were WAY better. In fact Tizen has more apps than anyone but Android Wear so not sure why you’d say Tizen has limited app support. It also has the best notification implementation of any device I’ve used. I know some people had GPS problem with it but for me it was spot on. I used it with a Samsung phone so I still suspect it may have been using the phone GPS and not the watch GPS. My problem with the Gear was the Samsung phone app and ecosystem sucked. The data was sketchy at times, was had to use. there is no website. They don’t sync well with other apps. For example my wife still uses a Gear device and she uses my fitness pal as well. Sometimes Gear steps end up in my fitness pal, sometimes they don’t.

      I tried the Huawei Watch 2 Sport as well and I really wanted to like that device. The problem was, even though the app was better than samsung’s, the ecosystem was basically non-existent. Also, the HR just plain didn’t work. No matter what it would never go above the 120 bpm range. I could be mtb’ing with a 190 bpm heart rate and chest strap and other device both confirmed 190 bpm but the Huawei Watch would be at 123 bpm. I even shaved some of the hairs on my arm behind my watch to see if it would work. No improvement. Then don’t even get me started about how horrible Android Wear is. Google needs to get off their a$$es and fix that. It blew me away that I couldn’t just turn on notifications for a few apps. I had to literally add every app i didn’t want to a list of apps NOT to notify. And you had to do it one at a time. what the heck Google!?

      One of these days someone will bring it all together but I don’t feel like we are there yet. Garmin has a great ecosystem and reliable devices but the screens kind of suck (at least for a smart watch). Their dev APIs are also pretty um . . . lacking. Fitbit has beautiful screens now (I’d say by far the best out their, if you consider battery life), but for me, pretty much EVERYTHING else about them suck. Samsung’s are great smart watches and accurate trackers but their app and ecosystem suck . . . I’ll stick with my Garmin for now . . . at least I feel like I get good data that I can get to.

    • Nathan

      I disagree. I had the Gear S3 Frontier for quite some time before upgrading to a Garmin. The screen is beautiful indoors, but it doesn’t work well at all in sunlight. When running, the screen would often come on (when raising my wrist to look at it) too dimly to be seen in bright light. I’d much rather have a screen I can actually see in bright sunlight.

      The GPS tracks were only decent when it was using connected GPS through my phone (S8+). When I took only the watch, the tracks were a mess. The optical heart rate monitor on the watch was terrible. It would occasionally get close, but it generally reported pure fiction because it was just locking on my cadence. What it did report was also very low resolution. The plot always had steps and long sections where HR was unchanged. The battery life on the Gear S3 was also horrible. I get a weeks worth of workouts and use on my Fenix. If you got a full day out of the S3 using it’s GPS for a run, you were doing well.

      A few runs with the Fenix on one arm and the Gear S3 on the other were all it took to convince me that Samsung is still a long way away from a decent sports watch. The Gear platform is quite nice from a smart watch perspective, but they are terrible watches for running.

      My s8+ connected to an HRM strap and recording with Strava did a much better job recording my runs than the Gear S3 Frontier ever did. The difference between the Samsung and Garmin watches, when used for activity, is huge. Samsung has a long way to go.

    • Joseph

      Hmm…strange you had a bad HR experience with Huawei Watch 2….a friend of mine got it as well and his is also spot on…

      I think Wear 2 gets more of a bad rep that it deserves really….or it may be because I’m so used to it now don’t know…I mean, what’s wrong with allowing whatever app notification you want rather than the other way round? I want to avoid pulling out my phone so I expect all notifications to be on by default.

      My main gripe with Wear OS and the HW2 at this point is that it’s still laggy at times. Other than that, I would recommend this watch to anyone who needs a smartwatch with decent sports watch capabilities.

  107. How does it work with the Spotify offline playlist options? I’ve been dyeing for a watch that does four things:

    – Start and Stop time
    – Calculate pace
    – sync to bluetooh
    – play my offline spotify playlists

    If it does more, great but so far everything I’ve found online doesn’t do these things. I’m tired of running with my phone! Please help!

    • Harold

      Hi John,

      The watch is working well with Spotify.
      Recently played
      Playlists (you have to switch the button to download and have acces to WifI)
      Your Music

      The only thing you have to get used at is the button functionality to switch to other numbers / playlists when you are not in the app. When you are running and use Map My Run for instance and on the background you are playing music with spotify. Couple of times I paused my workout instead of going to a new playlist of number.

      The other things you mention does this watch also.


  108. Chris Broerse

    Samsung has a whole range of activity trackers, from classic to sportive.
    How come, I can’t find them here?

    • Alex

      At this moment Samsung was the third biggest supplier of smart watched in the world during 2018:

      apple – 22.5 milion units
      fitbit – 5.5 milion unit
      Samsung – 5.3 milion units (they are not sell for free together with phones 🙂
      Garmin – 3.2 milion units

      I believe Samsung devices would deserve getting reviews in this website. They are not bad at all despite not being a Garming specialised sport watch.

    • I keep covering them from time to time, and will likely order an Active next week.

      Unfortunately, every time I try them I find that the units just aren’t that good for sport use accuracy-wise and get bored with trying to make them work before I get out a review.

      Maybe this time I’ll just give myself 1-2 weeks and then it is what it is at the end of the it.

      Note: Samsung still does run a ton of promos around free wearables/watches with phone purchases. Heck, even today the EU site shows me a deal of their free Buds with purchase of a phone. But it’s often another wearable.

    • Alex

      Thanks Ray. I fully agree initially the watch accuracy was arguable. Despite that, the latest versions of tizen have improved the performance quite a lot and also you have important apps like ENDOMONDO, STRAVA, MapMyRun supporting the platform.

      I have a GEAR S3 and the GPS accuracy seems quite good. My only complain is about the heart measurements but maybe with the news watches (Galaxy, Active) this matter has been fixed somehow.

      Maybe the biggest challenge for you will be exporting the data to an external sources. I basically use STRAVA and the data seems quite ok comparing the same results obtained using the app throught a phone.

    • okey doke, just clicked purchase. Even got a free wireless charging mat. 🙂

    • Nathan

      I’m interested in reading about it, but my experience with the Gear S3 was terrible and I can’t imagine Samsung is making fundamentally better decisions this time around. I hope I’m wrong, because competition is good for consumers.