Smartwatch Wars: Samsung Gear Live

  • We could very well be witnessing the birth of the smartwatch revolution. Google has unleashed not one, not two, but three smartwatches onto the battlefield. We have before us the Gear Live of those three fabled smartwatches.

    The official tech

  • Taking a page out of the "If it ain't broke
  • This will warrant more than a few comparisons between the two -- after all, you don't want to buy the wrong smartwatch, arewerite?
  • If your smartwatch was ever arrested, would you be able to identify it out of a police lineup of smartwatches? Left to right we have the Samsung Gear 2, Samsung Gear Fit, LG G Watch (full teardown coming tomorrow), and Samsung Gear Live.
  • The bands come off in a snap. It's the same design geared toward replaceability as found in the Gear 2. A neat little pull lever disengages one of the holding pins, allowing the band to roam free from the watch. The back of the smartwatch houses th
  • Off come the Torx T5 screws found on the back of the Gear Live -- the same type and size as in the LG G Watch. Coincidence? We think so.
  • Unbeknownst to unsuspecting fixers -- but knownst to us -- these otherwise amiable T5 Torx screws are non-magnetic. Curses! Screws removed, all you need to gain entry is a plastic opening tool to work around the perimeter -- just like the Gear 2.
  • The Gear Live pops apart into two pieces — the front display assembly where all the magic happens, and the rear cover where the power lies.
  • Here's a better view.
  • First off, let's take a peek at the Gear Live's battery.
  • We use a spudger to pry the lightly adhered battery contact pad from its roost in the rear cover, and then use some sweet tweezers to pull the powerhouse out of the rear panel.
  • The battery inscription says "1.14 Wh."" According to mathemagics and a 300 mAh battery
  • Next goes the power button ribbon cable. It was holding on like a champ for a while, but eventually our tweezers overtook it.
  • Hey, what's this? A Bluetooth/WiFi antenna? This thing isn't supposed to have WiFi! We don't know if Samsung is hiding anything for the future, but we are quite adept at reading cable inscriptions.
  • Also notable is the liquid damage indicator. So although this device is "IP67 water resistant
  • Next we focus our attention on the vibrator assembly.
  • We definitely know this is the right vibrator inside, since the assembly also contains the Gear Live's SM-R382 model number.
  • Next, we disconnect the display cable in order to get our hands on the motherboard. The board comes out after a gentle nudge from our trusty tweezers.
  • The wee motherboard bears an even wee-er daughterboard layered right on top, where we find the power input connectors and the tiny biometric (heart rate) sensor.
  • With a bit of patient spudgering, the boards are disengaged -- leaving the motherboard stripped and primed for some primo IC analysis:

    Maxim Integrated MAX77836 Low-Voltage Input, 3V/3.3V/5V/ Adjustable Output, Step-Up DC-DC Converter (red
  • Continued:

    Samsung KMF5X0005A-A210 512 MB DRAM package with the Qualcomm APQ8026 System on Chip layered beneath (green)

    Qualcom PM8226 power management IC (blue)

    InvenSense MP92M 9-axis Gyro + Accelerometer + Compass (pur
  • Happily, we're not yet done tweezing ...
  • Beneath the thermal pad, a Cypress Semiconductor CYTMA54 touchscreen controller blinks its eyes under the bright lights of the teardown table.
  • The display itself seems to be glued into the metal chassis.
  • Samsung Gear Live Repairability Score: 8 out of 10 (10 is easiest to repair).

The first of the Android Wear teardowns are here: Say hello to our little Samsung Gear Live, an Android Wear-based smartwatch announced and released by Samsung and Google in June.

Click on the Samsung Gear Live to start the slideshow. Tomorrow we will bring you the innards of the LG G Watch. Which one is better? We will let you decide.

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