While all the attention is on Samsung’s upcoming Gear S2 smartwatch which we got a glimpse of during the Unpacked event where the Galaxy Note 5 and Galaxy S6 Edge+ were announced and which we expect to be launched at IFA in Berlin in the next few days, we tend to forget that Samsung’s current offering is the weak Gear S watch. The Gear S is not weak because of the hardware. Not at all. On paper it is one of the most capable smartwatches out there despite being a year old. Yet its software fails it.
From a user’s point of view (I’ve used the Gear S for sometime now), it is only good for showing off and the little that Samsung envisioned it to be. The app selection on the Samsung Galaxy Apps store is scanty and other than a handful of beautiful watchfaces and applications that are hardly updated, there isn’t much you can do with it as compared to say the Apple Watch or smartwatches by other Android OEMs like LG and Motorola running Android Wear. Somebody sought to remedy that by porting a build of CyanogenMod into Samsung’s premier smartwatch. Rooting, installing a custom recovery and kernel and then flashing CyanogenMod 12.1 was what it took to ship the latest Android 5.1.1 Lollipop to the device. Unlike previous attempts at getting a Tizen Gear smartwatch to run anything Android which didn’t yield much, this one resulted in some positives.
While the porting was mostly successful, as expected, functionality is pretty much crippled and there isn’t much that can be achieved even after getting Android to run on the watch.
This only serves to highlight the capabilities of Samsung’s smartwatch when opened up to the brave new world of endless possibilities that is Android. While we haven’t given up hope of ever seeing another Samsung smartwatch running Android after the first generation Gear received an update to shift base to Tizen and the Gear Live which was powered by the first version of Android Wear went out of production, those hopes get bleaker by the day. With the Gear S2 expected to keep the Tizen mission alive, it may be time to give up. Or may be not if XDA Senior Member biktor_gj can get the Gear S to do just about everything we expect it to do but when running Android.
Source: XDA Developers