Samsung Gear S Smartwatch Coming to AT&T, Sprint, T-Mobile and Verizon

The Samsung Gear S, a Tizen-powered smartwatch with its own 3G connection, will be available through AT&T, T-Mobile and Sprint, the carriers announced today (Oct 30th). Unlike other smartwatches, which require a smartphone tethered via Bluetooth to receive notifications and the like, the Gear S has its own SIM card slot, so that wearers can make and respond to phone calls, text messages and email even if their phone isn't nearby.

The Samsung Gear S looks a bit different from Samsung's other smartwatch, the Gear 2. For one, it has a larger 2-inch curved Super AMOLED display with a resolution of 480 x 360p. Inside is a Qualcomm Snapdragon MSM8626 processor, 512MB of RAM, and 4GB of storage.

During our hands-on time with the Gear S, we were impressed with its large display, but its 300 mAh battery--similar to the Gear 2--means that you should only expect about a day's use out of the watch before it needs to be recharged. Also, it remains to be seen how many apps will be ready for Tizen OS, though Samsung said as many as 1,000 would be available at launch.

MORE: Sprint, Verizon and A&T Double Data

Currently, the only phones compatible with the Gear S are the Samsung Galaxy S III, Galaxy S 4, Galaxy S 4 mini, Galaxy S 5, Galaxy S5 Sport, and the Galaxy Note II, 3, and 4.

Sprint customers can purchase the Gear S for $0 down, and 24 monthly payments of $16 ($384 total), but will also have to pay an additional $10 per month on its Family Share Pack plan. However, Sprint is waiving the monthly fee through December 2015 if you sign up for a 20GB or higher Family Share Pack plan. However, the Gear S will use Sprint's 3G network, and not its LTE network.

On AT&T, the Gear S will cost $199 with a two-year agreement, plus an additional $10 per month on a Mobile Share Plan.

Though T-Mobile, the Gear S will cost $0 initially, then $14.58 per month (a total retail price of $349). T-Mobile is also offering a special rate plan for $5 a month for unlimited talk, texting, music streaming and up to 500MB of LTE data.

With the waived monthly fee, Sprint's plan will end up costing $504 over two years, compared to $439 for AT&T and $469 for T-Mobile.

It's also expected that Verizon will also offer the Gear S, though its plans have yet to be announced.

So far, sales of smartwatches have been slow, but perhaps the inclusion of an independent 3G connection will boost the popularity of this nascent category, enabling consumers to really leave their phones at home or in their pockets.

Mike Prospero
U.S. Editor-in-Chief, Tom's Guide

Michael A. Prospero is the U.S. Editor-in-Chief for Tom’s Guide. He oversees all evergreen content and oversees the Homes, Smart Home, and Fitness/Wearables categories for the site. In his spare time, he also tests out the latest drones, electric scooters, and smart home gadgets, such as video doorbells. Before his tenure at Tom's Guide, he was the Reviews Editor for Laptop Magazine, a reporter at Fast Company, the Times of Trenton, and, many eons back, an intern at George magazine. He received his undergraduate degree from Boston College, where he worked on the campus newspaper The Heights, and then attended the Columbia University school of Journalism. When he’s not testing out the latest running watch, electric scooter, or skiing or training for a marathon, he’s probably using the latest sous vide machine, smoker, or pizza oven, to the delight — or chagrin — of his family.

  • Darkk
    Only 3G on Sprint? Sheesh. Seems T-Mobile have an advantage here.
  • mo66
    Dark - I believe the watch is 3G.
  • Slocko
    I don't get it. If it has it's own sim card it will have it's own phone number? that won't work. yeah it will be nice to be able to make phone calls without phone, but receiving them is equally as important.

    For google voice users I guess they can add the second phone number and be covered, but not every one has google voice.

    Majority people will always carry their phone with them. this will make a good running watch if it can stand up to constant sweat. you can run without your phone and still have a phone for an emergency and listen to tunes directly from the phone.
  • Ed Tranosky
    from what the samsung reps and carrier reps have told me, at least on at&t and tmobile, since they are GSM, the phone number will be mirrored on your wearable, so that you won't have two different phone numbers for calls and texting. Haven't heard if that is the case for sprint or verizon though ( CDMA ).
  • Slocko
    thats fascinating. i thought it was illegal to clone phone numbers. we need more details how it works. i have been intrigued since I read about this a month ago.
  • Jim Zygmont
    What a useless story. TELL US SOMETHING WE DON"T ALREADY KNOW.
  • ChristinaivyKelly
    Smartwatches are now on sales at BestSmartwatchoffers,com
  • techy man going
    £349 in UK, €445 in Europe, $547 in USA. That is twice the retail price of an X5 by Orsto. Or as much (or even more) than many advanced and useful smartphones.