How To Pair Gear S With Any Phone

Here you will learn how to pair Samsung Gear S with any phone (including any Android phone or iPhone)

Today I am starting a series of articles devoted to yet another interesting smartwatch, Samsung Gear S. I have been playing with Gear S for a couple of hours now, so I am ready to write the first tutorial.

Obviously, the first thing everyone needs to do to start using almost any smartwatch is to pair it with a smartphone to make use of its features.

This is where trouble began as it turned out that pairing Gear S with any Android phone is not that even with the use of some cool Android apps that promise to do that. Let’s start!

How to pair Gear S with any phone

If you are interested in buying Gear S, this is the Gear S I bought for myself.

Gear S Will Ask You To Install Samsung Gear App

When you turn your Gear S for the first time (after you buy it or after your restore it to factory settings), it will prompt you to install the Samsung Gear App (the counterpart of the Android Wear app) which you can normally install only from the Samsung GALAXY Apps store.

If you have a Samsung Galaxy and do what it says, you will quickly and easily pair your new watch with your phone. The trouble, however, begins if you  have a different Android phone like HTC, Sony or any manufacturer other than Samsung.

Installing the Samsung Gear APK Manually Won't Help

I thought I would outsmart Gear S by simply manually installing the Samsung Gear APK on my Sony smartphone and then pairing the two devices. It turned out, however, that it was my watch which turned out to be the smarter one.

Here is what I did:

  • I downloaded the Samsung Gear APK from the APKMirror website.
  • I then manually transferred the APK to my Sony and installed it with the use of the File Commander app (to do that you need to allow installation of apps from unknowns sources).
  • I started to take screenshots of the whole process and when I hit CONNECT TO GEAR in the app, I experienced a bit of disappointment. My Sony couldn’t find my Gear S.
How to pair Gear S with Android

Use The Hidden Setting That Will Let You Pair Samsung Gear S With Any Phone

Fortunately, there exists a hidden setting that lets you use your Gear S totally independently (as a stand-alone watch or telephone) and pair it with any device (over Bluetooth).

Of course, the features and functions will be limited but your watch will at least WORK and you will be able to use it as a stand-alone phone-watch. Let me show you how to do it.

  • Reboot your watch or restore it to factory settings if it has been paired with a different phone before. To reboot your watch, simply hold the home button for a second or two and when a menu pops up choose Restart.
How to pair Gear S with any phone
  • When your Gear S asks you to install the Samsung Gear app, click on Next.
How to pair Gear S with Android
  • Tap on the watch icon about 20-30 times until you see the notification like the one above.
Pairing Gear S with any phone
  • Tap on the icon once again but this time hold it for a few seconds. Your watch will now be “unlocked” and you will be able to use it as a stand-alone phone-watch (if you insert a working SIM card into it) or pair with your phone.
  • To pair your watch with your phone, go to the Bluetooth settings in both devices. Make sure they are both discoverable and when they find each other, confirm that you want to pair them.
How to pair Gear S with any phone

What Works And What Doesn’t Once You Pair Your Devices

Of course, pairing your devices with the above method is a bit different from pairing them with the use of the Samsung Gear app. Features and functions are, unfortunately, limited a bit. Here is what they are:

  • You can use your Gear S to make calls and when making them you will be calling using the phone number of your Android phone (not of your Gear S if you inserted a separate SIM card into it). Once you start the call from your watch, you will also see the call progress on the screen on your phone (as if you have initiated it from your phone).
How to pair Gear S with any phone
  • When texting, your Gear will use the SIM card that was inserted into it (it will not use your phone). If you send a text from your watch, the recipient of the message will see the phone number of the SIM card inserted into your watch.
How to pair Gear S with any phone
  • When listening to music, your Gear S will use its own music library that has been installed on it.
  • It will prompt you to install and use the Samsung Gear app on your mobile device to install or uninstall apps on your Gear S unless you ask it not to.
How to pair Gear S with any phone
  • S Health app will work so you can measure your heart rate and other parameters but you cannot sync these data with your phone.
  • You can adjust the settings of your watch such as Style, Call, Sound and so on.
Gear S with Android phone
  • You get access to the regular app grid you would get if you used the Samsung Gear app (with the difference that some apps won’t work properly or won’t work at all).

I guess you can handle the above limitation if you root your watch and your phone but this tutorial is addressed for less advanced users, so we aren’t exploring this topic here.

What are your thoughts? Did you manage to pair your Gear S with your phone successfully? Feel free to post me your comments in the comment box below. I would love to hear from you!


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