Android Wear is cool, but is it sturdy? More to the point, if (or when, maybe) you break your G Watch or Gear Live, how easy will it be to repair? The team at iFixIt have given both devices their teardown treatment, and the results just might surprise you a bit.
The Gear Live from Samsung scored a respectable 8 out of 10, winning kudos for the easy to replace watch band. The water-resistant casing was also easy to crack open, even though it requires some special tools. The battery also comes out simply, even going so far as to have a pull tab underneath. All those lead iFixIt to dub the Gear Live very watch-like, but a big issue dogs the small device. The display assembly, fused to the chassis, make replacing a cracked or broken screen extremely difficult.
The G Watch fared a touch better, getting a 9 out of 10 from iFixIt. The old pin-hold watch band was familiar, and the case has screws holding it in place. The battery was easy to switch out, and the “clean design with few fragile cables” made for easy repairs. The fused display assembly is glued to the front of the G Watch, which is easier than the Gear Live’s fused method, but still a pain to work with.
So long as you don’t crack the screen, things should be fine for your Android Wear experience. One other thing to keep in mind is the charger — the G Watch ’s cradle impressed the iFixIt team for it’s ease of use. We’ve heard rumblings that the Gear Live’s charger method is a kluge, and essentially falling apart on users. Also, the Moto 360 still looms large on Android Wear, so it may be worth holding off for now.