Wednesday, 4 January 2017

Samsung Gear S3 and Honor 7, compatibility and my experience so far

The Samsung Gear S3 smartwatch (Classic and Frontier) is probably the best one the market at the time of writing, January 2017. But before you buy one, is it compatible with your smartphone? The following is a link to Samsung's official compatible phones list:

The Huawei Honor 7 is not listed (January 2017) in the above Samsung compatibility list but don't worry, it does work*. I have the Honor 7 and I am using it with the Gear S3 for a couple of weeks without any serious issue. You must install the Samsung Gear app and pair it with your S3. Two other background apps are installed during this process; SamsungAccessoryService and Gear S Plugin. Optionally you can install S Health too.

Honor 7 and S3 Classic

I haven't explored all the features of the S3 yet but so far so good. For example, I have Viber and other notifications on my S3. I have installed many new watch faces, the calculator and timer apps. I'm happy, the S3 is great!

One minor issue
On the odd occasion I've found that the Bluetooth disconnects from the phone to the watch. I believe this is because of the power management software on the Honor 7 closing the SamsungAccessoryService app or at least prompting me to close it and because I don't pay enough attention, I just press Close.

To fix this I have changed the following settings:
Honor Phone Manager 
- Battery manager (press the battery icon) 
-- Consumption Level 
--- Background

You should see the SamsungAccessoryService app in the list. It's possible to close it, if you do you'll see your S3 is disconnected. Instead, press the SamsungAccessoryService, you'll see the following screen:

As shown above, I disabled Power-intensive prompt and I enabled Keep running after screen off.
This will keep it running and it will stop bothering me with messages saying it is using power. I think this will do the trick. I'll update this article in a few days with news.

Update 13/01/2017
It works, the above was the solution. Since making that change and allowing the SamsungAccessoryService to keep on running, my bluetooth connection has not dropped at all.

There was one occasion when my Honor 7 informed me that the Gear S Plugin was using a lot of battery power:

It is the same issue as I had seen before with the SamsungAccessoryService app previously. In this case I pressed Don't remind me again, it has the same effect as going into the Phone Manager Battery Manager and disabling the Power-intensive prompt.

I make no guarantees about anything. The S3 works with my Honor 7, I do not guarantee yours will. My views are unofficial and purely my own. I'm just writing my experience in case it can be useful to others.

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