I have just managed to get a Galaxy Gear for “testing purposes” – without purchasing a Galaxy Note 3. What I expected was at least a week of tireless googling and hours on XDA trying to find the right ROM while experimenting with hundreds of software configurations. Luckily, my prediction skills are WAY OFF – the Gear works with the Note 2* almost out of the box. It took me about 5 minutes to get started! So for those who are holding back on buying a Gear only because they have a Note 2 (or a similarly-featured Samsung device that’s not officially supported) and not a Note 3 or an S4, rejoice for i got thy back!
[DISCLAIMER: Your experience may differ! While I’d be glad to help you with the setup, I’m afraid you’d ultimately be doing this AT YOUR OWN RISK]
Step 1: Update your Samsung Account on the smartphone (I had to, before I got it to work).
Step 2: Activate NFC on the smartphone.
Step 3: Download and install the Watch Manager apk from this link.
Step 4: Touch the Gear’s cradle with the back of your smartphone and keep pressing “Next” until you’ve convinced the software that you’re serious about this thing! 😀
Step 5: Come back here and let me know how it went!
I particularly like the fact that the Gear allows one to take photos, record audio notes, as well as view appointments and control the music player. The weather widget is currently not working on my Note 2 but besides that I was able to get the full Gear experience.
* my Note 2 is running stock Android 4.1.2 ROM