We’ve come out to praise Samsung’s previous smartwatch attempts, but truth be told they were awkward with chunky designs, slow performance, and an enclosed software ecosystem making them usable in real-life at least for most of us. It is now 2015, Samsung has launched a volley so powerful and immediately convincing smartwatch that has got me think twice about the company’s wearables that they launched at IFA this week.
All tech reviews have been great, as the Gear S2 looks less like a wrist computer and more like a normal watch that also does smart things, which is pretty great. Samsung has upped its smartwatch game, and that’s the same whether you’re looking at the sportier standard model with its rubber strap or the dressier S2 Classic and its leather band. Samsung got some cool trick up their sleeve when it came to the Gear S2, it has a rotating bezel, which lets you quickly and easily scroll through lists, apps, watch faces, and whatever else you might be looking at on the screen. I bet Apple is looking at the Gear S2 jaw dropped, as a rotating bezel is more and intuitive than the Apple Watch’s Digital Crown.
It’s not Android Wear but works with Android Phones
Android Wear; was one of the reasons why I never gave Samsung watches a second look— but this isn’t an Android Wear watch: it’s running Samsung’s proprietary Tizen platform. What? Yes its Tizen but can run with any phone running Android 4.4 or higher with 1.5GB or more of RAM. This is where I have given the S2 two thumbs up, as it can now compete for a place in many Android lover’s hearts. A choice between the latest Moto 360s and the Gear S2 will be a tough one this year. Since Samsung has cleaned up its act, and the software on the Gear S2 is reportedly fast and intuitive.
But there are some software limitations, Samsung says that certain features, like Samsung Pay (the Gear S2 supports NFC-based mobile payments), are only available when the watch is paired with a Samsung phone, but for the most part, everything should work with other Android phones.. Plus lets not forget availability of third-party apps — Samsung says it plans to have about 1,000 apps available for the watch when it launches, and it worked with about 100 developers to specifically create app experiences for the Gear S2.
No price tag on it yet
The thing Samsung has kept a mystery is the price of the Gear S2 or S2 Classic, and that is a very big determining factor for the Gear s2’s success. The company is saying that the Wi-Fi version will be available in early October, and several mobile networks will announce availability of the 3G model at a later date. Samsung has made believe that it is listening to its users with the Gear S2 and now that Android wear can work on iOS I guess this will should be in Samsung’s cart with the Gear S2 in order to lure some Apple fans to try it out as well.
The Gear S2 Specs
- 1.2” circular Super AMOLED display with 360 x 360 pixels; 302ppi
- 1GHz dual-core CPU; Qualcomm Snapdragon 400 chipset
- 512MB of RAM; 4GB of built-in memory
- Wi-Fi: 802.11 b/g/n; Bluetooth 4.1; NFC (with support for Samsung Pay)
- Optional 3G network connectivity and e-SIM support (Gear S2 3G)
- 250mAh battery (Gear S2 and Gear S2 classic); 300mAh battery (Gear S2 3G)
- Built-in heart rate sensor with S Health support
- Built-in accelerometer, ambient light sensor, gyroscope, vibration/haptic engine
- Standard 20mm leather band (Gear S2 classic); swappable band with proprietary connector (Gear S2 and Gear S2 3G)
- Stainless steel body with IP68 rating for water and dust resistance (all variants)
- Rotating bezel for navigating through the Tizen OS user interface
- Compatible with all Android devices with Android 4.4 and up and more than 1.56GB of RAM
Image Credit: The Verge