Samsung’s first foray into the wearable tech scene, it’s no secret that the original Galaxy Gear didn’t perform, sales wise, the way Samsung had expected. But here we are nearly 6 months later and Samsung is gearing up to release it’s sequel(s) — the Samsung Gear 2 and Samsung Gear 2 Neo.
After being rumored for months, Samsung officially unveiled the smartwatch during their Unpacked 5 event in Barcelona, Spain (and New York) for Mobile World Congress. For some, we know, it’s hard to get excited about smartwatches (especially when most of our phones are plenty smart enough). But as someone who recently purchased and fell in love with the Pebble, I was excited to check out Samsung’s latest offerings.
Samsung Gear 2 specs
- 1.63-inch 320 x 320 AMOLED display
- 1GHz dual-core processor
- 512MB of RAM
- 4GB of internal storage
- 2 megapixel camera
- Pedometer, heart rate sensor, sleep cycle monitor and more
- Bluetooth 4.0 LE
- Accelerometer and gyroscope
- 300mAh battery good for about 2-3 days of “typical” usage
Samsung often receives a lot of flak over the build quality of their mobile devices. Maybe it’s because they’re simply on top and we feel the need to keep their ego in check — who knows. Whatever the reason, those who are concerned the Galaxy Gear 2 might feel plasticy or cheap need not be. As premium as a smartwatch can come, the Gear 2 creams other wearables like the original Pebble.
Even when compared against the likes of the higher-end Pebble Steel, the Gear 2 offers a much more compelling set of specs (higher resolution SAMOLED display, camera, heart rate monitor, pedometer, etc). The textured rubber straps, can easily be swapped out with other straps, allowing users to customize the Gear 2 to their liking, outfitting the watch with even higher-end designer leather or even steel straps.
Performance wise, the Gear 2 ran well in our short time with the device. It wasn’t buttery smooth by any means, but opening apps and making calls was quick enough. No way to tell is this had more to do with Tizen or the device’s dual-core processor, but we were pleased.
We were particular impressed when jumping from homescreen to camera, and firing off a shot. It was incredibly fast and something that adds a little more justification to having a camera strapped to your wrist. Sure, it’s not a feature everyone wants, but it could prove useful in certain situations (capturing a fleeting moment in the blink of an eye).
It’s all about convenience
To address concerns of the Gear 2 running Tizen instead of Android it makes little difference to us. It’s possible for wearables to run other OSs better suited for the small screen and optimized for battery life — and we’re okay with that. The Gear 2 is merely a companion device meant to compliment Samsung’s lines of smartphones by offering consumers with the convenience of rarely having to pull out their smartphone to check notifications, make phone calls, or even snap pics. We can’t wait to officially get our hands on one when they launch later this year. Full gallery below.