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Hands-on: Samsung Gear 2 and Gear 2 Neo [VIDEO]

samsung-galaxy-gear-neo-3

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
  • irLED
  • Accelerometer and gyroscope
  • 300mAh battery good for about 2-3 days of “typical” usage

Build quality

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

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.

android at mwc




  • David Hay

    So they’re sticking with the Samsung-only device compatability? That just makes me not want one even more, especially with the rumours of an inbound option from Google/LG. Thanks but no thanks Samsung. Oh and a built-in camera on a watch? We all know what kind of people are stoked about that now…don’t we?!?!?!? Yes……perverts. ;-)

    • Guest

      Getting “stoked” about a watch that no one has specs on is kinda dumb.

  • http://www.us.playstation.com/ HyperTallih

    Pebble is older and better then the Samsung Gelaxy Gear 2 Smartwatch is better then The Pebble and The Samsung Gelaxy Gear 2.

    Sony Smartwatch 2 is still better then both..

    • User17

      Your entire post makes no sense.

      • http://www.us.playstation.com/ HyperTallih

        Go off

        • User17

          That makes no sense either. Good job.

          • jfrov11

            hahahaha

  • http://www.us.playstation.com/ HyperTallih

    Crap Samsung

  • MarcusDW

    Samsung went tback to work and it paid off big with this watch. Myself and TONS of other people will buy this watch to go with their Galaxy phones.

    You will see this thing everywhere like it is the only smartwatch even produced.

    • User17

      I’m not sure if you will see it everywhere, considering it only works with Samsung devices, but I agree it is a huge improvement and I definitely plan on getting one.

      • MarcusDW

        Everywhere you look there’s a Galaxy phone.

        • User17

          Samsung’s market share in smartphones is about 30%, but that’s not necessarily all going to be compatible.

          • RahjerDat

            You will have to look awful hard to find someone using an old Samsung phone that won’t work with this. The oldest I’ve seen was a S3 and it’s a compatible phone.

    • DavidB23

      Few people will want to spend $200 (guess) on a smartwatch that is still pretty geeky looking. Combine that with the fact it only works with Samsung phones and you will find it will hardly be seen “everywhere”. More like it will be seen sparsely on a few geeks.

  • Chahk Noir

    2 Megapixels on your wrist, for when your 16MP phone can’t take pics blurry enough.

  • Jody Schoolcraft

    I am SO glad I returned the Galaxy Gear and waited for this… This paired with either the Note 3 or S5 should be really nice!

  • Devon Warren

    Glad these smartwatches are finally getting more polished. I am probably going to wait till Google weighs in though, I’m not a fan of the samsung experience as much.

  • Toasted_Cracker

    The title says “Hands on with the Galaxy Gear 2 AND Galaxy Gear Neo” where was the Neo? Am I missing something?

    • http://twitter.com/gamercore Chris Chavez

      Well, the Neo is technically the Gear 2 without the camera (see first image and gallery). That’s the only difference.

  • Helgaiden

    my omate should be here this week and the specs are still better. :)