Sep 3rd, 2015

One of the early details Samsung held back on regarding the Samsung Gear S2 family is compatibility: which Android phones would they work with? Just yesteryear they might have held their goodies exclusively for owners of their latest flagship smartphones, but that’s changing.

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Samsung has announced that the Gear S2, Gear S2 Classic and Gear S2 3G will work with nearly any Android phone, even if the phone doesn’t don their logo. We say nearly because there are a couple of restrictions:

  • The phone must be running Android 4.4 or higher, which shouldn’t be too much of an issue for most devices on the market right now.
  • The phone must have at least 1.5GB of RAM, which might prove to be a bit more problematic.

It’s hard to believe any phone would come with less than 2GB of RAM in this day and age, but they do. The growing collection of Android One phones, for instance, mostly have just 512GB of RAM. And even some passable mid-range options only reach the 1GB mark.

So what gives? We asked Samsung why this restriction was in place, and the answer is simple: having a RAM requirement is the only way to ensure they can give Gear S2 owners a smooth and proper user experience. We’re not sure about the technical aspect as to why a good user experience can’t be had with anything less than 1.5GB of RAM, but there it is anyway.

In fact, Samsung is so serious about this RAM requirement that the watch will flat out refuse to connect to a phone that doesn’t have enough. If that’s an issue for you, well, there are many other fine smart watches — Android Wear or otherwise — to pair your device up with, so be sure to explore them in full.

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