We’re still waiting for Samsung to announce the Galaxy S5, but in the meantime the company has spilled the beans on its next generation of smartwatches. This times there’s two of them rather than just one, there’s the Gear 2 and the Gear 2 Neo and as you may have noticed ‘Galaxy’ has been dropped from the name.
That’s presumably because this time around the watches don’t run Android, as Samsung has instead opted for its own Tizen operating system. That might seem like an odd choice, after all the Samsung Galaxy Gear failed to make much of a splash and switching to an operating system that no-one’s particularly using isn’t likely to remedy that. But in a lot of ways these new devices sound like marked improvements.
JK Shin, CEO and President of IT & Mobile Division, Samsung Electronics announced that: “With the Samsung Gear 2 and Gear 2 Neo, we have enhanced everything consumers love about the Gear to offer unparalleled smart freedom in their everyday life.”
To some extent that seems to be true. Both devices provide notifications for numerous things and allow users to accept or ignore calls and messages. Thanks to the inclusion of an infrared LED sensor they can also use Samsung’s WatchON app to control televisions and other devices and they’re marginally less dependent on smartphones than the Samsung Galaxy Gear as they both have a built in standalone music player.
Samsung seems to be marketing them as fitness devices too, as they can provide real time fitness coaching, monitor a user’s heart rate, include a pedometer and allow users to develop a customisable fitness routine.
Finally, while they’re still not exactly stylish they are at least quite customisable, with a choice of different homescreen backgrounds, clock faces and fonts, as well as several different strap options (Charcoal Black, Gold Brown and Wild Orange for the Gear 2 and Charcoal Black, Mocha Grey and Wild Orange for the Gear 2 Neo).
The main difference between the two smartwatches is that the Gear 2 has a 2 megapixel camera on the body of the watch, while the Gear 2 Neo doesn’t have a camera at all. Aside from that the two devices have almost identical specs. They both have a 1.63 inch 320 x 320 Super AMOLED display, a 1GHz dual-core processor, 512MB of RAM, 4GB of storage and Bluetooth 4.0. They’re also both dust and water resistant and they include a handful of apps, such as a stopwatch and calendar, with more available to download.
On the battery front they both have a 300 mAh juice pack, which Samsung reckons will last for 2-3 days of moderate use or up to 6 days of light use.
Other than the camera the only real difference between the two seems to be the dimensions and weight, as while the Gear 2 is 36.9 x 58.4 x 10mm and 68g, the Gear 2 Neo is 37.9 x 58.8 x 10mm and 55g, so while neither is exactly small, the Gear 2 is slightly larger and heavier than the Gear 2 Neo.
They’re due out worldwide starting in April and will be compatible with over a dozen Samsung Galaxy smartphones from day one.
Have you read our Galaxy Gear review?
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