The long awaited sequel to the Samsung Galaxy Gear, the Samsung Gear 2, has just been launched at Mobile World Congress this week, and it’s safe to say that Samsung have made several rather bold decisions in its re-design that we think will really help Samsung make progress in the wearables space this year. The new Samsung Gear 2 arrives in two flavors with the standard Gear 2 joined by the Gear 2 Neo which misses out on an integrated camera in favor of a lighter overall build.
Before we get to the down to the core hardware specs, let’s look initially at the actual name of the device which has now been shorn of its Galaxy nomenclature to simply become the Samsung Gear 2 (or Gear 2 Neo). This makes perfect sense in terms of product branding as the Gear 2 really is set apart from their core line-up of Galaxy Smartphone/Phablet products – plus it is way easier to say.
Secondly, the Samsung Gear 2 is one of the very first devices from Samsung to drop Android for its own software platform, Tizen. Tizen as an OS has quite a history, one that I’m sure we will get around to sharing with you all one day. For now the short form version is one where is Tizen is an open source project under the umbrella of the Linux Foundation, developed in conjunction with industry heavyweights Intel and Samsung.
Tizen represents an attempt to subvert Google’s dominance with Android, but hey… as I mentioned that’s a story for another day. Today we see Tizen appearing on the Samsung Gear 2 and from what we can see it’s actually looking pretty slick. We don’t have any idea about exactly what version it is using just yet, but we are certain that the Gear 2 uses some kind of Tizen-derived OS.
In recent years wearbles and smart watches in general have suffered from being just a touch too clunky. The Samsung Gear 2 addresses that issue with a reduced weight of 68 grams for the Gear 2 and 55 grams for the Gear 2 Neo – this compares favorably with the 74grams on the original Galaxy Gear. It’s also slightly thinner with dimensions of 36.9 x 58.4x 10.0 mm for the Gear and a slightly wider 37.9 x 58.8 x 10.0mm for the Gear 2 Neo.
Samsung Gear 2 and Gear 2 Neo Specs:
• 1.63″ Super AMOLED 320 x 320 resolution
• 1.0 GHz dual core processor
• Tizen OS
• 2MP Camera (Gear 2 only)
• Bluetooth 4.0 plus infrared support
• Heart rate, accelerometer, gyroscope sensors
• 512MB Memory
• 4GB internal storage
• 300 mAh battery
• Dimensions: Gear 2- 36.9 x 58.4x 10.0 mm
• Weight: Gear 2 – 68 grams
• Dimensions: Gear 2 Neo – 37.9 x 58.8 x 10.0mm
• Weight: Gear 2 Neo – 55 grams
• IP67 water and dust resistant
Check out Sascha’s hands-on with Samsung Galaxy 2 Neo:
In terms of new features, it’s good to see that the Gear 2 is water and dust resistant, a good thing for us for the review staff at mobilegeeks.com who are mighty fond of wearing wearables in the shower… The Gear 2 device is available with several color options including Charcoal Black, Gold Brown and Wild Orange. The Gear 2 Neo replaces the Gold Brown option in favor of a Mocha Grey. Go figure.
One other interesting feature is the infrared support which allows users to control their TVs via the Samsung WatchON app. It’s not clear which TVs (Samsung only?) will be supported, but in principle, it sounds pretty cool. We have also learned that the Gear 2 can play music without a connected Smartphone – which makes sense if you want to enjoy your fitness with your tunes without towing the handset with you.
Overall the Samsung Gear 2 and Gear 2 Neo look to be excellent examples of next-gen wearables. We have yet to learn about pricing, but it seems we see it in stores at some point next month.