Samsung has launched two new smartwatch devices – Galaxy Gear 2 and Galaxy Gear 2 Neo that succeed the original Galaxy Gear, which was launched just five months ago. Also, as can be expected, both the Gear 2 and Gear 2 Neo feature several enhancements over their predecessor though the biggest surprise here is the switchover from Android to Tizen to power the two devices. That apart, none of the devices break any new ground so far as the design is concerned though there sure are a lot of new features added to the Gear 2 and Gear 2 Neo devices.
Both are thinner and lighter than the original and continue to be compatible with only Samsung smartphone devices as of now. Coming to the tech bits, both come with a 1.63 inch super AMOLED display lit up by 320 x 320 pixels. Both are powered by a 1 Ghz dual core chip and come with 512 MB of Ram and 4 GB of storage. Another common aspect for the two Gear 2 versions is that they are compatible with Bluetooth 4.0 LE to connect to a smartphone.
Among a host of other features that both the Gear 2 version offer include infrared blaster which means the device can also be used as a remote control as well as a heart rate sensor which no doubt will appeal to the health conscious among us. The latter is designed to keep track of the heart rate during walking, running and so on with there being apps accompanying it to track cycling and hiking performance. Both the Gear versions also feature a distinctive home button as well.
However, the one aspect that sets the Gear 2 devices apart is the inclusion of a 2 megapixel camera for Gear 2 which also will be the pricier of the two. Further, the camera has been included within the main body and not on the strap as was the case on the original Gear. The camera is capable of shooting 1920 x 1080 pixel still shots or 720p video.
Among the apps that come pre-loaded on the Gear 2 and Gear 2 include notification, calendar, S Voice, stopwatch, a timer, weather forecasts, and media control. There are also add-ons for calculator, Samsung’s ChatON messaging service, voice memo, quick settings control, as well as an app that can make the smartwatch function as a flashlight as well. Among the third party apps available for the two Gear 2 versions include Banjo, CNN, Conde Nast, Expedia, eBay, Evernote, Feedly, GARMIN, Glympse, iControl, LINE, Path, Paypal, RUNTASTIC, Weather Channel, and Under Armour’s Map my Fitness. In addition, several carmakers such as BMW, GM, and Volkwagen too have developed apps for the Gear 2 and Gear 2 Neo.
Water/Dust Proof, Battery:
Another likeable aspect of the Gear 2 variants – and which was missing with the original Gear – is that both are now water and dust proof. Further, with a 300mAh non-removeable battery under the hood (a downgrade over the 315mAh battery for Gear 1), Samsung is claiming run times extending up to 3 days under normal usage. This could extend to even 6 days under low usage though Samsung hasn’t specified what it meant by normal or low usage. The first gen Gear lacked on both counts as it was susceptible to damage from water seepage while the device required recharging at-lest once every day.
Meanwhile, pricing remains undeclared right now though Samsung has stated both the Gear 2 and Gear 2 Neo will go on sale from April.