Samsung has made good on its promise and launched two new smartwatches that run on the Tizen platform.
After a set of leaks from @evleaks, Samsung officially announced the Gear 2 and Gear Neo ahead of the Mobile World Congress.
The lack of the Galaxy branding is because of the fact that these devices run Tizen and not Android. The Gear 2 and Gear 2 Neo are thinner and lighter to the Galaxy Gear, but the design is reminiscent to that of the first-generation Galaxy Gear. The chrome bezel around the screen is still there, but there is also a home button at the bottom of the watch face. The camera unit is also integrated better, and is now on the front of the watch rather than on the wristband. The Gear 2 and Gear 2 Neo are more customizable too, as they feature interchangeable wristbands. It isn’t clear whether all standard 22 mm bands would fit or whether you can only use Samsung add-ons, but the ability to customize your wristband is a welcome addition nonetheless.
Both the Gear 2 and Gear 2 Neo feature identical hardware, with the only difference being that the Gear 2 Neo does not feature the 2 MP HD camera that the Gear 2 comes with. There isn’t as big a change as far as hardware is concerned from the Galaxy Gear. The Gear 2 and Gear 2 Neo come with the same 1.63-inch screen with a resolution of 320 x 320 along with 512 MB RAM and 4 GB internal memory. The devices do feature a slightly faster dual-core CPU that is now clocked at 1 GHz to the 800 MHz variant used in the Galaxy Gear. In an odd move, Samsung featured a lower 300 mAh battery on the devices from the 315 mAh battery on the Galaxy Gear. However, the manufacturer has assured that by using Tizen, these devices will easily last two to three days on a single charge. These devices are also IP67 certified, which means that they are dust and water resistant.
Samsung is fixing most of the flaws that were inherent on the Galaxy Gear with these devices. They have better battery life, and will be compatible with “more than dozens” of Galaxy handsets. These devices also feature more sensors. They come with a heart rate monitor, IR blaster and an activity tracker that can distinguish between different forms of activity like running, walking, cycling and hiking. Functionality is also enhanced, with the devices able to undertake Bluetooth calls, show incoming text and email notifications and act as a media controller for your connected device.
The Gear 2 will be available in color variations of Charcoal Black, Gold Brown and Wild Orange, while the Gear 2 Neo will be offered in Charcoal Black, Mocha Grey and Wild Orange. Overall, the design of the Gear 2 and Gear 2 Neo looks more refined to that of the Galaxy Gear. These watches are also set to be more affordable to the Galaxy Gear. Availability information isn’t known yet, but they should be making their way to store shelves sometime in the second quarter.