Hands-On: Samsung’s Gear 2 and Gear 2 Neo

There are definitely improvements to be spotted with the new smartwatches

By on February 25th, 2014 12:57 GMT

As we told you yesterday, Samsung announced the next-gen Gear 2 and Gear 2 Neo smartwatches in Barcelona.

There are two major changes coming with the new products. First off, Sammy has dropped the “Galaxy” branding altogether and, secondly, the smartwatches don’t run on the Android platform anymore but have switched to Tizen.

There are five key areas on the smartwatches that should be highlighted. Right off the bat, we noticed the design improvements, which seek chic and simplicity above anything else.

Moving on, the camera and speaker have now been moved to the bezel. As opposed to the previous model, there’s no wiring in the strap (meaning the hardware is included in the watch per se) so users can change it, having black, brown and orange options to choose from; yet, designer versions will be coming too, at some point.

We also noticed a home button on the bottom edge of the watches, which helps you return to the home menu. Users will be able to choose different themes, customize different app settings and tamper with the watch’s face options (image, color, background, change font).

The watches will send instant notifications when users receive calls, messages, schedules or new app alerts. Moreover, the Gears can be used as a heart rate monitor during workout while listening to music, so basically you get the functionalities of a smartwatch and wrist wearable combined.

Both Gears come with a 1.63-inch screen with a 320 x 320 pixel resolution (the same as the original Galaxy Gear) and are powered by a 1GHz processor combined with 512MB and 4GB of internal storage.

The two watches are capable of connecting and controlling TV sets thanks to the infrared LED. Furthermore, the smart wearables come pre-installed with a bunch of new apps for fitness, lifestyle, social, commerce, entertainment.

After spending some time with the two watches, we can tell you the interface is very aesthetically pleasing and quite responsive, so browsing through the pre-installed content wasn't a problem.

The watches feel light and comfy to wear around the wrist. Further note that they come equipped with anti-allergic wrist-band, but we didn't wear it that long to verify that claim. Anyway, the idea is that the watches are supposed to be safe to wear even by people with sensitive skin.

Of the two watches, the Gear 2 Neo proves to be the lighter one (it comes in black, grey and orange). Both models can be synced with up to 17 Galaxy devices and the SDK allows devs to make their own apps, noticeable enhancements compared to the first-gen Galaxy Gear.

Samsung mentions that the switch to Tizen will apparently allow the battery to last up to 3 days, which is three times longer than the Galaxy Gear.

The pricing specifications haven't been announced for these products, but the two smartwatches are definitely something worth looking into if you're on the market for a wearable device like this.
Samsung’s Gear 2 and Gear 2 Neo hands-on
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   Samsung’s Gear 2 and Gear 2 Neo hands-on

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