Samsung Galaxy Gear S2 image 004

After teasing its new Gear smartwatch ahead of Apple’s upcoming media event, South Korea-based Samsung last evening formally announced a second-generation Gear S family. The Galaxy Gear S2, as it’s called, augments the round display of its predecessor with a rotating bezel for navigating the user interface.

The internals have been refreshed, too, so the Gear S2 has NFC. While it has less storage space than the Apple Watch’s 8GB, the Gear S2 uses a stronger battery that Samsung claims runs up to three days on a single charge.

Samsung announced three different collections of the new Gear S2 lineup that it called “a result of many years of progressive innovation in the wearables category“: the Gear S2, Gear S2 classic and the Gear S2 with 3G connectivity. Here’s a quick overview of the new smartwatches.

Tizen, not Android Wear

The Gear S2 runs Samsung’s Tizen operating system rather than Android Wear.

Samsungs started experimenting with Tizen with the February 2014 release of the Gear 2 smartwatch. The most notable difference between Samsung’s Tizen-based smartwatches and ones it released prior is the ease of use and better battery life versus Google’s Android Wear software.

Samsung Galaxy Gear S2 image 003

Whether it’s due to Tizen or a 250mAh Li-ion battery, the new Gear S2 smartwatches should run up to two to three days on a single charge, depending on the usage. On the downside, the move to Tizen means customers have fewer apps at their disposal compared to Android Wear.

Hardware

The Gear S2, a mere 11.4-millimeter thin, features a circular 1.2-inch 360-by-360 pixel resolution Super AMOLED screen at 302 pixels per inch. The devices are powered by a custom-designed one-gigahertz dual-core processor with 512MB of RAM and have four gigabytes of storage, half as much as the Apple Watch’s eight gigabytes of storage.

One of the marque features of the Gear S2 is its rotating bezel used to navigate the user interface. There are two physical buttons on the S2, one takes you right to the Home screen and the other performs the Back function.

Samsung Galaxy Gear S2 image 002

On the networking front, the Gear S2 devices feature NFC for contactless payments, 802.11 b/g/n Wi-Fi networking and Bluetooth 4.1.

The smartwatches incorporate accelerometer, gyroscope, heart rate, ambient light and barometer sensors and are IP68-certified dust and water-resistant. Like the Apple Watch, the Gear S2 uses wireless charging, with the wireless charging dock included right out of the box.

Custom software

Driven by Tizen, the Gear S2 runs a custom user interface and includes in-house made apps. At-a-glance notifications allow you to check calendars, emails, news and more. Messages can be replied to with canned responses, emoticons and dictation. Unlike the Apple Watch, the Gear S2 supports software keypads for light text input.

samsung s2

The new Gear S2 lineup introduces additional fitness functions, such as a 24-hour activity log with daily progress and reminders when it’s time to stand, go out and work on fulfilling your fitness goals. Both Samsung’s own S Health and Nike’s Running apps come preloaded on the device.

Samsung and its partners working on a range of additional watch faces and bands for the Gear S2. Some of the stock apps include Schedule, News, Maps & Navigation, Weather, Contacts, Messages, Email, Music Player, Gallery, Voice Memo and Find My Device.

Because it sports a round display similar to the Moto 360 and the LG G Watch R, the icons and other user interface elements on the Gear S2 are round. The South Korean company has confirmed that a variety of apps optimized for the Gear S2’s circular user interface will be available at launch, with more to come at a later stage.

The Gear S2 watches also support a power-saving mode feature and incorporate privacy lock protection and safety assistance.

Three editions

As mentioned before, the new Gear lineup was designed to appeal to two distinct consumer preferences so it comes in two basic flavors—the Gear S2 and the Gear S2 classic—with the Gear S2 provided in two versions, one with and the other without 3G connectivity.

Samsung Galaxy Gear S2 image 001

Samsung says the Gear S2 classic with its black finish and a matching genuine leather band is made for “users who prefer a more timeless watch design.” The regular Gear S2, on the other hand, should be “ideal for those who are on-the-go and have an admiration for minimal and modern design.”

By the way, the bands can be easily swapped with one click.

As for the Gear S2 with 3G connectivity, it uses a stronger 300mAh Li-ion battery and rather surprisingly incorporates the all-new e-SIM standard that Apple is expected to adopt as well.

Voice capability is implemented so you can place phone calls through your carrier’s cellular network, use apps and perform other quick functions on the device without being closely tethered to your phone, unlike the Apple Watch and most other smartwatches on the market.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nwn8qMaNoJk

Because it runs on Tizen, Samsung’s new Gear S2 smartwatches are not compatible with Google’s Android Wear for iPhone application which launched yesterday.

Availability

The Samsung Gear S2 will be available in a Dark Gray case with a Dark Gray band and Silver case with a White band. The Samsung Gear S2 classic will be available in a Black case with a Leather band.

In addition, the Samsung Gear S2, Gear S2 classic and additional apps will be demonstrated at the IFA show in Tempodrum, Berlin on September 3. Exact pricing and availability is yet to be publicized, but we’ll keep you in the loop as more information becomes available.

Source: Samsung

  • UC_Reds

    It actually looks pretty sleek. They may have a product worth touting about. +3 days of battery life doesnt hurt either.

  • iBanks

    Looks ok. Good that they are looking forward and leaving android wear behind.

  • Bugs Bunnay

    Looks promising, for once.

  • Manuel Molina

    I’ll buy it if it works for the iPhone 🙂

  • Wow, it seems Samsung has learned from their past failures. This looks like a winner for sure!

    • johnsm

      hmmm no. I’m sure that bezel will be rotated by mistake all the time, and the band swapping looks still terrible

  • 3 days that’s something good

  • iPhoneWINS

    looks so nice.. apple watch looks old and lame

    • omakad

      I get that taste is subjective but this looks like a cheap swatch to me. It’s definitely geared towards younger crowd. I would have loved it in my 20’s but in my 30’s id be embarrassed to wear it.

  • diggitydang

    Here’s what I think… I can’t buy ANYTHING Samsung (although my wife does! *SMH* Hahaha!)… They can’t do anything good until Apple does it first. The first round of Gear was just a scaled down phone… No imagination. Apple comes out with the digital crown as a way to navigate, and comes up with a few different models that can swap bands without tools and magically, Samung comes out with a rotating bezel as a way to navigate the device and a few models to swap bands out with in one click???

    I think the Gear2 looks pretty good and kudos to them for the Tizen thing, which they’re finally trying to do their own thing with. But again, I can’t respect the company and refuse to support them. If I ever went Android, which I’m not totally opposed to, it would have to be something OTHER than Samsung.

    • Mike

      Hello Apple fanboy! Rotating bezel and digital crown are two completely different things. If you think that is copying then you have a problem. You act like apple never copies from anyone. Most of the OS upgrade ideas you get are you android itself. Also don’t forget about low power saving mode coming in iOS 9 which samsung had years before. Samsung had the bigger phone and iPhone copied. Do some research then talk about how samsung copies or apple copies. You pay $1000 for an iPhone that did mostly the same thing with the first one came out while samsung adds more things that actually make the phone worth buying. 2k screen, better camera, better specs, wireless charging, fast charging, samsung pay that you can use anywhere, and etc.

  • Csinga Csilla

    AT&t was constructed with a database continue, this means AT&T does not let the accessibility to their database for anyone cheap factory unlocks anymore, but there is still a website that does, you may check always out att-iphoneunlocking, we’re still able to factory unlock any AT&T stuff.