Samsung Gear 2 Review
You can dial contacts and even hold a call via the Gear 2, though it obviously still needs its trusty Samsung smartphone sidekick to do the actual placing of the call - the Gear is just used as the loudspeaker and microphone.
If you do decide to take calls this way, prepare yourself for a disappointment. The speaker does alright, though it's still very weak, so noisy areas render this option unfeasible. The tiny microphone, on the other hand, really disappointed us. Put into words, just imagine that you're within a giant steel tube, inside a giant bathroom, because that's the way the other side will hear you. There's echo, there's distortion, there are bassy and grow-ly voices, and zero of your voice's actual tonality.
300 mAh cell is what powers the Gear 2, but don't sell it short just yet. Depending on your usage habits, it's actually capable of holding its ground for up to 4 or 5 days. If you like playing with your smartwatch, however, the very maximum you should expect is 3 days.
When the battery is out, you can juice it up through a pocket-able charging dock that Samsung provides, which snaps onto the back of the watch and connects to a power source via micro USB.
Samsung has carried out a number of improvements with the Gear 2, and pretty much all of them were for the better. We definitely like the design more, as the watch is both less bulky and lighter, but also less sporty with its looks. With the exception of the orange-colored version, you can easily slap the Gear 2 even for a fancier occasion (though, you'll still want your Tag for the rare gala). Samsung has also bumped up the specs of a few internals, and the watch generally performs very well in terms of responsiveness and speed. But like with its predecessor, the Gear 2's Achilies' heel is its poor app ecosystem, and its incompatibility with devices other than Samsung's very own. This situation is even more inadmissible some 6 months later.
The other major source of displeasure is the price tag on the Gear 2. At $299, this thing ain't cheap. Competitors like the far more functional (but arguably “less cool”) Pebble Steel sell for $229, while the original (which is a functional equivalent) costs just $150. Even Sony's new SmartWatch 2 costs only $145 on Amazon right now, and despite its faults, at least you have access to some high-demand apps like Facebook and Twitter, and it is arguably as good looking.
In the end, we found that the type of functionality that we could see ourselves rely on daily is virtually non-existent – the Gear 2 is an extension of your smartphone at the very, very best. At worst, it's nothing more than a watch for techies, and an expensive one at that.
- A more refined, lightweight design that is dust- and water-proof
- Interchangeable straps
- Navigating the software is very simple
- Display is visible even under direct sunlight
- Controlling your TV with your smartwatch is a geek's pleasure
- Incompatible with anything other than a Samsung smartphone
- Suffers from a very poor app ecosystem
- The price premium over competitors makes it hard to justify the little functionality if offers
- Heart rate monitor is slow, quirky, and serves little use
- The camera's placement isn't optimal
1. Anshulonweb (Posts: 277; Member since: 07 Feb 2014)
I am still not convinced enough to buy a smartwatch yet....
4. SupermanayrB (Posts: 145; Member since: 20 Mar 2012)
Exactly. Unless it allows me to not have to pull my phone out of my pocket (which is what my bluetooth does for talk & text) then I don't see a need for a smartwatch.
2. PunyPoop (Posts: 714; Member since: 18 Jan 2013)
Same rating as Sony Smartwatch 2? Sony's smartwatch is more useful, and stylistic..
5. ihavenoname (Posts: 1248; Member since: 18 Aug 2013)
...and also in many places cheaper. Where I live SW2 is €190=$263 vs Gear 2 €350=$485 (which is 99% confirmed launch price).
14. cheetah2k (Posts: 768; Member since: 16 Jan 2011)
The Sony SW2 is utter rubbish... as well as the fact the build quality is worse than a chinese handjob
3. ArtSim98 (Posts: 2205; Member since: 21 Dec 2012)
Smart Watches still have a long way to go.
7. NokiaFTW (Posts: 1686; Member since: 24 Oct 2012)
I still don't understand the use of a smartwatch. Why would I want to see notifications on a watch when I can just pull out my phone and check it? OEMs should provide a compelling reason for purchasing a smartwatch. Till then I don't see them selling much.
8. joey_sfb (Posts: 2524; Member since: 29 Mar 2012)
For those don't get much notifications than the appeal is limited. I get alert every 15 or 20 mins.
With an alert on the wrist I never miss any important sms or app alert. Its always much easier to twist my wrist then to take out my phone. So I want a smart watch and have gear 1 and Sony smart watch 1. Waiting for my Neptune Pine, Hot watch and Agent. Samsung Gear Fit will monitor it as its more of a Gear Stylish.
9. NexusX (Posts: 86; Member since: 16 May 2013)
think of it as a premium swiss/Italian/german handmade mechanical/quartz watch that costs upward of $300 and needs maintenance and battery replacement every few years just to stay accurate. think of it as really nice watch that not only tells time, but shows notifications, measures your heart rate/calorie intake, stays constantly synced to an atomic clock and needs to be charged every week.
13. pocketbook (Posts: 20; Member since: 26 Mar 2014)
Convenience? Do you respond to every one of your notifications? One of the biggest killers for smartphones is screen on time. Using smartwatches stopped me from taking out my phone anytime a new message comes in. I only take it out unless I am responding to it and in which case with the Gears, you can have the app corresponding to that notification come up without having to go through your app list. It pulls it up automagically.
I can also dial out, answer phone calls, do voice searches, track my steps and distance plus with the 2 and Neo I can use it as a universal remote. It's not going to replace my phone but it does keep me from having to pull it out of my pocket every 10 minutes.
10. colbolt449 (Posts: 4; Member since: 29 Sep 2013)
I pay to upgrade to the Gear 2 as I've gotton excellent performance from my Gear 1. I love the styling of this device.
11. Quezdagreat (Posts: 411; Member since: 05 Apr 2012)
They should've studied pebble a little more. Samesung needs to adjust their copy and paste settings
12. gigaraga (Posts: 472; Member since: 29 Mar 2013)
Awesome smartwatch! At least looks and feels better overall than Sony's NotSmartWatch
15. KillgoreTroutTime (Posts: 204; Member since: 06 Jan 2014)
I just went to Best Buy today for something else, but I noticed the Gear 2 there so I went over and checked it out. I have to say, they are a lot more impressive in person. For some reason, the pictures online make them look much bigger and clunkier than they really are. I was also really impressed with the wristband. I am not going to sell my moto X just to get one, but I do think people should check them out in person before judging them. I would have no problem wearing either one of them and I really didnt like their looks when I had just seen pictures of them. This is an opinion from someone who just loves tech and couldn't care less about the rise or fall of any one company.