Samsung Galaxy Gear 2 hands-on


Samsung didn't strike gold with its first Galaxy Gear smartwatch, but second time seems to be the charm, as it introduced a much improved Gear 2 successor. Those improvements are both in terms of design, and in specs, so let's recap what we found out about the Gear 2 in our brief hands-on time with the device.

Design


At 2.3 x 1.5 x 0.39 inches, the Gear 2 is slimmer than the Galaxy Gear (2.2 x 1.4 x 0.43 inches), but a bit wider and longer. Samsung's new smart watch is lighter than its predecessor, though, and looks more elegant on the hand, too. Moreover, the Gear 2 is now IP67-certified, and water resistant, so you can use it in the rain, or the shower.

Display


Gear 2 still carries a 1.63" display, with 320x320 pixels of resolution, which is plenty, as far as smartwatches go. It is easily readable when we examied it indoors, though outside under direct sunlight your results may vary.

Processor


Instead of the 800 MHz of its predecessor, the Gear 2 now carries a 1 GHz dual-core processor, and 512 MB of RAM. These specs are more than enough for the smart watch ranks, so you won't feel underpowered running those apps available for the Gear 2. Battery life with the faster processor is another matter, though Samsung promised the same 3 days on a charge it did for the Gear, too.

Interface


The new smart watch runs Samsung's Tizen OS, of all possibilities, and the company claims there will be hundreds of different apps available for the Gear 2 at launch. At least it is running a (somewhat) smart mobile OS, which might eventually result in cross-compatibility with all the different devices that are expected to run Tizen in the future.

Extra features


There is an infrared sensor on the Gear 2, which pairs with Samsung's WatchON application, letting you use the smartwatch as a remote control for your TV. There is also an optical heart rate sensor, and a pedometer in the Gear 2, so you can track your fitness efforts and results with it. Music can be played from the device directly to your ear, without a phone intermediary.

Camera 


The frame of the watch itself now carries a 2 MP camera, unlike the Gear one, which is placed on the strap. You can shoot pictures and video at up to 1920 x 1080p with the Gear 2 - much better resolution than the HD 720p footage that the Galaxy Gear's 2 MP shooter is capable of.

Expectations


Samsung seems to have finally nailed the smart watch trend with the Galaxy Gear 2 - it is more elegant than its predecessor, sports an improved camera and processor, and is water-resistant now to boot. The decision to run it on Tizen OS might pay off in the future, when more and more devices appear with this mobile OS, ensuring cross-compatibility with a number of apps. In addition, the heart rate monitor, infrared sensor, and other extras, add a lot of value to the wearable, so, depending on the price range, it might have a much better fate than the original Gear.

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12 Comments

1. Yubnub

Posts: 100; Member since: May 23, 2013

Me likey

2. twens

Posts: 1182; Member since: Feb 25, 2012

Love it

3. Killua

Posts: 270; Member since: Nov 25, 2013

I want. They finally make it water & dust proof. The design looks way better than that ugly squarish sony smartwatch. Waiting for the price.

7. InspectorGadget80 unregistered

it's water/dust resistance not water/dust proof.

4. HouTexan

Posts: 462; Member since: Jan 08, 2012

This is really nice.

5. GoBears

Posts: 456; Member since: Apr 27, 2012

Loving my Gear now, can't wait to pick this one up.

6. Tizen007

Posts: 575; Member since: Jan 07, 2014

NOT waiting for the iWatch

8. Lauticol

Posts: 404; Member since: Jun 25, 2011

They should open compatibility with all OEMs Android phones! Also they could have gotten rid of the heart-rate monitor and the IrLED for a Lite version and price them: Lite $150, Neo $200 and Gear 2 $250.

9. Professor

Posts: 223; Member since: Aug 02, 2013

I like the Gear 2 but Samsung only want people with Samsung phones to buy it. And is not compatible with my Nexus...

10. Diego!

Posts: 876; Member since: Jun 15, 2009

Does the camera have a flash? Or is that a sensor? What is that?

11. artr06

Posts: 2; Member since: Feb 24, 2014

I think the title must be edited! It's no more Galaxy branded, just Gear 2. Correct me if I'm wrong

12. SellPhones82

Posts: 569; Member since: Dec 11, 2008

Still going to hold out and see what LG/Google have to offer. This is how the first Gear should have been but they rushed it. If they really want to sell any they need to make it compatible with more than just the newer Galaxy phones.

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