Samsung Gear S2 vs Samsung Gear S2 Classic: first look


There's something we have to admit: it has been a while since a smartwatch announcement got us as excited as we are right now. But the Samsung Gear S2 and S2 Classic deserve every bit of attention we've been treating them to ever since the first few teasers came out. As we pointed out in our hands-on articles, Samsung's wearables demonstrate how great of a companion a smartwatch could be when it is executed right. Which of the two Gear S2 models is superior, however? Are they any different at all? Allow us to answer these questions for you.

Design


The way they look is a key differentiating factor between the Samsung Gear S2 and Gear S2 Classic. The former is a futuristic-looking device with minimalist design and rather sporty feel, while the latter sticks closer to what a traditional watch looks like. Both wearables are designed in a way to appeal to both ladies and gentlemen, although the Gear S2 could be regarded a tad more universal, gender-wise, than the Classic. Looks have been combined with practicality, as the two wearables are dust- and water-resistant.

Both Gear S2 models feature a rotating bezel, used to effortlessly navigate through the interface. The two bezels provide good tactile feedback with each rotation, allowing our fingertips to feel every move within the Tizen menu screens. Back and home buttons reside on their right sides.

It is important to know that the Gear S2 comes with Samsung's proprietary band lock mechanism. In other words, you won't be able to put your own watch band on it as it won't fit. If you have a Gear S2 smartwatch, you'll only have the handful of Samsung-made wrist bands to pick from, most of which are very sporty in appearance. In contrast, the Gear S2 Classic is compatible with standard 20-millimeter watch straps, which is convenient. The straps Samsung is providing for it are made of premium materials, such as metal or genuine leather.

The Samsung Gear S2 and S2 Classic may seem identical in terms of size, but there are some subtle differences in this regard between the two devices. The former is 1.67 inches wide and 1.96 inches tall (42.3x49.8mm), while the latter measures 1.57 by 1.72 inches. Both wearables are 11.4 millimeters thick. Furthermore, the Gear S2 is a tad heavier, weighing 1.66 oz (47 g) vs 1.48 oz (42 g) for the Gear S2 Classic. 

Display and hardware specifications


Design and physical size aside, the Samsung Gear S2 and Gear S2 Classic are pretty much identical. They both feature the same 1.2-inch Super AMOLED display with 360x360 pixels of resolution, producing 306 ppi. Both feature a dual-core processor ticking at a 1GHz maximum. Both have 4GB of storage alongside 512MB of RAM. Both are loaded with connectivity options and various sensors to track the user's activity. Long story short, you'll be getting the same hardware under the hood regardless of which Gear S2 model you pick.


Software and functionality


Both Gear S2 variants run the latest version of the Tizen operating system. Simply put, there's nothing that the Gear S2 can do and the Samsung Gear S2 Classic can't. The two feature a ton of well-designed watchfaces, many of which are customizable, and a Samsung-provided app lets you put your own watchface from scratch. Both models support Samsung Pay for hassle-free mobile payments at participating retail locations. Both can automatically track your activity, measure your heart rate, bring your notifications, your text messages, your contacts, and your navigation data to your wrist. And we're only scratching the surface.

Cellular connectivity


In addition to the standard Gear S2 and Gear S2 Classic models, Samsung is planning on releasing variants with cellular connectivity. It will be possible to use these Gear S2 and Gear S2 Classic models as independent devices as they'll have access to the internet via your provider's cellular network. However, they'll be slightly thicker and heavier than the standard models in order to accommodate the necessary radios and a larger battery.

Battery life


Speaking of batteries, the Samsung Gear S2 and Gear S2 Classic come with 250mAh cells, with a promised battery life of 2 to 3 days. The cellular-enabled variants of the wearables will have larger, 300mAh batteries and should last a couple of days per charge. Of course, battery life will greatly depend on how the gadgets are used. For example, having the always-on screen option enabled will reduce longevity significantly. Thankfully, Samsung has thrown in a power-saving mode for those times when you forgot to place your Gear S2 or Gear S2 Classic on its wireless charger. Yup, the two smartwatches come with a handy wireless charging cradle and even support rapid charging. 

Expectations


All in all, the Samsung Gear S2 and Gear S2 Classic are similar on so many levels, including screen size and resolution, hardware specs, software capabilities, and battery life. Several factors do set them apart, however, and one of them is the way they look. Whether you should pick the sporty regular model or the stylish Classic variant depends solely on your tastes and preferences. Also, it is worth reminding you that the Classic is compatible with standard 20mm straps, while the regular Gear S2 model gets along only with Samsung's own wrist bands. As far as pricing goes, we're expecting the two to retail at the same price point given their identical feature set. 

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30 Comments

1. SamDH1

Posts: 419; Member since: Apr 21, 2015

Here I was, ready to go with Huawei to replace my current 360 and G Watch, then the S2 Classic comes along and ruins everything. EVERYTHING! Now what do I get, huh? HUH?!? D:

10. AnTuTu

Posts: 1601; Member since: Oct 14, 2012

I am going for Classic. You can give it a shot too :)

12. arch_angel

Posts: 1651; Member since: Feb 20, 2015

Just Wait For Reviews And Pick Which Ever Gets A Better Score.

14. Taters

Posts: 6474; Member since: Jan 28, 2013

I am leaning towards both. The Huawei being my dress watch and the Gear S2 being everything else.

22. bodzio1809

Posts: 407; Member since: Aug 28, 2013

I will pick Huawei Watch. It got bigger screen and looks more like a watch. Still I like new Tizen os and rotating wheel. Also you should wait for reviews and watch some videos on youtube. S2 Classic look better on renders than on videos bacause of glowing metal wheel/rack(?). I need to see it in real life. Huawei Watch looks better on videos than on renders :D

28. Mercedes-Benz

Posts: 403; Member since: Jan 18, 2015

Get the new moto 360

2. DirtyDan23

Posts: 280; Member since: Aug 12, 2014

Neato

3. maherk

Posts: 6768; Member since: Feb 10, 2012

The bezel on the S2 looks much better than the one on the Classic And between the 2, I would definitely choose the S2 version.

17. hwb01

Posts: 355; Member since: Apr 17, 2014

I actually prefer the bezel on the Classic, the S2 bezel looks really deep.

4. Taters

Posts: 6474; Member since: Jan 28, 2013

Hmmm. Dammit, I haven't worked it out yet. I am getting the Gear S2 Classic for sure but not sure if I should cancel my Huawei watch preorder just yet. Lol

23. bodzio1809

Posts: 407; Member since: Aug 28, 2013

Huawei watch looks definetly better, but S2 will be probably more functional with longer battery life. If you need watch with notifications take Huawei. If you need smartwatch take S2. I will take Huawei Watch because it looks better in my opinion and got bigger screen. Also voice functions are probably better in Android Wear.

5. ph00ny

Posts: 2025; Member since: May 26, 2011

More and more i look at these watches, more i want one and get one for my wife as well

6. camera531

Posts: 346; Member since: Jun 30, 2012

Do they have touchscreens or is it solely the bezel and buttons?

7. ph00ny

Posts: 2025; Member since: May 26, 2011

touchscreen too

8. joey18

Posts: 665; Member since: Jul 20, 2010

To be honest looks ugly and old watch the 360 gold new edition looks more nice and beautiful

13. arch_angel

Posts: 1651; Member since: Feb 20, 2015

Bulls**t LOL, Classic Looks Better Than The New 360.

16. Awalker

Posts: 1973; Member since: Aug 15, 2013

I don't know about that. The 360 in all black looks mighty good.

19. engineer-1701d unregistered

with its flat tire again

24. bodzio1809

Posts: 407; Member since: Aug 28, 2013

And LCD screen :D

9. joevsyou

Posts: 1091; Member since: Feb 28, 2015

samsung should let people test drive these for a week. I don't get their purpose and i might not until i actually get my hands on one and use it

26. JayFiveAlive

Posts: 67; Member since: May 30, 2014

Buy from Amazon or Best Buy - 14 day return policy with Best Buy, 30 days with Amazon. :P

11. Taters

Posts: 6474; Member since: Jan 28, 2013

Check out the Classic with a nice watch face. Looks just like a baume and mercier or iwc. Fantastic! http://youtu.be/EF-b4I_FjOs

20. engineer-1701d unregistered

i like the bez from the classic but i like the smothness of the sport and i ndid watch the after eent when they said samsung has given the ok for after market bands for the sport so what if you got a black metal band with dark grey sport

15. Awalker

Posts: 1973; Member since: Aug 15, 2013

I think the classic looks very nice.

18. talon95

Posts: 992; Member since: Jul 31, 2012

Good reviews, looking better all the time. I suppose I may break down and get the classic.

21. engineer-1701d unregistered

the big thing for me is texting i like gear wear because i just say ok google and it sends but getting tired of google am thinking about the jump to tizen i have the gs6 anyways

29. talon95

Posts: 992; Member since: Jul 31, 2012

And Tizen doesn't? Hmm.

25. Gulliver

Posts: 49; Member since: Sep 18, 2013

How about that. If you get the 3G version with the bigger battery but don't use it's 3G functionality (don't put sim card, etc.) would you get the same functionality as the regular model but with additional 1 to 1.5 days of use? Just as a thought. I wouldn't mind my Note to be 1 mm or so thicker for extra few hours of battery life.

27. GreenZone

Posts: 146; Member since: Mar 04, 2014

Looks like cheap watch

30. Daicom

Posts: 1; Member since: Jan 07, 2016

It would be nice if the Gear S2 had a larger band.....some of us have large wrist and the stock bands don't fit

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