Samsung officially announces the Tizen-powered Gear 2 and Gear 2 Neo

by: Andrew GrushFebruary 22, 2014

Group_Gear 2, Gear 2 Neo

MWC 2014 Coverage brought to you by: Bitdefender Mobile Security & Antivirus for Android.

After a fair amount of rumors and speculation, Samsung has now officially announced the Samsung Gear 2. As a leak earlier today suggested, the Gear 2 is also accompanied by a lower-end variant dubbed the Gear 2 Neo (device seen to the far left).

Although the first-gen Galaxy Gear was largely met with mixed reception, Samsung has gone back to the drawing board with the Gear 2 and Gear 2 Neo, offering a device that is greatly enhanced in many key ways.

Design and specs

Both next-gen Samsung smartwatches have aesthetics that are fairly reminiscent of the first-gen Galaxy Gear, but the Gear 2 and Gear 2 Neo feature home buttons below the display and have designs that (arguably) look a bit more polished than the original Galaxy Gear. You’ll also notice that the camera is now positioned on the main body of the Gear 2, instead of the strap.

Under the hood, the Gear 2 and Gear 2 Neo feature a 1GHz dual-core CPU with 512MB of RAM. There’s also an improved camera, an IR blaster and several other hardware changes. Here’s a rundown of what to expect from the Gear 2 and Gear 2 Neo, in terms of specs:

Display1.63” Super AMOLED (320 x 320)
CPU1GHz dual-core processor
CameraGear 2: 2MP auto focus (1920x1080, 1080x1080, 1280x960)
Gear 2 Neo: None
ConnectivityBluetooth 4.0 LE, IrLED
VideoCodec: H.264, H.263
Format: 3GP, MP4
HD(720p, @30fps) Playback & Recording
AudioCodec: MP3/AAC/AMR/Vorbis
Format: MP3, M4A, AAC, OGG
SensorAccelerometer, Gyroscope, Heart Rate
Storage4GB Internal Memory
Battery Li-ion 300mAh
Typical Usage 2~3 days, Low Usage up to 6 days
Other featuresIP67 Certified Dust and Water Resistant, Noise Cancellation
DimensionsGear 2 : 36.9 x 58.4x 10.0 mm, 68g
Gear 2 Neo : 37.9 x 58.8 x 10.0mm, 55g
Changeable Strap
Color Options
Gear 2 : Charcoal Black, Gold Brown and Wild Orange
Gear 2 Neo : Charcoal Black, Mocha Grey and Wild Orange

As you can see, the Gear 2 and Gear 2 Neo are nearly identical to one another hardware-wise, though the Gear 2 Neo ditches the built-in camera in order to cut down costs.

So how do the next-gen Gear watches compare to the original Gear? As to be expected, certain components stayed the same as their predecessor such as the RAM, storage size, display size and resolution. Where the next-gen Gear smartwatches differ from the original is the processor, camera, improved sensors (IR blaster, heart rate), and, most importantly, the software.

Software and features 

You may have noticed that the “Galaxy” branding is absent from the Gear 2 and Gear 2 Neo, there’s good reason for that.

Galaxy is a brand that has been exclusively used by Samsung to describe Android-powered devices, but the latest Gear smartwatches have actually ditched their Android core in favor of the Samsung-backed Tizen OS. Of course, the Gear 2 and Gear 2 Neo will still fully communicate with Samsung Galaxy Android devices, with Samsung promising support for “more than dozens of Samsung Galaxy smartphones at launch.”

Aside from switching to Tizen, Samsung is also bringing many new software features to the table with the Gear 2 and Gear 2 Neo, while also improving existing software features that were previously found on the original Gear.

To get an even better idea of what to expect from the Gear 2 and Gear 2 Neo, check out this list of features for the Gear 2 and Gear 2 Neo:

Special features:

  • Fitness – Heart rate monitor, Pedometer, Exercise
  • Standalone modes: running, walking
  • Companion modes: cycling, hinking
  • Sleep & Stress (downloadable)
  • Music Player with Bluetooth® Headset and Speaker
  • WatchON Remote: Remote Controller via IrLED Sensor

Basic features:

  • Bluetooth Call, Camera, Notification(SMS, E-mail, Apps)
  • Media Controller, Schedule, Smart Relay, S Voice, Stopwatch, Timer, Weather
  • Downloadable extras: Calculator, ChatON, Flashlight, Quick Settings, Voice Memo

Featured apps:

  • Banjo, BMW, CNN , Conde Nast, Expedia, eBay, Evernote, Feedly, GARMIN, Glympse, GM (Onstar 4GLTE), iControl, Line, Path, Paypal, RUNTASTIC, Volkswagen, Weather Channel, Under Armour(Map my fitness), Samsung apps and services

As you can see, the Gear 2 and Gear 2 Neo actually pack a hefty amount of features. Some of the more intriguing additions include an IR blaster that can control your TV viewing experience, a stand-alone music player that doesn’t require your phone to work and improved health tracking with customizable fitness routine and the ability to monitor heart rate — just to name a few things.

Expected availability

So when can we expect to see the Gear 2 and Gear 2 Neo hit store shelves? Although we don’t have an exact date just yet, Samsung says that the next-gen Gear smartwatches will be available around the world from April. No word on pricing just yet, either.

What do you think of the Samsung Gear 2 and Gear 2 Neo, will they be able to make a greater impact in the wearable market than the first-gen hardware? Be sure to stay tuned to Android Authority where will be sure to bring you more details about the next-gen Gear and other announcements as MWC continues over the next few days.

  • Anon

    Samsung is probably testing the waters for Tizen here. Gear won’t likely impact smartphone sales.

  • Juan A C

    Hopefully no one will ever buy them ;)

    • ehndrew

      why not?

    • Rushan

      I have so many reasons to buy this over the over-praising Pebble shit

      • ehndrew

        i can see the good use in smartwatches (gym, meeting, driving? lazy lol, GPS etc.) and thus i’m pretty interested in purchasing one. If sold with the S5 than i will be upgrading from my s3 without a doubt.

  • Corey Watford

    It’s coming…

    • Jesus


  • dandroid13

    With improved battery life then I can now consider buying one. Also looking forward about Tizen, I see it running Samsung’s internet of things in the future, while Android runs smartphones and Chrome OS/Windows runs the PCs.

    • joser116

      I am sure that Google is now and has been recently optimizing Android in order for it to run on many other type of devices.

      • dandroid13

        Sure, but unlike Android, Tizen devices can omit 3d graphics hw acceleration, which saves hardware cost for things like smart home appliances.

      • Guest123

        And that’s a fundamental problem with Android. It wasn’t designed with the future in mind in the first place, they constantly have to hack it up to make it work on x, y, and now z.

  • joser116

    If they price these at around $150, then I am sure they will sell relatively well.

    • lbaxter80

      If they price them at that, I’m getting one.

  • Yoni Infante


  • jaketyler27

    well unless it has gps i will still refuse to buy a smart watch.. i have nike’s gps watch, as soon as i can have both that and phone/mp3 features into one……..

  • Lost_Fan

    “Samsung has went back to the drawing board…” Really? You’re a writer and you think this is correct? How about “Samsung has GONE back to the drawing board…”

  • Nathan Powell

    looks really nice but Tizen personally is a red flag for me, Tizen = closed up and very un-android. I hope Samsung realized they’re Apple-izeing themselves cause there are many companies eager to de-throne them if they go the Apple path

    • Guest123

      Think you need to look into Tizen a little more. It’s an open-source project with several companies behind it, not just Samsung.

      • Nathan Powell

        why depart from Android then? My main hang up is starting over practically from scratch when there’s a perfectly viable platform (specially with 4.4 aimed at smart watches). the closed up part was more from Samsung pulling the 3rd party cover “bug” in 4.4

        • John Mortimer

          Easy so they can get 6days standby

        • guest

          Android is clearly not for smartwarches…

        • Ben Edwards

          They aren’t starting over from scratch though, Tizen is Linux-based just like Android and apparently will run Android apps just fine.

          • Nathan Powell

            if they run android apps/ have Google play then I’d be fine with that, doesn’t seem likely Google would like this though. I just feel Samsung has gotten a huge ego over the galaxy brand, and doesn’t give Android enough credit for their success

          • Ben Edwards

            I doubt they’ll ever have access to the Play store so side-loading will be the only option but I remember reading right from the early days that Tizen would run Android apps.

            I do agree that Samsung have gotten too big for their own boots and forgotten that Android has carried them to where they are now.

    • Marsg

      Sony isn’t running android on their smart watch, why should Samsung, having android on a 1.6 inch screen kinda sucks, especially when it comes to battery life. The old gear couldn’t even last a whole day with just a 800mhz cpu, the gear 2 supposedly gets 2-3 days with a dual core.

      • Xan

        If use Symbian I’m sure it will last for a week :P

        • Kassim

          …and if you use Windows 95, I’m sure it will last for a month(!)

          • Richard Sequeira

            Use DOS 4.0 , it will last you six months just be sure to have less than 640k that’ll be enough.

      • Nathan Powell

        battery life has almost nothing to do with software. and Android 4.4 is geared towards less powerful devices (i.e. smart watches)

        • Marsg

          Battery life has nothing to do with Software O.o? As a software and electrical engineering student I am appauled by the comment. Instead of writing a 10 page paper I’ll just let you compare iOS to Android and MAC OS X to Windows in terms of battery life and battery capacity. Android 4.4 is geared towards less powerful devices, you are right. But what does that have to do with battery life? You can have a device with 512 mb-1GB of RAM and still have crappy battery life, hell need I remind you of the Galaxy Nexus or the Rezound lol. All OEMs have been doing for the past 4 years is increasing battery size(why do you think phones are getting bigger lol) and incorporating extra CPU cores at a lower frequency to conserve battery, sure Android has become a little more battery efficient but its still a hungry OS none the less.

      • John Mortimer

        And a smaller battery

  • Groud Frank

    What’s up with big Bitdefender ad that never goes away when I use Chrome on my phone to few pages, AA?

    • Tuấn Ankh

      Heck yeah. I was gonna comment the same thing somewhere. It’s so freaking annoying. I’m seeing it on my desktop now.

      • jeff

        C reply above

      • Jason Byrnes

        Install adblock plus. It takes care of all that nonsense.

        • D’Ander McSullivan

          Just what I did

    • dodz

      paid advertisement

    • Kassim

      It’s just a static ad on the site’s background…and since it’s non-intrusively helping monetise the site, I’m all for it!

      • Tuấn Ankh

        I have one problem with it though. It covers all the stuff I need to see on the home page.

        If it didn’t interfere with the content, I would be all for it.

      • jeff

        You have to type in the old fassion way to avoid that worthless bit of garbage.reminds me of good ole pop ups !!!…..aggravating

    • jasonmacbre10

      One other impressive new watch to launch this week is the SmartQ Z-Watch Android 4.4 edition priced at $155 which works with both Android phones plus the iPhone and overall compares to the new Galaxy 2 watch at nearly half the price, with most of the same functions… one of the first sources the SmartQ Z-Watch is available through is– TabletMaxx — worth checking out

    • Heisenberg

      I’ve noticed that too on Dolphin & Next.

      • Adrian Remus

        Do you know that Bitdefender is Romanian?

        • Heisenberg

          Nope! Bogdan Petrovan from this site and Anton D. Nagy from PocketNow are Romanian!

          Also, tomorrow is gonna be crazy!!

          • Adrian Remus

            Now you know. As for tomorrow…i don’t know, we’ll see

    • Ben Edwards

      Also happens on PC. Annoying as hell, half the article is covered.

    • Jesus

      inspect element, delete the friggin node!

  • MobileRoamer

    If the Gear 2 runs much smoother than the Android powered Galaxy Gear, then that will be a blow to Androids flexibility. Tizen from the get go was made to run on anything. First cameras, then a few appliances, now this smartwatch. This will be the real test for Tizen until a smartphone is released.

  • Caus

    I’m more interested with Tizen capability, and battery life usage. Waiting for in-depth review/testing for this Gear.

  • Arcybiskup

    “…1GHz dual-core CPU with 512MB of RAM…” IN A FUCKING WATCH!! 2 years ago i still had a pc with 512 mb ram (laugh laugh, it really did its job for me :D)

    World is standing upside down…

    • Tuấn Ankh

      dual 1.0 GHz and 512 MB of ram is what I have on my Lumia 521. xD
      Man, this watch is gonna be great! At least that’s what I hope…

  • Bryan Z

    really curious to see if they are going to release a Galaxy with tizen instead of android

  • Jaun Lombard

    This is a real smartwatch! I will use it every day! I see Garmin app so lets hope for GPS in the watch! I really believe this will be a winner….they added everthing all the critics wanted…they just need to launch it with a cheaper price!

    plus it might be sold with the next S5….thus sales in the millions!

  • John-Phillip Saayman

    Terrible ad and I can’t read anything..

  • Neil Pagay

    I wonder if the people at android authority actually enjoy the bitdefender app that’s intrusively blocking half my screen right now.

  • carlosfrancoz

    mmm… maaah… I thought Samsung was going to amaze us but it was not…

    • ehndrew

      Cant amaze everybody

  • Luka Mlinar

    Ill buy a smart watch wen it costs less than a 100$.

  • Dimitar Gospodinov

    please remove or fix the freaking ad

  • Dimitar Gospodinov

    this is what it looks like in Chrome

    • Bryan Z

      it’d be funny if your screenshot were one of an iOS device!! lol

  • Proioxix

    Too bad it’s only for Samsung devices. Would be nice if it supported other non Samsung Android devices.

  • Brendon Brown

    I hope they make the Gear compatible with non Samsung devices aswell.

  • Heisenberg

    I think they’ve made a huge mistake not using the Galaxy branding.

  • Jesus

    Water proof? Shock proof? Battery life??

  • M3D1T8R

    They’re ditching Android, so why is this being reported on and Android site? Seriously though, zero interest in this garbage. Samsung is getting way too full if themselves, thinking they can abandon Android, which built everything they have (in the smartphone space). Such hubris is almost Apple-like, which is obviously what Samsung continues to go for. But as we know, pride comes before the fall..

  • Bob Reilley

    I see Samsung still hasn’t learned their compatibility lesson. Why make a smartwatch that is ONLY compatible with the galaxy line up. I own a Note 3 so it a non issue for me but there are so many more non Samsung Android users out there that won’t be able to use it. This makes absolutely no sense to me.

  • Bryan Z

    Finally …. TIZEN is here? Actually really excited to see what samsung has prepared for the US audience with Tizen

  • jaketyler27

    still no gps… samsung have failed again with a smartwatch!

  • Sammy Jasper

    I really don’t expect GEAR 2 with this design n specifications. So disappointing. But I wanna try Tizen OS though

  • And the Rumors were true once again.