Samsung Gear 2 Hands-on (MWC 2014)
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The Samsung Galaxy Gear received a tepid response at best, mostly because of its limited functions, design, poor battery life, and lack of compatibility with anything other than the Galaxy Note 3 at launch– with support for other Samsung devices added later following a software update.
For the second generation of the smartwatch, Samsung ditched the Galaxy branding, and along with it, Android. Powering the Galaxy Gear 2 is Tizen, Samsung’s long-coming and much talked about Linux-based operating system that was just introduced at MWC.
In terms of design, the Gear 2 isn’t straying too far from the direction set with the first generation, but overall, it’s slimmer, lighter, and better looking. Instead of an awkward bulge on the strap, the Gear 2 seamlessly integrates the camera inside its body. Moreover, the strap itself is thinner and more flexible, which makes the device feel better on the wrist. Straps are now interchangeable too, with color options including black, brown, and orange, along with some customizable designer options, so you can adapt your Gear 2 to your own style.
The button that was on the side of the original Galaxy Gear has now been moved to the front, replicating the look of the physical home button found the Galaxy smartphones. Functionality is still restricted to it being a sleep/wake button though.
I mentioned the poor battery life of the original Galaxy Gear, which would barely make it through a day, with moderate usage. The battery life of the Gear 2 is a vast improvement, to a very reasonable 2 – 3 days with “typical usage,” and up to 6 days with low usage. This battery performance is certainly very impressive, especially when you consider that the battery capacity is actually a bit smaller than the original.
It’s not just about looks. With the Gear 2, you also get a faster processor, an IR blaster to control your TV, and a heart rate monitor located on the back of the unit, making the Gear 2 a viable option for fitness buffs.
Overall, the Gear 2 is great second attempt and a solid update to the road opening Galaxy Gear, and if the price is right, it’s definitely going to find a lot more success than its predecessor.
Samsung Gear 2 specifications
|Display||1.63” Super AMOLED (320 x 320)|
|CPU||1GHz dual-core processor|
|Camera||Gear 2: 2MP auto focus (1920x1080, 1080x1080, 1280x960)
Gear 2 Neo: None
|Connectivity||Bluetooth 4.0 LE, IrLED|
|Video||Codec: H.264, H.263
Format: 3GP, MP4
HD(720p, @30fps) Playback & Recording
Format: MP3, M4A, AAC, OGG
|Sensor||Accelerometer, Gyroscope, Heart Rate|
|Storage||4GB Internal Memory|
|Battery|| Li-ion 300mAh
Typical Usage 2~3 days, Low Usage up to 6 days
|Other features||IP67 Certified Dust and Water Resistant, Noise Cancellation|
|Dimensions||Gear 2 : 36.9 x 58.4x 10.0 mm, 68g
Gear 2 Neo : 37.9 x 58.8 x 10.0mm, 55g
|Changeable Strap |
|Gear 2 : Charcoal Black, Gold Brown and Wild Orange
Gear 2 Neo : Charcoal Black, Mocha Grey and Wild Orange
What do you think of the Samsung Gear 2, impressed by their second attempt or not? Let us know what you think in the comment section below!