Samsung Gear 2 Hands-on (MWC 2014)

February 24, 2014
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MWC 2014 Coverage brought to you by: Bitdefender Mobile Security & Antivirus for Android.

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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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

Display1.63” Super AMOLED (320 x 320)
CPU1GHz dual-core processor
RAM512MB
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

Gallery

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!

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