Samsung Gear S2 unboxing and first impressions

by: Joshua VergaraOctober 3, 2015
1K

Every manufacturer is jumping into the wearable market with both feet in. Needless to say competition is really heating up by the end of 2015, and while most smart watch makers are betting on Android wear, Samsung continues pushing its own Tizen platform. Can they really make the in-house OS mainstream? We are not sure, but their new Samsung Gear S2 sure looks promising.

This device has finally hit my doorstep, so let’s waste no time to give you an unboxing and tell you all about my very first impressions on the Samsung Gear S2.

Buy Now: Available on Best Buy for $299

We already took a look at the Gear S2 during IFA. One of our main points then was that Samsung did do a great job at making this a particularly unique product. It’s nothing like the Android Wear devices we are used to; and it shouldn’t be, as the company is using a whole different operating system.

The box is circular and reminiscent of the watch’s shape, which gives it a very elegant and minimalist nature. This is why it’s no surprise to see that the unboxing process is also very simple. Just pull out the top section of the box and you will be presented with the product.

samsung gear s2 unboxing aa (1 of 20)

This is definitely going to be more of a sporty smartwatch, unlike the S2 Classic, which is much more of a formal accessory. I do like that the silicon bands give you more protection against liquids. Not to mention the smooth rotating bezel, as opposed to touting those rivets in the more formal iterations.

The box also includes the wireless charging dock, which you can just rest the watch on top of to juice up. And we can’t forget that glorious literature we always get with all devices (and pretty much never read). What you will enjoy seeing is a set of replacement straps for those of you with smaller wrists.

Removing the straps is a little weird at first, as there is an odd sliding mechanism you have to get used to. It takes a few tries, but you should be fine after that.

samsung gear s2 unboxing aa (2 of 20)

Let’s just get back to the device, which is actually very interesting in that it has that rotating bezel. This is no gimmick, and actually works great as a dial – it’s one way of navigating through your watch without having to swipe around.

Other awesome smart watches!

Furthermore, the stainless steel body is gorgeous, and we also love the fact that it comes with an AMOLED panel. This is no surprise, knowing that it’s a Samsung product, but we are still excited about the battery life improvements this screen technology can offer. AMOLED displays only turn on the pixels that are needed. Pixels displaying the color black are simply turned off, which should spare some precious mAh bits in the process.

samsung gear s2 unboxing aa (9 of 20)

Let’s talk about software, which is the part of this watch that we are most unfamiliar with. Tizen is completely different, but it’s definitely intuitive, so you can get the hang of it pretty quickly. As you can see in the video, it’s easy to navigate around, add quick dials, include more widgets, and add more applications through the Gear Manager. Honestly, though – that dial! This new form of input is really the most exciting part of this device.

We took a look at the Gear Manager and found a good list of applications, but we are not sure yet if the platform is mature enough to really say it is well supported. We certainly do wish there was more stuff in there. At least we know the Gear S2 is compatible with a lot of different Android devices, losing the Samsung exclusivity we are so used to seeing. However, going through the set-up does require installing a bevy of apps for everything to work properly.

That’s it for today’s unboxing and first impressions, guys. Keep it tuned to Android Authority to check out the full review, which is coming soon. We will also be comparing the Samsung Gear S2 with all the hottest smart watches out there, as well as alternate Tizen options.

What do you guys think so far, though? Is this a watch you could see yourself rocking? Hit the comments and share your thoughts!

Buy at Best Buy ($299)

Also read:

samsung gear s2 unboxing aa (17 of 20)

  • Jesus

    So josh, what app is this actually missing, rather than leaving us in the blank?

    Because most people aren’t going to use most apps anyhow. We just need the basics, done well preferably.

    • John H

      I can’t imagine what else you’d want from a mobile device companion. It’s sleek, modern and has fantastic integration with all your notifications. I’m waiting for the Classic because it looks more like a professional watch, but I can see the appeal of the Sport.

      But I agree, what else do you want this to do? I’ve have the Gear S and had the Moto 360. I prefer the Gear S by a mile. As far as apps go, I use it to view texts, emails and calls as they come in.

      I don’t hold conversations on speaker phone so I couldn’t care less about the S2 not having speakers. The circular interface with the inactive bezel is TOTALLY intuitive, smooth and easy. I’m getting the Classic as soon as is available.

  • Fel Pe

    Does it have speakers?

    • Louis D.

      Nope.

  • Spruce Cycle

    Looks like a crappy Casio G-shock.

    • falao4lo80

      nah

    • John H

      It’s a sports watch… What else is it supposed to look like? If you want a “timepiece”, wait for the Classic.

      • Spruce Cycle

        It’s CRAP. Faildroid users always excuse their android crap then rage with envy when  creates something beautiful, functional and that ppl actually want to use!

        • Rob Thatcher

          You do realize this watch does not have android as its OS correct troll? Go buy your 2012 tech for 2020 money.

        • Rob Thatcher

          oh look it is trollcycle the man with over 2k comments ripping on android….. king troll

          • Spruce Cycle

            ^stalker, jelly and mad lol.

          • The Irony

            So your strategy is just to slap untrue labels onto whoever points out your ignorance?
            I’m kind of sad, but there are an abundance of these kinds of people on tech forums. What can I do?

            Also “stalker, jelly, and mad?”
            Stalker? He’s following along this conversation he was part of; that doesn’t make any logical sense.
            Jelly? Wth?
            Mad? Does his comment exude madness in any sense?

            If you’re going to troll, at least put your whole heart into it please.
            Anyhow, you won’t be taken seriously by anyone regardless.

          • Spruce Cycle

            U can delete ur acct and destroy ur comp and spare the internet ur stoopidity haha

          • Anthony Kurban

            Go die in a hole

          • Spruce Cycle

            Y so mad at the internets? haha

        • John H

          Envy? Pfft. Yeah, I envy a watch that won’t make it through a day of use. The Apple Watch is patently a bad smart watch. It’s all the things that gave smart watches a bad name to begin with.

          And the Gear S2 doesn’t run on Android, simpleton.

          • Spruce Cycle

            ^pure idiocy. Nuff said.

          • John H

            The fact that the sheep line up in droves to purchase that thing does not make it good.

            The S2 Classic looks good, has fantastic performance and just plain works. Things Apple used to be able to hang its hat on. Super AMOLED screen, this, stylish design, circular bezel interface, ip68 water resistant certified, Tizen working on all Android devices.

            Keep your inferior fruit watch

          • Spruce Cycle

            lol ur talking abt a 5yr old phone? lol gtfo….

          • John H

            The Gear S2, dimwit. Try to keep track of your trolling and the thread content.

          • Spruce Cycle

            Bahaha, sorry noone gives a shit abt crapsung products sorry if i got a watch mixed up with a 5yr old phone with the same name haha

          • falao4lo80

            if you dont give a shit why are you searching for their products online hhah. you must be retarted.

        • falao4lo80

          i’m still getting the gear over the apple watch

    • James Theodore Retuya

      You look like a pathetic git. Carry on.

      • Spruce Cycle

        Lol, ur really mad at me haha

    • falao4lo80

      actually it looks way better than the apple watch.

  • abazigal

    I got to play with the the watch a little at a shopping centre and I must say, I quite like the design. It has that rugged yet understated feel and rotating the bezel somehow feels quite satisfying, and is actually effective in navigating the interface.

    Granted, I am more a G-shock kind of guy, so perhaps its aesthetics appeal more to me.

  • Marty

    Picked an S2 up yesterday. I also have a Huawei watch. The S2 feels a lot like the regular Gear 2 software wise. It’s certainly smoother and cleaner, but it isn’t a strict departure from what Samsung already had with the Gear 2. In fact, the added complexity to the UI feels unneeded. The rotating bezel doesn’t add anything useful to it either. I find it easier to simply swipe the screen to do everything the rotating bezel does.

    If I had to choose between the S2 and the Huawei watch, I’d take the Huawei watch. It looks nicer and I like Android Wear better. Not to mention there’s many much better watch faces available on AW.

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  • Phillip

    Got mine today must say I’m really impressed so far only pit fall is the
    Lack of not being able to make and receive calls other then that it’s all good

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    • falao4lo80

      really? A 3G version is coming out later this fall which will allow you to make and receive calls. I’m waiting for it. You should have research before buying the Bluetooth only version.

  • Jobe

    I hope the 3G model will come with a built-in speaker. If not, definitely URBANE 2.

    • supersoulfly

      3g model will include a 3g radio (of course), a bigger batter, gps, and a speaker.

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  • James Theodore Retuya

    I am definitely getting one half a year from now. By then, the price should be significantly lowered enough for my shallow pockets to afford.

    • El Big CHRIS

      same here, my wallet would only allow for 150 or less if possible

    • falao4lo80

      The price is not gonna go down. The watch is inexpensive already. Cheap ass

  • Martin

    Can you have whatsapp or Line on it standalone on the 3G version?

    • Lynnie

      Whatsapp and Line are both supported. Though I think Line app is not yet out and will be available during October.

      • Martin

        Thank you! Do you know where I can see list of apps? Would love to check for myself if the apps are standalone apps for S2 where I dont have to have the watch paired up.

  • Paul M

    I like the look of the watch, but I simply won’t buy it because I try to avoid buying into something that’s locked in to a specific manufacturer and depends solely on them. At least with Android Wear then the watches are sufficiently similar that in theory it would be possible to make custom firmware for a watch based on those from other manufacturers and keep your watch updated even if the manufacturer cease supporting it.
    OK, I’ve adopted the Google ecosystem, but I could take all my data away if I really needed to.

  • supersoulfly

    I was able to get my hands on a S2 Classic… very happy with it. Samsung has a made a damn fine watch.

    • Gotta

      Sold out in almost every nearby Bestbuy I went to last Friday. Finally found the last one at a Macy’s. It was a little more expensive there than in other retailers, but I’d gladly pay even $100 more for the Gear S2.

      Initial thoughts. The rotating bezel is GENIUS. Tizen works like a charm and looks gorgeous. Both of these factors combined make you feel happy like a kid inside whenever you’re using it. Sexy design goes without saying. It’s nice of Samsung to include small and large strap sizes.

      Hands down this is the best and only smartwatch worth getting. LG Urbane comes a close second.
      There is no other smartwatch.

      • byteseyes

        I agree, using the bezel is hypnotically satisfying and Samsung’s UI is beautifully executed. Navigating the UI is superior to AW.
        The Gear S2 actually looks like a normal watch that sits flush against your wrist, and the proportions are pleasing.

        I didn’t really like how other smartwatches such as the Moto 360 looked like a thick hockey puck or tumor sitting on your wrist.

  • daftrok

    Why even make this version when the Classic looks 1000x better? This just looks like a cheap knock-off version of a smartwatch. Rubber proprietary bands? Make the stainless steel look like plastic? I’ve never seen so much effort to make a watch look this bad. Just should have come out with the classic:
    http://www.samsung.com/global/galaxy/gear-s2/images/gear-s2_model_type3.jpg

    • falao4lo80

      maybe because people who are athetes unlike you are better suited by this design.

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