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

Samsung has now officially taken the wraps off the Samsung Gear 2 and Gear 2 Neo. The next-gen watches not only drop the "Galaxy" branding from their names, they are also now powered by Tizen OS.
February 22, 2014
Group_Gear 2, Gear 2 Neo
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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)
1GHz dual-core processor
Gear 2: 2MP auto focus (1920x1080, 1080x1080, 1280x960)
Gear 2 Neo: None
Bluetooth 4.0 LE, IrLED
Codec: H.264, H.263
Format: 3GP, MP4
HD(720p, @30fps) Playback & Recording
Codec: MP3/AAC/AMR/Vorbis
Format: MP3, M4A, AAC, OGG
Accelerometer, Gyroscope, Heart Rate
4GB Internal Memory
Li-ion 300mAh
Typical Usage 2~3 days, Low Usage up to 6 days
Other features
IP67 Certified Dust and Water Resistant, Noise Cancellation
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
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.