Earlier today we got the chance to go hands-on with Samsung’s latest wearable, the Gear S2. Aside from packing a unique rotating bezel and a new Tizen-powered software interface, there are a few more notable pieces of information that we think you should know.
For starters, and perhaps the biggest news with this watch, is that the Samsung Gear S2 will be compatible with other Android devices. Samsung’s previous Gear S watch was only compatible with other smartphones made by the company, so it’s great to see Samsung opening up its ecosystem a little bit.
The Gear S2 will be compatible with non-Samsung devices
With this news comes a few caveats, though. First and foremost, even though Samsung Pay is coming to the Gear S2 in November, you won’t be able to use the new payment service if you don’t own a Samsung smartphone. Additionally, your non-Samsung device will have to be running Android 4.4 KitKat or higher, which shouldn’t be a problem for most users out there. Samsung also tells us that with other Android phones, there may be a slight hiccup in software and apps here and there. Specifically, the tech company says the dialer app might run into some problems due to API differences.
Speaking of APIs, Samsung has just made the official Gear S2 SDK available for devs over at the company’s developer website. Samsung says the Gear S2 will have more than 1,000 compatible applications available when the device launches next month. If you’d like to download the SDK tools for this new watch, head to this website for more information.
The Gear S2 will be available for purchase in early October from Samsung’s website and other retailers. T-Mobile, Verizon, AT&T and U.S. Cellular have all announced plans to carry the new watch, though no specific availability or pricing details have been released yet. We’ll be sure to update you as we learn more about the Gear S2’s availability.