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.
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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.
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.
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.
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.
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!