Samsung is trying to win every aspect of the market right now and in an attempt to become more approachable it just announced that its Tizen Gear S2 smartwatch will work with iPhones too. The device has been compatible with most updated Android devices already, so this move into enemy territory is at least interesting coming from the South-Korean monolith.
The support was announced at CES a few minutes ago, but no additional details or a specific date were made public so far. It is clear the Samsung Gear S2 will lose some of its functionality on iOS as opposed to its Android version support, but this is expected to happen. The smartwatch is considered one of the best, well-designed devices in its niche at the moment and it may appeal to some Apple users who were not impressed by the Apple Watch.
Samsung also announced that Gear S2 Classic will be available in two new finishes: rose gold and platinum.
Samsung Gear S2 is finally going live. Since we’re in the last quarter of 2015, most manufacturers and gadget creators will be rushing to promote their devices before the holiday season begins. One of the more devices to launch now is the Samsung S2 wear device that launches in two flavors: original and Classic. Starting October 2, you will be able to buy one of these babies from Samsung’s online store, Amazon, best Buy or Macy’s Herald Square.
Samsung Gear S2: what to expect
Samsung’s new smartwatch looks much more sporty than previous iterations and it will be ready in stores starting October 16th. The original version costs $300 and the Classic version will have you pay $350. In a way, these devices are not rivals to Android Wear devices because they run on Tizen OS, but otherwise they are definitely the smartwatch to watch this year. These wearables work with any Samsung smartphones AND with other Android smartphones, as long as they run Android 4.4 KitKat or more recent versions.
Samsung gear S2 is the second generation of Samsung Gear S devices, and it is a clear improvement from the original. The Gear S2 and S2 Classic both have 1.2-inch circular displays running at 302ppi, 4 GB built-in storage, 512MB of RAM and they posses a gyroscope, a heart rate sensor and an accelerometer, among other interesting features. They can be used to display phone notifications for missed calls and SMS messages, incoming galls, or emails when they are paired with the mobile device you use.
Gear S2 peeked at us on Samsung’s Unlocked event earlier in August, but now it is finally here and we will soon be able to actually use it! The smartwatch proves to be a peculiar accessory as it does not present the elegant and refined Moto 360 or Apple Watch design but it still looks hot as hell ( I blame it on the stainless steel and tiny frame).
If this device has a flaw, it is its OS, as this Samsung product runs on the same Linux-based Tizen OS which, no matter how good it may be, it will not be able to compete with the likes of Android Wear or Apple Watch, at least in terms of app development.
Why is Gear S2 different?
The new Samsung wearable will be compatible with other Android devices, not just the proprietary Galaxy line.
What changes customers’ perception over the Gear line is the design change. The new S2 smartwatch has a circular screen as opposed to previous rectilinear screens. It also sports a nice sci-fi look with its rubber watch straps all clad in stainless steel, or you can choose the traditional Classic look with standard watch strap logs and a knurled bezel. The Classic Gear S2 is aimed towards the high-end niche market with a leather band and matching black finish, being possible competition for LG Watch Urbane or even Apple Watch.
The regular model will be available in silver case with a white band or dark gray case with gray band.
When it comes to specs, the Samsung smartwatch is on par with most of the devices on the market. It sports a circular 1.2-inch display with a resolution of 360 x 360 and a rotating bezel. The bezel requires some attention as this is where the smartwatch has its home and back buttons (you will use them to deal with notifications). The device also gets you built-in NFC that is supposed to make mobile payments easier in the near future. Samsung is also promising a battery life length of two to three days.
Under the chassis you will find a dual-core 1GHz processor plus 512MB RAM and 4GB of storage. Samsung Gear S2 sets you up with a gyroscope, an accelerometer, a heart-rate monitor and a barometer. The smartwatch will have two different versions, a chubby 13.4mm model with built-in 3G and a slimmer version at 11.5mm without 3G. The “fatter” version gets a 3mAh battery whereas the slimmer one gets a 250 mAh cell.
The 3G version of Gear S2 lets you make phone calls and access apps without having to tether your smartphone.
Both Samsung S2 Gear versions get Wi-Fi, NFC and Bluetooth 4.1. The smartwatch is IP68 dust and water resistant which should be a given for any self-respecting smartwatch,to be honest.
Gear S2 keeps its screen active at all times so that you can easily see the time, as it should happen with a watch, after all. No need for you to wave your hands around like a lunatic to make that accelerometer work.
The worst part of the Samsung Gear S2 is the Tizen OS, which makes it less compelling on the market. It does have third party apps,but they are few and inconsistent with what Android and Apple third party devs can do, at least for the moment. A redeeming quality of the smartwatch is the user interface accompanied by the watch faces.
Gear S2 manages to break free from the minuses of the previous Gear smartwatch series and it finally shows us what Samsung is all about. A new and much improved design plus a nice interface and rotating bezels will definitely make the Gear S2 stand out. Look-wise, it is one of the best-looking smartwatches out there, proving that Samsung’s change of aesthetic choices could make it rule the mobile world again!