Our skepticism of the smartwatch sector having the legs to go the distance hasn't swayed Samsung
from forging ahead with second generation models of its Galaxy Gear
. Making an official appearance just ahead of Mobile World Congress (MWC) is Samsung's Gear 2 and Gear 2 Neo
, which offer users even more customization than before.
According to Samsung, both the Gear 2 and Gear 2 Neo are lightweight gadgets with premium finishes offering a modern flair. Adding to the sleekness is Samsung's decision to integrate the camera into the main body rather than the strap. That also allows Samsung to sell different color straps so users can coordinate with their outfits (or mood). Color options include Charcoal Black, Gold Brown, and Wild Orange for Gear 2, and Charcoal Black, Mocha Grey, and Wild Orange for Gear 2 Neo. Users can also customize the home screen background, clock face, and font.
"Samsung continues to lead innovation in the wearable market by creating devices that are completely integrated into the lives of consumers through extended connectivity features, stylish customization options and a robust application ecosystem," Said JK Shin, CEO and President of IT & Mobile Division, Samsung Electronics. "With the Samsung Gear 2 and Gear 2 Neo, we have enhanced everything consumers love about the Gear to offer unparalleled smart freedom in their everyday life."
As for the hardware, the Gear 2 sports a 1.63-inch Super AMOLED (320x320) display, 1GHz dual-core processor, 512MB of RAM, 4GB of internal storage, 2-megapixel camera with auto-focus, heart rate sensor, pedometer, irLED sensor, (WatchON Remote), and 300mAh battery good for 2-3 days. The Gear 2 Neo sports the same feature-set, minus the built-in camera. As a result, it's a little lighter at 55g versus 68g.
Samsung opted to equip its Gear 2 and Gear 2 Neo with its own Tizen OS
(co-developed with Intel), making these the first wearables based on the platform. Tizen is found on only a handful of devices, though it will be interesting to see if the Gear 2 and Gear 2 Neo can help the OS gain any traction in the mobile space.
Look for both of these smartwatches to be available starting in April. No word yet on price.