Hands On With The Samsung Gear S2 And Gear S2 Classic Smartwatches

Samsung announced their latest smartwatches a couple of days ago, the Gear S2 and Gear S2 Classic. We’ve got all of the initial details and imagery from Samsung’s release posted here if you’d like to check them out. To quickly reiterate some particulars, both of these smartwatches feature 11.4mm thin casings and 1.2-inch, 360x360 displays that are complete circles, unlike the “flat tire” displays used on the Moto360. At the heart of the Gear S2 is an undisclosed Samsung-sourced 1GHz dual-core processor paired with 512MB of RAM. NFC technology is incorporated into the watches as well, which will support Samsung Pay in the near future. The Gear S2 and Gear S2 Classis are IP68 certified for dust and water resistance as well. And there will be versions with and without integrated 3G connectivity.

Galaxy Gear S2 Classic and S2 Sport
The Samsung Gear S2 Classic (left) and Gear S2 (right)

Today we get to take things a step further and show you these two new devices in action. We recently had the chance to sit down with Samsung and get our hands on the Gear S2 and Gear S2 Classic, and shot some video of them at work. Take a look...

The Gear S2 and Gear S2 Classic are fundamentally very similar. Their internals are the same, but the external materials and styling cues differ. What really stands out on both devices, however, is the work Samsung put into the new rotary UX.

The Gear S2 features a rotating ring around the display, in addition to a two buttons at the side—intelligently located at 2 and 4 o’clock to minimize accidental actuation – for navigating the various menus and apps. Turn the dial to the left to access notifications, and to the right to access other information and widgets. In addition to manually accessing notification and apps, however, Samsung also allows user customization of some watch-faces to show personalized info and offers dynamic watch-faces with notifications presented on-screen at all times, along with the time.

Galaxy Gear S2 Sport In Hands

Galaxy Gear S2 Sport On Arm
A Sasquatch Wearing The Samsung Gear S2

Using the Gear S2 and Gear S2 Classic was quite intuitive and easy even after only a few moments. We only had a short time with the devices, but our initial reaction to the interface is extremely positive. Build quality and tolerances also seem to be excellent.

Galaxy Gear S2 Sport Wireless Charging Close Up

Galaxy Gear S2 Sport Wireless Charging2
Samsung Gear S2 In Its Charging Cradle - Notice The Rotated Display

Above is an array of images with various watch-faces and Gear S2 models in action. Samsung will be offering a variety of band and color options, and both devices include minimalist wireless chargers that also act as simple stands. And battery life should fall somewhere in the 1 – 2 day range, depending on how heavily the watches are used.

Pricing and availability information wasn’t initially available, but we’re told the Gear S2 and Gear S2 Classic will be available soon. Stay tuned for HotHardware for a full review as soon as the devices are ready for prime time.