Samsung Gear 2 Smartwatch Review

Summary & Conclusion

Up to this point, it is fair to say that smartwatches haven't quite captivated consumers in the way other smart devices have. Are we just incredibly spoiled when it comes to our mobile devices? A smartwatch is a computer on your wrist for crying out loud. That use to be the stuff of science fiction.

Making calls on the Gear 2 was quite an experience, and the camera performance certainly exceeded expectations. Further, the quality of every hardware component of the Gear 2, from the chassis to the band to the display, is impressive. The screen was bright and crisp, and using the device was smooth and snappy. The variety and number of watch faces you can customize your Gear 2 with is excellent, and most of the built-in apps just work properly.

And yet, there’s so much you can’t do with the Gear 2. There’s no web browser for instance, and it’s a pain to have to rely on your smartphone to find and install apps (which are recursively stuck within a different app). Even then, there’s a terrible dearth of useful third-party apps available.

Further, the smartwatch can’t actually do a lot without being married to a smartphone or tablet. It can’t make calls with its own hardware, and it can’t send or receive texts or emails on its own.

Smartwatch technology is on the cusp of something big, but no one has quite figured it out the perfect balance just yet. I can’t help but think back to using a Windows Mobile device years ago and marveling at the fact that I could check email and browse the web on the go--but being constantly frustrated at the user experience. It was just Windows, but tiny and horrible. And then Apple came out with the iPhone, which solved all of those problems and made the iPhone a must-have device that sent the masses into hysterics.

No one has developed a smartwatch yet that sets the bar impossibly high the way Apple did with the iPhone. (It’s easy to forget that it took Android years to catch up to iOS, and it took Microsoft even longer to develop its now-excellent Windows Phone platform.)

In that sense, then, the Gear 2 is not a must-have device. It’s still very much an accessory, albeit a mostly excellent one for all the reasons mentioned above. And then there’s the price tag of $299.99, which is high enough to turn off throngs of on-the-fence users.

However, if you really want a smartwatch and have one of Samsung’s compatible devices, the Gear 2 is a fine machine that you’ll be happy to own. We’ll be curious to see what the next generation of Samsung smartwatches has to offer.


  • Excellent build quality and design
  • Superb Display
  • Impressive camera, speaker, and mic quality
  • Relies too much on companion device
  • Unable to perform many functions
  • Dearth of available apps
  • Pricey

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