Samsung has dropped the bomb this evening, and announced not one but two new smartwatches — the Gear 2 and the Gear 2 Neo. You'll note the absence of the Galaxy tag, and that's because these two aren't Android devices.
Both the Gear 2 and the Gear 2 Neo are the first consumer devices from Samsung running Tizen, and Samsung is excited about that. And they should be. Tizen is capable, and they have been working on the OS for quite a while. We think we're going to see good things here. A smartwatch is more than it's core operating system, and Samsung has made the logical choice to use the OS they help develop in-house.
There are some substaintial changes since last year's Galaxy Gear, but at first glance they look very similar. We're OK with that, because we want the Gear to keep it's unique style and exceptional build-quality. The software, while completely different, also has a familiar look and users should be comfortable with the changes.
The watches themselves resemble last year's Galaxy Gear on the surface. There are a few changes, the Gear 2 camera has been moved (buh-bye unsightly wart!) from the strap to the case, and an IR port has been added. We're not surprised, as Samsung has said that wearables will play big in their SmartHome initiative in 2014.
The Gear 2 Neo lacks the 2MP camera found on the Gear 2, but other than that the devices are the same. The 1.63-inch screen is still the Super AMOLED type, and the processor and RAM should be more than sufficient to run the apps you'll want your Gear 2 to run.
Both the Gear 2 and the Gear 2 Neo are slated to be available in April. We'll have a close look at both just as soon as we can get them on our wrists! The full press release follows.
The stylish Gear 2 and Gear 2 Neo offer consumers increased connectivity, customization, and control
Barcelona, Spain – February 23, 2014 – Samsung Electronics Co., Ltd. today introduced the Samsung Gear 2 and Gear 2 Neo designed to take the freedom, convenience and style of wearable technology to the next level. The Samsung Gear 2 and Gear 2 Neo offer consumers enhanced connectivity and a completely integrated approach for the most personal wearable experience.
“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.”
The next generation of mobile freedom
Samsung achieved a significant improvement as a leading smart wearable provider with Samsung Gear 2 and Gear 2 Neo. Both devices offer a lightweight design with premium finishes that reflect modern trends.
A Camera is equipped to a main body instead to strap, making the Samsung Gear 2 a sleek and sharp smart companion. Consumers are now available to express their mood or coordinate with their outfit with modern and sophisticated strap color options including Charcoal Black, Gold Brown and Wild Orange for Gear2 and Charcoal Black, Mocha Grey and Wild Orange for Gear2 Neo. The home screen background, clock face and font are also customizable to reflect their personal taste.
The Gear 2 and Gear 2 Neo are essential companion devices, allow users to accept or ignore incoming calls and messages, and providing instant notification options based on a user’s activity and habits.
Both devices act as an extension of a consumer’s daily life, offering users more control of their lives with standalone features, such as controlling electronic products such as TV, settop box through WatchON Remote application in their own home with an embedded IrLED sensor. The addition of a standalone music player with Bluetooth headset means people can leave their smartphone at home and still enjoy their music on the go.
Both devices also offer personal fitness coaching in real time, allowing users to develop a customizable fitness routine and monitor their heart rate in order to improve their overall well- being.
Finally, the Samsung Gear 2 and Gear 2 Neo let users connect to a wide variety of Samsung devices and access an enriched application ecosystem as the first wearable powered by Tizen based wearable platform. Samsung Gear 2 and Gear 2 Neo are compatible with more than dozens of Samsung Galaxy smartphones at launch.