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Samsung Gear 2 and Gear 2 Neo

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Expected April 2014
23rd February 2014

We've been waiting a long time to see a production Tizen device from Samsung, but the wait is over.. but instead of seeing a smartphone, Samsung are going to market with a smartwatch instead.

The Samsung Gear 2 and the Gear 2 Neo follow on from the Galaxy Gear announced only a few months ago. Although it seemed impressive on paper, the Galaxy Gear was a deeply flawed device that had (among other problems) a very short battery life. As many Android users know, battery life is a particular weakness of the platform and the tiny 315 mAh cell really wasn't enough.

 Samsung Gear 2 and Gear 2 Neo

By dumping Android (and the "Galaxy" tag along the way) Samsung have been able to use an operating system that they have much more control over. And although we don't really know how energy efficient Tizen is compared to Android, we would be surprised if it was any worse.

 Samsung Gear 2 So what's the difference between the Gear 2 and the Gear 2 Neo? It's pretty straightforward - the standard Gear 2 has a 2 megapixel camera, and the Gear 2 Neo does not. Another useful improvement here is that the camera is mounted on the face of the watch rather than the strap, so the strap can be changed for another compatible one.

As with the Galaxy Gear, the Gear 2 has a 1.6" 320 x 320 pixel display. The processor has been significantly boosted to a 1.0 GHz dual-core unit, and it shares the 512MB of RAM and 4GB on onboard storage of its predecessor. The Gear 2 is lighter as well, at 68 grams for the version with the camera and just 55 grams for the one without. The Gear 2 is IP67 certified for water and dust resistance, and there is a small 300 mAh battery inside.

 Samsung Gear 2 Neo Functionally, Gear 2 pairs with a compatible Samsung Galaxy smartphone via Bluetooth and it can then accept, reject or make calls, send and receive messages, play music plus there are a small range of Tizen apps that you can download, including a calculator. You can also control certain home entertainment systems with the built-in infra-red capabilities.

Both versions of the Gear 2 come with an accelerometer, gyroscope and heart rate monitor plus a range of fitness and health applications. That is rather more practical that the previous version which seemed to be flashy but a bit pointless.

Samsung say that the Gear 2 will last for two to three days with typical usage, which is obviously much shorter than a standard watch. The Galaxy Gear struggled to make it though a single day without a recharge, so hopefully the Gear 2 is better. Both versions will be available in a funky "Wild Orange" and sobre "Charcoal Black" colours, with a "Gold Brown" colour exclusively available for the Gear 2 and a "Mocha Grey" for the Gear 2 Neo. Samsung say that these smartwatches should be available from April onwards. No guidance was given on price, but the existing Galaxy Gear retails for around €250, we would expect the Gear 2 to be a little more expensive than that at launch.

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Samsung Gear 2 and Gear 2 Neo at a glance

Available:

April 2014

Network:

None

Data:

None

Screen:

1.6" 320 x 320 pixels

Camera:

2 megapixels (Gear 2 only)

Size:

Smartwatch

36.9 x 58.4 x 10mm / 68g (Gear 2)

37.9 x 58.8 x 10mm / 55g (Gear 2 Neo)

Bluetooth:

Yes (4.0)

Internal memory:

4GB

Memory card:

None

CPU:

1GHz dual-core

RAM:

512MB

Java:

Not specified

GPS:

No

OS:

Tizen

Battery life:

2-3 days (typical use)

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