Samsung Gear 2, Gear 2 Neo and Gear Fit Officially Unveiled + My Thoughts!

Samsung has unveiled three new wearable devices this week; the Gear 2, Gear 2 Neo and the Gear Fit but what exactly are these and more importantly, how will they help us in our everyday lives?

 

 

 

Samsung Gear 2

 

Samsung Gear 2 Orange Front (Image Credit: Samsung)

Samsung Gear 2 Orange Front (Image Credit: Samsung)

The Samsung Gear 2 is the second iteration of smart-watch following on from the GALAXY Gear. The omission of the “GALAXY” convention is notable, Samsung clearly wants to differentiate between devices running Android and devices, like the Gear 2 and Gear 2 Neo. which run Samsung’s own Tizen operating system. The Gear 2 features a 1.63″ Super AMOLED display with a resolution of 320 x 320 pixels. It comes equipped with a 1.0 GHz Dual Core Processor, 512 MB of RAM and 4 GB of Internal Memory. The Gear 2 now comes with a physical home button on the front, just below the screen so you can always get back to the homescreen from within any application. The Gear 2 now comes with a standalone music player, allowing you to leave your phone at home and play music from either the Gear 2’s speaker or through bluetooth headphones (or a bluetooth headset) The mic to make and receive calls has been moved to the phone’s body rather than the clasp where it lay before. The camera has also been moved to the body and it’s been bumped up to a 2 MP sensor with autofocus. You can also capture 720p video at 30 frames per second if you so wish to.

Samsung Gear 2 Neo

 

Samsung Gear 2 Neo Mocha Grey Back (Image Credit: Samsung)

Samsung Gear 2 Neo Mocha Grey Back (Image Credit: Samsung)

The Gear 2 Neo only differs from the Gear 2 in that it doesn’t have a camera, it’s slightly bigger and it comes in a Mocha Grey colour option which the Gear 2 does not. Both the Gear 2 and Gear 2 Neo feature a heart rate sensor on the back which helps the smartwatch to offer real time personal fitness coaching. Both devices are powered by the Tizen platform which is a first for Samsung. There is a small lever underneath the straps to release them, allowing users to customize their Gear 2 and Gear 2 Neo watches to their heart’s content. As far as virtual customization goes, you can choose from a variety of clock faces, fonts and also change the home screen background. Both  watches feature an embedded Infra-red LED sensor allowing customers to control their televisions and set top boxes.

Samsung Gear Fit

 

Samsung Gear Fit Family (Image Credit: Samsung)

Samsung Gear Fit Family (Image Credit: Samsung)

Don’t think many people saw this coming. The Samsung Gear Fit is the first curved, Super AMOLED wearable device. On first glance you might think this is another fitness band and you’d be sorely mistaken. The Gear Fit not only has fitness features but like the Gear watches, it will keep you up to date with instant notifications from GALAXY smartphones, including calls, emails, SMS and even third party apps while on the move. The Gear Fit is running a real-time operating system, rather than Tizen or Android, making it more akin to a feature phone.The Gear Fit has a curved 1.84″ Super AMOLED display with a resolution of 432 by 128 pixels. It’s also IP67 certified making it dust and water resistant so it’s great for athletes and the outdoors type alike. The Gear Fit weighs just 27 grams, it features a 210 mAH battery which Samsung says can get you up to 5 days on low usage (3-4 days on Typical Usage). Like the Gear 2 and Gear Neo, there are changeable straps in Black, Orange and Mocha Grey allowing users to match the device to their personal style.

The Gear 2, Gear 2 Neo and Gear Fit are expected to be available globally from April, no pricing information has been revealed at time of writing.

My Thoughts

From left to right: Gear Fit, Gear 2 Neo, Gear 2 (Image Credit: Re/code)

From left to right: Gear Fit, Gear 2 Neo, Gear 2 (Image Credit: Re/code)

I think the Gear 2 is an interesting wearable from Samsung. I didn’t cover the first iteration GALAXY Gear on the channel or site much, but I did use it briefly for a collab video. I’m excited to try out the Gear 2 and I think it brings some nice features to the table which users wanted from the GALAXY Gear, such as the ability to change straps and being able to use the watch for some functions without always having the phone nearby. The fact that both this and the Gear 2 Neo run Tizen and have thus dropped the GALAXY convention is very interesting. There have been rumours circulating for a long while that Samsung might one day leave Android in favour for it’s own Tizen platform, since perhaps they’re losing some money to Google with every Android device they produce. However, with the success GALAXY smartphones have had, this might be quite a way off and I think more than anything, Samsung is “testing the waters” by bringing Tizen to it’s wearables. If it does well, it might not be too long before we see a smartphone running Tizen too.

Initially I just couldn’t notice a difference between the Gear 2 and the Gear 2 Neo but then I later learned that it doesn’t have a camera and that it’s slightly bigger. It will really depend on the pricing for this device if it’s to be a success for Samsung, since if it’s only slightly cheaper than the Gear 2 then I don’t think many consumers will purchase one. I’m still a bit perplexed as to why Samsung made this camera-less smartwatch anyway, I think some people did find it cool and useful to be able to take quick snaps from their wrist with the first GALAXY Gear so not too sure why they would make a camera-less wearable device. Time will tell how well it does I guess.

There’s been speculation of Samsung including curved/flexible displays ever since CES last year and many people thought Samsung might include it in their next flagship GALAXY device. Similar to how I said that Samsung is “testing the waters” by launching the Gear 2/Gear 2 Neo with Tizen, I feel they’re doing a similar thing by seeing how consumers react to a curved Super AMOLED screen on a wearable device and then perhaps they might implement it into a future phone or even tablet. I like the design of the Gear Fit and I think it will help many people, the convenience of keeping fit while being kept up to date with important notifications is a great thing, since some other fitness bands don’t offer this extra functionality.

Ultimately, I think this new range of wearables is a good move from Samsung and I’m excited to try them out, keep an eye on the PDTechHD YouTube channel and of course TeckComesFirst for any potential coverage. I felt smartwatches were a bit of a gimmick before but that may very well change after I actually use one. The Gear 2 is a somewhat significant step up from the original GALAXY Gear and I think Samsung have learnt from their mistakes while continuing to innovate by adding a heart rate monitor as well as an IR blaster.

More Thoughts from Sebastien


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Written by Purav, PDTechHD (My personal account is PDTalkinTech)

Samsung’s clearly on a mission to make the world fitter, one wearable at a time. What do you guys think of the Samsung Gear 2, Gear 2 Neo and Gear Fit? Be sure to let us know in the comments below.

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I’m a 23 year old Maths Graduate, who has a great passion for technology and in my spare time I make videos on YouTube to show my passion. I'm also co-admin here at TeckComesFirst and I joined this site back in January 2012.
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  • theryangoodman

    Really good post Purav, excellent work as always 🙂

  •  Robert Bell 

    Excellent write up Purav. I think the Gear 2 is a huge update to the original Gear and it definitely has some great new features, if the price is right it should do well. Tizen is interesting too, maybe it’s a glance at Samsungs future mobiles.

  • Gareth Bayard

    Great article Purav! Nice and detailed, which is exactly what a comparison review needs. Interesting to see what Samsung have in line next. However these watches are interesting and I am still interested in the future of smart watches 🙂

  • Soham Adwani

    Great piece bro! Very well written and in depth. I do agree, it will be hard to tell whether the Gear 2 and Gear Neo will be a success unless they price it right. Although I’m not sure if they have to pay google for using android, since it is open source. I feel they may be switching to Tizen so that they have more control over their own platform and they don’t want to be dependent on Google’s cloud. I’m patiently waiting for your review/hands on with these devices 😉

  • Nico

    Fantastic read. I am so interested in all these products but I’m not a huge Samsung phone man. I just hope Apple release an iWatch soon.

  • OrestGPap

    Nice recap Purav, detailed and straight to the point. If I were you I’d elaborate the real time OS on the Gear Fit rather than linking to a related article from Re/code. Other than that, your coverage was pretty good.

    As far as the my thoughts section goes, you did made some interesting points that can be also considered as valid. Samsung decided to test its home brewed software on two devices that more or less are not a part of a competitive market, yet. Bumping its bread-winner, the S5, with Tizen would be quite risky. Hence I believe that the company might broad its horizons by bumping some future low-end phones from the galaxy line up with Tizen, line Nokia did with the Nokia X, to see if it will work out for them. Same thing about the flexible displays you mentioned down there.

    I think you should write more of these types of articles more often. You have great potential mate keep it up.

  • Billy Noyes

    Definitely a great read! Would love to see weekly or monthly posts on the latest tech. Actually makes me want to read about tech more

  • Jack Harnett

    These little gadgets look cool and this is a great piece showcasing why they are such cool pieces of technology.

  • Hydroninja9

    i still think that smartwatches are in the “pre iphone” beta testing stage. The gear fit looks like the best one because it has a CURVED SCREEN , ive been saying this forever xD. The interface still doesn’t seem like it was designed for smartwatches. At this point , this is still testing the waters , hopefully the gear series will have a low price to actually encourage people to buy them. I really want to see what HTC is doing with its smartwatch and google +lgs rumored smartwatch. Im pretty sure google may make a version of android that is more “smartwatch oriented” during this i/o or the next. If this comes out , Samsung most likely wont stick to tizen for the gear 3. Hopefully samsung gives you at least one of these devices to review and i cant wait for the weekly / monthly articles 🙂

  • Sebastian

    Very nice article!
    I think wearables are slowly but steadily becoming something that a consumer could actually start looking at. I think going away from Android is a very positive step for a smartwatch because I think the main point of Android with its customization and app support is not fit for purpose on a watch where you want a simple interface that gets you where you want fast.
    The Gear Fit actually made me think about if I would buy something like that since I really like the form factor with the narrow, curved display. But then I remembered that I don’t own a Galaxy phone which already disqualifies it and I would also scratch up the screen much too fast because of my job. Plus, I think watches like these are the products that need a new battery technology the most since having to charge your watch every couple of days must be a pain. I got accustomed to having to change the battery in my watch maybe every 2 years so it would be quite hard to come down from that.