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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