The Samsung Gear 2 Neo is pretty much the Gear 2 without the camera and at a lower cost. Since we have already reviewed the Gear 2 – you can read the detailed review by clicking here – so we’ll just take a quick look at the most important features of this stripped down version of Samsung’s latest timepiece.
If you want to know which of the two new Gear smartwatches should you buy, then we recommend the Gear 2 Neo – because the only thing you’re missing out on is the camera (which is not of exceptional quality and you would hardly use it anyway) and you’re saving a whopping 100 bucks.
- Operating system : Tizen
- Display : 1.6-inch Super AMOLED 320 x 320 pixels
- Compatible with : Galaxy S III, Galaxy S4, Galaxy S4 Mini, Galaxy S4 Active, GalaxyS4 Zoom, Galaxy Mega, Galaxy Note 2, Galaxy Note 3, Galaxy Note 10.1 2014 Edition, Galaxy Note Pro, and Galaxy Tab Pro (12.2, 10.1, 8.4)
- Battery life : Up to 3 days
- Storage capacity : 4 GB
- RAM : 512 MB
- Connectivity : Bluetooth Low Energy
Another notable difference between the two versions is the casing – the Gear 2 has a metallic casing with a classy gold and brown combo while the Neo offers black, grey or orange plastic casing. Both the watches come with exactly the same 1.6-inch Super AMOLED 320 x 320-pixel display.
Again, just like the Gear 2, the Gear Neo is dustproof and water-resistant, has the same IR blaster, features the same 1 GHz processor, is backed by the same 512MB RAM and has the same 4GB storage space for storing data.
As for as the apps and the software of the Neo is concerned, it’s exactly the same as the one in the Gear 2, and you’ll encounter the same issues i.e. the pedometer, the heart rate monitor, the sleep monitor, S Voice etc. are not very accurate. Just like the Gear 2 and Gear Fit, the Neo 2 also runs on the Tizen OS – which Samsung claims helps improve the battery life. And when we compare the 1-day battery life of the Gear with the 3-day battery life of the latest models, the claim does make a lot of sense.
Pros of the Samsung Gear 2 Neo
· Powerful hardware, elegant design and impressive display
· Cheaper than the Gear 2 but has nearly the same features except for the camera
· Pairing it with your smartphone is easy as compared to the process if you have the original Gear (make sure you’ve the latest version of the Gear Manager)
· A cool auto-lock feature that’s convenient as well as secure
· Improved, user-friendly interface
· Faster and more responsive than the original Gear
· Replaceable band
· Decent battery life
· Store your favorite MP3s on the watch and listen to them without having to be paired with the phone
· Has a nice but rather limited remote control feature to control your TV
Cons of the Samsung Gear 2 Neo
· Disappointingly bad software
· Almost all the fitness tracking apps provide inaccurate data
· Requires a charring cradle
· Only works with a few Samsung phones
· Hardly any 3rd-party apps as yet
· Since you can store music on the watch, I was disappointed to find out there is no volume rocker on the side
· No alarm app yet
Should you buy it?
Unless you’re a gadget geek like me, I would suggest you to wait until Samsung irons out all the bugs and anomalies in the software. It sounds like they rushed these smartwatches out the door without perfecting them first.
If you love playing with the gadgets and want to have every single one of them, then go ahead and get it, otherwise you should wait for the rumored iWatch or the soon expected Android Wear-based smartwatches… or even for the Samsung Galaxy Gear 5 which I expect to be released in next couple months (ok I was kidding, make it next 6 months).