Samsung launched six smartwatches in twelve months, but then they didn’t announce a single smartwatch for almost an entire year… until yesterday: finally, the Korean tech giant has revealed their much hyped Gear S2 smartwatch.
The company is still withholding several key details such as pricing details, release date, and the smartphones it’ll be compatible with. So, there is hardly any news other than the official release, but this one little tidbit that the watch will come in two different models: the regular Gear S and a Gear S2 Classic (for customers who prefer a timeless design).
The Gear S2 is to compete with high-end watches like the LG Urbane and Apple Watch. It has a rather smaller but high-res, 1.2-inch, 360×360 circular display. And just as we’d expected, there’s a rotating bezel that will allow you to interact with the watch. A 24-hour activity log will keep track of your fitness progression, with the watch serving up reminders to get you moving towards those targets. It also has NFC built in, and the battery life will be between two and three days.
Since the watch runs on Tizen, it’s a long way behind Android Wear and Apple Watch, each having a fairly populated app store. But the pictures we’ve seen tell us that the watch has pretty slick watch faces and a fine-looking user interface.
Despite the Tizen handicap, what we’ve seen of the Gear S2 so far looks pretty slick, especially the watch faces and general user interface. If nothing else, it looks like a significant improvement over Samsung’s previous Tizen wearables. This seems to be a Samsung that’s turned a corner in terms of design, although the app icons definitely borrow very heavily from Apple. Elsewhere Samsung is doing more unique things. Still, we’ll need to reserve more thorough judgement until we’ve used the Gear S2 firsthand (and know how much Samsung plans to charge for the thing). Several major carriers including Verizon, AT&T, and T-Mobile US have already announced plans to sell the Gear S2.
There’s also a 3G-compatible model that will allow for voice calls. In fact, several major US carriers including Verizon, AT&T, and T-Mobile, have announced plans to sell the watch.