Samsung Gear S2 Smartwatch Is Here And The Verdict Is Out


It's like Samsung realized it figured out smartwatch and felt confident enough to share its latest offering with the rest of world, beyond its own smartphones. Samsung's new Tizen-based Gear S2 supports any modern Android device, and possibly iOS, which gives pretty much everyone an opportunity to slap this well-received smartwatch on their wrists.

The Specs

Samsung hasn't committed to an exact release date for ght Gear S2, just as it has yet to disclose a price for the smartwatch. But it has been talkative about the watch's hardware and software features.

Samsung says the Gear S2 brings its smartwatch ambitions full circle and that may be true in more ways than one. The Gear S2's 1.2 inch face is completely circular, rather than mostly round.

Behind a plate of Corning Gorilla Glass, the Gear S2's Super AMOLED display outputs a resolution of 360x360 with a pixel density of 302 pixels per inch.

One of the biggest highlights of the Gear S2 is rotating bezel, a feature so simple and so necessary it could serve as a turning point in smartwatch navigation. Moving beyond the bad pun, it could be akin to the iPod's scroll wheel.

As for power, the watch runs on a dual-core, 1 GHz clock. It has 4 GB of locker space and 512 GB of Ram. It also has the requisite accelerometer, an ambient light sensor, a barometer, a gyroscope and heart rate sensors.  

It goes for an impressive two to three days on a single charge. Plus, it charges wirelessly just like its cousins in Samsung's Galaxy S6 Line.The Gear S2 also has an NFC sensor, which some suspect will be used exclusively for Samsung Pay. And now's a good point to cover compatibility.

Software and Compatibility

It's the first watch to use Samsung's in-house Tizen micro OS and still offer support for third party handsets. The Gear S2 is compatible with any smartphone packing at least 1.5 GB of RAM and sporting Android 4.4 or newer.

Also, a Samsung spokesperson told 9to5Mac that the company is also looking at supporting iPhones.

"We are looking at possibilities to open it up to iOS," said the spokesperson, adding: "Because we opened it up to Android, we are looking at this."

The Critics

The Gear S2 won't ship until October, but reviewers have already gotten some extended play time with the smartwatch. And what they've been saying are things Samsung has been hoping to hear.

After spending 45 minutes with the Gear S2, Mashable's Lance Ulanoff says Samsung appears to have finally developed a watch fashionable and suitable for "the anatomy of the human wrist."

"There's clearly a lot of craftsmanship here and with good reason," writes Mashable's Lance Ulanoff.

The Gear S2 has all of the basic elements one would expect from any smartwatch, but no one had delivered those until now, according to The Verge's Vlad Savov. It puts Samsung in an "enviable position," he writes.

"When you retain the basic fundamentals that make a regular watch useful to people - which I would define as unobtrusive utility, as measured by a comfortable fit and unnoticeably light weight - there's really only very little that you need to add to make your smartwatch appealing," Savov writes.

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