Samsung Gear S2 Smartwatch
Samsung showcased the Tizen based Samsung Gear S2 at IFA 2015. The Smartwatch was Introduced by Younghee Lee, Executive VP Global Marketing for IT & Mobile Division, as a device that is “ahead of the curve” and it takes bravery to stay ahead of the curve and courage to bring something new to the market, even when everybody else is doing it another way. This is a clear reference to Samsung NOT using Android Wear in their latest Smartwatch, this is a NEW WEARABLE MOVEMENT.
To answer most of the tech blogs that were speculating what OS the Next Gear watch would run, it’s TIZEN. We have a 1.2″ Super AMOLED screen with a resolution of 360 x 360 pixels, meaning you get a sharp looking 302ppi screen with gorilla glass 3 protection, IP68 water and dust protection, bluetooth 4.1 with NFC & WiFi. The body is made from stainless steel opposed to the usual aluminium bodies we see these days and the reason is that it makes stronger and more durable.
For navigation we have a rotatable Bezel that has a gentle ticking sensation, that has a familiar feel, as rotating something is an everyday action for many of us. You rotate left for notifications and right for app widgets and it can be used for selecting menu items, zooming in maps and making adjustments. There are also side back and home buttons that give the watch a more analogue feel to the digital world.
The S2 is available in two versions, a modern minimalistic clean looking Gear S2 and also the more elegant looking Gear S2 Classic. There is also a 3G variant that lets you make voice calls with it’s embedded e-SIM. Users will be happy to hear that we can now enjoy 2-3 days battery use between charges, which is amazing from a small battery which is only possible from using Tizen.
Previous Gear Smartwatches were only compatible with Samsung Galaxy Smartphones, which limited their potential market. But now the Gear S2 changes that as it is compatible with Android 4.4 and above devices, meaning Nexus, Moto, LG, Sony owners can get in on the action. Note that devices require a minimum of 1.5Gb of RAM to be able to work with the Gear S2.
To connect with the S2 you need Samsung’s Gear Manager application which is not available for Tizen at the moment. The hardware and memory requirements were possibly a bit too much for the first released Tizen Smartphone, the Samsung Z1, but we are hoping that Samsung release a Tizen Gear Manager that is compatible with the upcoming Z3 Smartphone, after all having a Tizen Smartwatch that is not compatible with a Tizen Smartphone seems a little strange.
Samsung have also launched the Samsung Gear Store that will launch with 1000’s of apps, many of which are thanks to the Gear SDK Early Access Program (EAP) for developers. We have some major titles coming our way including Uber, ESPN, Nike, and Bloomberg news headlines. The Tizen 2.3.1 SDK has now been officially released for all and is immediately available to download.
Health and Fitness
You are able to track your fitness from your wrist as the Nike+ running app for the Gear S2 allows runners to track their distance, pace and time and view their in-run metrics with a simple glance. Individuals with Bluetooth-enabled headphones also have the ability to play music directly from the smartwatch.
NFC on your wrist
One of the killer features of the Gear S2 is the inclusion of NFC. You can now pay for items with a tap against a NFC reader. The Gear S2 is compatible with the Samsung Pay which will mean it will be accepted by a huge amount of retailers, even more than that one offered by those apple people. NFC is also useful for the controlling your world, from your remote control, car, and even your front door.
Pricing and Availability
The Gear S2 will be released in select markets starting next month in October. Official pricing is unknown at the moment, but there are some European pricing details that were leaked, the Gear S2 will cost €349 and the Gear S2 classic will cost €399. No details on the Gear S2 3G at the moment. We have also heard that the S2 will cost at a starting price of $350 and the 3G version will be available all four major carriers.
You can check out the full specifications here.
Samsung Gear S2 Unvieling
Samsung Gear S2 Showcase at IFA 2015