When we talk about innovation the first two companies that come in mind are Google and Apple, for obvious reasons isn’t it? But we forget that there are new players preparing to join this league.
Wearables are known the next big thing after smartphones. While Apple and Google are not even in the scene the Korean giant had launched its first smartwatch Galaxy Gear last year along with the Note 3.
Samsung Galaxy Gear though not being so popular still managed to attract some early adopters selling half a million units across the globe. Samsung this year with launched the next iteration of their smartwatch the Galaxy Gear 2 which somehow looks like a finished product with a lot better use case compared to the Galaxy Gear.
Design and Features
Samsung Galaxy Gear 2 is a mere evolution to the Samsung Galaxy Gear but with quite significant improvements. Samsung Galaxy Gear though looks the same as the former model with 1.65-inch square AMOLED display with a strap but it getaway with some irratic features.
The front panel now looks much better with a clean glossy finish and a home button below the screen. The camera module along with a IR blaster is now built-in the main unit making the interchangeable. The Gear 2 features a built-in heart rate monitor which works independently without the use of the smartphone. If anyone care for the specifications of a smartwatch, the Samsung Galaxy Gear 2 has a 1GHz processor with 4GB internal memory and 300mAh battery.
There is a music player installed on the device which can make use of the saved tracks stored on the phone or its in built storage and can be paired to a Bluetooth headset acting like a Bluetooth remote.
Gear 2 is IP67 certified which means it is water and dust resistant which is a must for any wearable device. The watch comes with a small charging dock which connects to the back of the watch and the microUSB cable.
Samsung has replaced Android with their latest acquisition Tizen which they have built in-house to make it work for the smartwatch. Being a consumer you might not notice any difference between the Gear and Gear 2 operating system and handling with the same left right & up down swipe navigation but actually they are very different. The real deal here is with the notifications. Gear 2 now supports almost every third party app for notifications which are sufficiently informative.
Apps like Twitter, Facebook, Whatsapp, Messenger show the notification alert with the name of the sender which when tapped can be scrolled to view the entire message. The email alerts on the other hand show only first 25 words from the message. The heart rate monitor is very fluctuating while the pedometer and the sleep tracker somehow works. Synchronizing with the S-Health application on the paired smartphone is hit or a miss, most of the times being a miss. The Gear 2 also comes with the S-Voice which turned out to be a useful add-on at times.
Samsung Galaxy Gear 2 the evolutionary development to the Galaxy Gear is actually what Galaxy Gear should have been. Galaxy Gear was more like an unfinished product which was rushed just for the sake of launching it first. Though Samsung jumped first in this category, it had to fix its first product to get something which users would like.
One thing which Samsung should be appreciated is for binding this hardware into a watch. No matter using Android or Tizen, Samsung managed to get notification mirroring right with support for almost all third party apps one would ever use. Adding the health and fitness features to the smartwatch increases the usability as one does not have to buy a separate fitness tracker for the purpose. Third party apps can see some improvement and the smartphone sync definitely needs a fix.
- Longer battery life
- Heart rate monitor and IR Blaster