Thursday, 22 May 2014

Samsung Gear 2 review



Samsung discovered open the seal off on premium quality smartwatches with the launch of the Galaxy Gear . In typical Samsung style , the organization attempted cramming in every thing but the kitchen sink , leading to quite a costly product that ironically lacked a premium feel . Some of their sins could possibly be forgiven considering it was their first attempt in a comparatively niche category . 

With the Gear 2 , Samsung has made the decision to take a slightly different route . Powered by Tizen in the hopes to purchase more battery life and new benefits like heart-rate monitor , a full metal body and customisable strap , the Gear 2 hopes to offer a lot more value to the Samsung loyalist . 

Design and Build 
The Gear 2 definitely looks a notch above the Galaxy Gear when it comes to aesthetics and build . Samsung has moved all the consumer electronics from the strap over to the main module itself , thereby providing you with the freedom to replace the straps if you’re bored of one color . The color palate of the straps is more subdued this time , except for the orange shade . 

The straps come off because of the little hinges mechanism near the edge . The execution is done well and the hinges don’t feel like they’ll give way anytime soon . Sadly , there’s no option of a leather strap . The fastening mechanism is the same as the Galaxy Gear , only slimmer this time around due to the lack of the speaker . 

The stainless-steel body of the Gear 2 gives it premium look and feels highly durable . The power button has been delivered to the front and at the other end we have the 2MP camera and IR blaster . 

Features 
The Gear 2 packs in a 1 .6-inch Super AMOLED screen , just like the original . The panel has very good touch level of responsiveness and colours and black levels are really good . The watch is also IP67 certified which means you can take a swim with it without any problem . 

The interface might possibly look exactly the same as the Galaxy Gear but it’s actually running on a wearable programming platform of Tizen instead of Android . This is really not going to make any difference to the end user since most of the apps that you’ll ever need to use with the watch are already present . A few Gear-specific applications like Evernote , which were there for the Galaxy Gear , aren’t present however . 

Overall performance 
The Gear 2 inherits all the features of the Galaxy Gear and the Samsung Gear Fit , offering it quite a robust function set . You can relay all your notifications from Samsung , Google and third party apps to the Gear 2 . You can even take a call using the in-built speaker or through a Bluetooth headset synced to the watch . The speaker is good enough for voice calls but isn’t really great for music playback . 


Verdict and Price

The Samsung Gear 2 is available for around $371, which is about the same as the Galaxy Gear launch price. Compared to its predecessor, the Gear 2 offers much more value in terms of features and performance. It’s looks and feels better, has a boat-load of features and makes a good companion if you’re a fitness freak. On the other hand, you are still limited to only Samsung handsets and this might soon be obsolete once Android Wear comes crashing out the gate with the Motorola Moto 360 and LG G Watch. Plus, if the rumours are to be believed, the Moto 360 might be priced similarly (or even lower).

The Gear 2 is good investment if you only buy Samsung phones as this will ensure compatibility with any future handset as well. For the rest of us, we’d recommended holding off for Android Wear based smartwatches, which will inevitably be the future.The Gear 2 is good investment if you only buy Samsung phones as this will ensure compatibility with any future handset as well. For the rest of us, we’d recommended holding off for Android Wear based smartwatches, which will inevitably be the future.

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