Smartwatches are still in their infancy. While we are now well acquainted with smartphones, it will still take us some more time before smartwatches become a trend and is seen on every wrist. But we are reaching there. Samsung’s new Gear S2 smartwatches assure us of the bright future of these devices.
To begin with Samsung Gear S2 comes in stunning looks and you will immediately fall for the beauty of it. Last year Samsung gave us a happy surprise in the form of S6 and S6 edge with beautiful product design. Gear S2 is another gem in the south- korean giant’s crown. But looks are not the best part about this gadget. We are yet to talk about the specifications, UX, Prices etc. Lets review each of them
Samsung Gear S2 comes in three variants- Standard Gear S2, Gear S2 classic, Gear S2 classic 3G. Standard Gear 2 comes in silver and dark grey and flaunts a sporty look. Gear S2 classic on the other hand is less sporty and more traditional thereby justifying the name “Classic”. It is also a thinner and lighter than Standard Gear S2.Gear S2 3G looks exactly same as standard Gear S2 but comes with an eSIM and speaker.
User can make calls and connect to internet via GPS. Gear S2 is one of the first devices to have eSIM where in user can change the operator without having to physically change the SIM. In addition to this, the 3G variants also has a slightly bigger battery at 300mAh whereas the other two variants have 250mAh battery.
Screen and Display
The Gear S2 watches measure 42.3×49.8×11.4mm. These dimesions make it a perfect wearable which is not bulky and ideal to interact with. The watch features 1.2 inches amoled display with 360×360 resolution at a decent 301 ppi. The watch comes with a gorilla glass protection which protects it from regular wear and tear that a watch faces on a daily basis. It also comes with a IP68 rating which ensures that the devices will last a rain.
It is resistant to dust and water. The display works well in sun at all the varied angles. The power consumption is also impressive. The battery can last for 2-3 days on power saving mode. Without power saving mode, the battery can last you a day and night of usage but will go out next day in all probability.
Memory and Processor
Gear S2 is powered by 1 GHz exynos 3250 processor. The RAM sits fair at 512 MB and 4GB of on device storage for media, data and apps. There is no lag while using the watch which justifies the memory used here. It is well equipped with Wi-Fi, Bluetooth and NFC capabilities. The Wi-Fi enables users to use the device even when the coupled phone is not around.
The Stunning Circular UX
What makes Gear 2 stand out from rest of the batch is its amazingly stunning circular UX. The watch i steel body fashions a beautiful bezel which when rotated gives subtle haptic feedback. The feedback feels so good that you may find yourself using the bezel just for that experience. Not just that, bezel lets you operate the watch without using on screen touch. The interaction is very smooth and intuitive.
It is a surprise why no one thought of something so natural to watches earlier. Another interesting thing is that bezel is mechanical and does not drain out any battery. The bezel is central to the way you use this watch. All the menu and apps are arranged a circular fashion and it is labelled as “circular UX” by Samsung.
At any depth there is always a clear indication about where you are in the app hierarchy which make the use very comfortable and you don’t feel lost in navigation.Moving the bezel to the left shows notifications and to the right open the app drawer. There are two hard keys at the edge- for home and back key functions.
Your fitness tracker
Gear S2 is loaded with amazing trackers which enable 24 hours activity tracking, auto recognition of the activity type as inactive or easy or good activity. What is even better is the way clock face change with your activity. If the smartwatch does not notice any activity, the watch face will change grey to indicate the same.
At the same time it will also give inactivity alerts and small nudge for you to get moving. Now that is called smart!
You can track your caffeine intake, water intake, calorie intake and use S Health apps to track our fitness.
Gear S2 runs on Samsung’s own Tizen OS and can be coupled with any Android phone that runs Android Version 4.4 & has 1.5GB RAM. It can also be coupled with iPhone but will you can only use limited features with iPhone.
In order to setup Gear S2 with your phone you will have to install Samsung Gear S2 app and Samsung Gear app as well. These apps help you customize watch by setting watch face, app layout, configurations, push media etc. Samsung is trying hard to build a rich app eco system around Tizen.
This is one area where Gear S2 lack heavily. It doesn’t have the whole range of apps that its contemporaries like Moto360 and Apple watch are blessed to have.
When using Gear S2 you will also have to deal with the hassle of S voice which is not as good as Google Now or Siri.
Gear S2 classic is available at Rs.25,800/-. Standard gear S2 is available at 24,300 and Standard Gear S2 3G. These are available at all popular online retail stores.
But even with its limitations, Samsung has definitely set a benchmark for good design in smartwatches. We can only hope to move ahead from here on.