Samsung Gear 2, Gear 2 Neo smartwatches announced running Tizen, not Android
Ignoring all costs in terms of disappointing early adopters of the original Galaxy Gear smartwatch, Samsung has already announced not one, but two successors for that device – essentially obsoleting it six months after it became official. Interestingly, the Korean company couldn’t wait until its big press event and unveiled the new Gear 2 and Gear 2 Neo today, 24 hours before MWC is set to start. Perhaps that means that the Galaxy S5 will have the spotlight all to itself tomorrow.
Anyway, the big change for the second generation Gear smartwatches is the fact that they’re powered by Tizen, an operating system that has been in the works for a long, long time – but so far hasn’t made it to any shipping smartphones. Just a camera, and now – two smartwatches.
The Galaxy Gear runs a modified version of Android, but Samsung gave up on that to use Tizen in the Gear 2 and Gear 2 Neo, an OS it has been pouring resources into for many years now. These being smartwatches and not smartphones, you’re unlikely to notice the difference, though, or miss Android for that matter.
The new Gear watches will obviously work with Samsung’s Android-powered smartphones, “more than dozens” in fact. The new watches are almost identical, save for the fact that the Gear 2 comes with a 2 MP camera, and the Gear 2 Neo doesn’t. This makes the latter lighter than the former too, at 55 grams compared to 68 grams.
They both have a 1.63″ 320×320 Super AMOLED touchscreen, a 1 GHz dual-core processor, pedometer, heart rate sensor, exercise modes, a downloadable Sleep & Stress module, music player with Bluetooth headset and speaker, an IR sensor for controlling electronics around the house, Bluetooth calling, Notification display, S Voice, Weather, Timer, Stopwatch, Relay, Calculator, ChatOn, Flashlight, Quick Settings, Voice Memo, IP67 certification for water and dust resistance, noise cancellation, accelerometer, gyroscope, 512 MB of RAM, 4 GB of internal memory, and a 300 mAh battery.
Samsung rates both at around 2-3 days of “typical” usage, and up to six days of “low” usage, which is a significant improvement compared to the original Gear that usually lasted around one day. This may have something to do with the new operating system under the hood, by the way.
The Gear 2 and Gear 2 Neo (now sans Galaxy branding because they don’t run Android) will become available globally in April. Prices haven’t been announced yet, but we’re hoping both will be cheaper than the first generation product.