Samsung Designs Gear S2 Smartwatch to Challenge Apple Watch

1 - Samsung Designs Gear S2 Smartwatch to Challenge Apple Watch
2 - Samsung Follows Moto 360 to the Round Design
3 - The Rotating Bezel Is Useful
4 - There Are Two Versions to Consider
5 - Samsung Is Still Sticking to Tizen
6 - It Makes Sense to Add in Fitness
7 - You Can Make Purchases With Samsung Pay
8 - Samsung Is Making Big Promises on Battery Life
9 - It's Designed to Be Dust- and Water-Resistant
10 - There's a Question About App Support for the Round Screen
11 - Gear S2 Supports WiFi With an Option for 3G Access
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Samsung Designs Gear S2 Smartwatch to Challenge Apple Watch

Samsung's Gear S2, with a round screen and a rotating bezel, combines the look and feel of a traditional watch with the extra functionality of a smartwatch.

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Samsung Follows Moto 360 to the Round Design

The Gear S2 has a round screen that measures 1.2 inches and has a resolution of 360 by 360 pixels, allowing for 302 pixels per inch. That means that the device's display should deliver high-quality visuals. Still, questions remain over whether round screens are really best for smartwatches.

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The Rotating Bezel Is Useful

As noted, the Gear S2 comes with a rotating bezel. While that adds a nice design element, it also has a function: As the bezel rotates, users can more quickly access notifications and applications. The bezel's movements are linked to software functions that interpret direction of movement and highlight different apps or notifications. It's a simpler way, Samsung says, of getting around its software on such a small screen.

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There Are Two Versions to Consider

When customers look to buy the Gear S2, they'll have to choose between the "Classic" model and the standard Gear S2. According to Samsung, the standard model is designed for "on-the-go" users who want a more minimalist design, while the classic option is more elegant and designed for late dinners or business meetings. Samsung is essentially trying to appeal to those who want a fitness-focused watch, as well as those who want a more deluxe smartwatch.

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Samsung Is Still Sticking to Tizen

Tizen, Samsung's mobile operating system built into many of its wearables, is the platform of choice in the Gear S2. The move came as somewhat of a surprise, since Google's Android Wear is better known and apparently catching on with smartwatch makers and consumers. Still, Samsung has bet its future in the wearables market and in televisions, on Tizen, and it appears unwilling to adopt Android any time soon.

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It Makes Sense to Add in Fitness

Since one of the options for the Gear S2 is a sportier model, it would only make sense that Samsung would deliver a range of fitness-related features in the smartwatch. The device will allow users to track their daily activity, find exercise routines, and even tell folks when they need to get up and walk around. Fitness is a key ingredient in attracting more people to smartwatches.

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You Can Make Purchases With Samsung Pay

Both versions of the Gear S2 come with a near-field communication chip that allows users to make mobile payments with help from Samsung Pay. That will likely be a critical component for Samsung as it tries to build out its mobile wallet in the face of growing competition from Apple, Google, wireless carriers and others. Having hardware integration to meld with software is exceedingly important in the mobile-wallet space.

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Samsung Is Making Big Promises on Battery Life

While the Apple Watch can last only about a day on a single charge, Samsung is making big promises on the Gear S2 when it comes to a long-lasting battery. The company says that the Gear S2 will be capable of lasting up to three days on a single charge, based on normal use. Even better, the device can be wirelessly charged with the dock that comes bundled with the smartwatch.

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It's Designed to Be Dust- and Water-Resistant

To its credit, Samsung's has made a reputation of making durable wearables, and the Gear S2 is no different. According to Samsung, the Gear S2 comes with a rating of IP68, meaning it will not allow dust to get in and contaminate its internal components. It can also last for extended periods of time submerged in water. So, whether the user is walking through the desert or jumping in a pool, the Gear S2 should continue operating without trouble.

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There's a Question About App Support for the Round Screen

By moving to a round screen, Samsung has to address one significant issue. Apps that are currently designed for its other Tizen-based wearables are made for squared-off screens. Now, the company needs to get developers to sign on to circular designs. Samsung says that some apps will come with support for its circular design at launch, but it acknowledged it will need to work closely with software developers to get more apps to support its new screen design.

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Gear S2 Supports WiFi With an Option for 3G Access

Samsung has yet to say when it will actually deliver the smartwatch and, therefore, has not revealed pricing. It's also unclear in which markets it will be available. There is, however, one detail not to be overlooked. Both devices come with WiFi connectivity and the "modern" model can access 3G mobile networks. That means users will not need to be tethered to a Samsung handset to access data and apps, and it can access certain Web-connected apps while on the go.

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