Samsung Galaxy Gear 2 Smartwatches Offer Light, Welcome Improvements

1 - Samsung Galaxy Gear 2 Smartwatches Offer Light, Welcome Improvements
2 - Samsung Galaxy Gear 2 Smartwatches
3 - An Aesthetic Bump
4 - Galaxy Gear Neo
5 - Less Bulky, More Watch-Like
6 - Fitness Companion
7 - Personalized Companion
8 - Time to Say Goodbye to Android
9 - Friendlier Smartwatches
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Samsung Galaxy Gear 2 Smartwatches Offer Light, Welcome Improvements

by Michelle Maisto

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Samsung Galaxy Gear 2 Smartwatches

The Galaxy Gear 2 will begin shipping around the world in April, in Charcoal Black, Gold Brown and Wild Orange. Pricing hasn't been announced yet.

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An Aesthetic Bump

The Galaxy Gear 2 offers subtle aesthetic improvements over the original Galaxy Gear. Gone are the exposed screws on the Gear's watch face and the large bump in its wristband where the camera was housed. The Gear 2's 2-megapixel camera is incorporated into the watch body.

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Galaxy Gear Neo

The Galaxy Gear Neo doesn't include a camera and is half an ounce lighter for it. However, at 37.9 by 58.8 by 10mm, it's somehow slightly larger than the Gear 2, which measures 36.9 by 58.4 by 10mm.

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Less Bulky, More Watch-Like

The Galaxy Gear's camera made its band rather rigid and bulky. The Gear 2 (shown here) and Gear 2 Neo have more natural wristbands.

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Fitness Companion

Health-minded apps are a large focus of the Gear 2 and Gear 2 Neo, which Samsung says can offer "personal fitness coaching in real time." Users can monitor their heart rates, count their footsteps, and engage separate companion apps for walking, hiking, running and biking.

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Personalized Companion

The home screen background, clock face and font can all be customized. With the Gear 2 watches, users can also accept or reject calls, view messages and control some household electronics, like an HDTV.

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Time to Say Goodbye to Android

Another departure from the Gear is that the Gear 2 smartwatches run Tizen, the OS Intel developed with Nokia. Last summer, Intel and Samsung hosted an app challenge, growing the Tizen app ecosystem with the offer of $4 million in prizes. The open-source OS allows Android watch apps to also run on the Gear 2 smartwatches.

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Friendlier Smartwatches

The Gear 2 Neo will come in Charcoal Black, Mocha Grey and Wild Orange. While at launch the original Gear could connect to only the Galaxy Note 3, the Gear 2 watches will be compatible with "dozens" of Galaxy smartphones, Samsung said, introducing the smartphones Feb. 23. It added, "We have enhanced everything consumers love about the Gear to offer unparalleled smart freedom in their everyday life."

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