Samsung Galaxy Gear 2 Smartwatches Offer Light, Welcome Improvements

By Michelle Maisto  |  Posted 2014-02-25

At Mobile World Congress 2014, Samsung debuted two new smartwatches, the Galaxy Gear 2 and the (camera-free) Gear 2 Neo. The watches are the types of devices Apple might have slapped an S on—upgrades, not overhauls. Samsung has moved the camera on the Gear 2 into the watch face—a welcome aesthetic improvement over the in-watchband design on the original Gear. These smartwatches can also play music without the assistance of a smartphone, will be able to connect to "dozens" of Samsung smartphones when they arrive in April (the Gear could only connect to the Galaxy Note 3) and can be used to control other electronics, such as a TV. Plus, they can be used to accept or reject incoming calls and view messages, and they boast fitness features—such as a pedometer and walking, hiking and running companions—that create what Samsung calls "personal fitness coaching in real time." Most notably—though Samsung couldn't have played down this fact any more in its press materials—both watches run Tizen instead of Android. Samsung, the world's leading smartphone seller, has promised phones running Tizen, as it looks for a way to begin detaching itself from the company that has enjoyed its sales success: Google.


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