In a rather surprising move, Samsung has unveiled its second generation of smartwatches before the Mobile World Congress, the Gear 2 and the camera-less Gear 2 Neo.
Interestingly, Samsung’s second generation smartwatches will run on the Tizen operating system rather than Android, which is probably the reason it no longer comes with the Galaxy branding.Tizen is an open source operating system backed by Samsung and Intel, and has been seen as an alternative to Google’s Android operating system and Apple’s iOS. The Gear 2 smartwatches won’t be the first devices to run on it, however, the NX300M smart camera launched by Samsung late last year was the first.
The smartwatches sport a more lightweight design, and come with a standalone music player with a Bluetooth headset. The camera in the Gear 2 has been embedded in the main body rather than the strap, which gives it a sleeker look. The Gear 2 smartwatches are thinner (10.0 mm vs 11.1 mm) and lighter (Gear 2: 68 gms, Gear 2 Neo: 55 gms) than the Galaxy Gear (73.8 gms), however they are slightly taller and wider (Gear 2 : 36.9 x 58.4x 10.0 mm, Gear 2 Neo : 37.9 x 58.8 x 10.0mm, 36.8 x 56.6 x 11.1 mm) than Samsung’s previous generation smartwatch (56.6 x 36.8 x 11.1 mm).
The Gear 2 smartwatches offer similar features to the Galaxy Gear, such as 1.63-inch Super AMOLED display with 320-by-320 pixel resolution and the ability to accept or ignore incoming calls and messages. Both devices also come with a built-in heart rate monitor and pedometer.
The devices are powered by a 1GHz dual-core processor (compared to the previous generation’s 800Mhz processor), 4GB internal storage, 512MB RAM, 2-megapixel camera (Gear 2 only), Bluetooth v4.0 LE, IrLED (which should help in controlling other electronic devices such as TVs and set-top boxes through the WatchON Remote app).
The second generation smartwatches come packed with a 300mAh battery, which is slightly smaller than the Galaxy Gear’s 315mAh battery, but the company says the battery will last for 2 to 3 days.
Unfortunately, the devices will be compatible with just Samsung Galaxy devices, exactly like the previous version. The company hasn’t specified which models but has said that they will be compatible with “more than dozens of Samsung Galaxy smartphones” at launch.
The Gear 2 smartwatches will go on sale in April, but Samsung hasn’t provided the pricing details yet. The Gear 2 Neo is expected to be more affordable than the camera-packed Gear 2.
The Gear 2 will be available in black, brown and orange, while the Gear 2 Neo will come in black, gray and orange.
Check out more photos below:
Let me know what you think of the Gear 2 smartwatches. Do you plan to buy them when they go on sale in April?[Samsung via Engadget]