Samsung has struck early in the quest for Mobile World Congress (MWC) headlines, revealing not one, but two newsmart watches in Barcelona.
The Gear 2 and Gear 2 Neo mark a major shift from 2013’s Galaxy Gear; a device that is widely regarded as a failure.
The first key difference is the name. Sammy has binned the Galaxy brand for its savvy timepieces. That’s because each of the new models run its own Tizen operating system, rather than Google’s Android.
In practice, that appears to make little difference to the user experience and features on board.
Both come with a 1.63–inch touchscreen, 4GB of on board storage, allowing the watch to act as an MP3 player in its own right, and are water and dust resistant.
The Gear 2 adds a 720p HD camera, the only major feature missing on the Gear 2 Neo.
Unsurprisingly, Samsung has made health a key feature of both devices. There’s a heart rate monitor and full fitness tracking app, including distance covered and calories burnt.
Clearly, Sammy is aware of Apple’s push to make its iWatch a fitness maestro and is looking to land the first punch in what should be an epic battle.
Battery life is said to be between two and three days, a distinct improvement on the Galaxy Gear’s poor, short–of–a–day power pack. You’ll also be able to swap the strap on both watches, addressing another key criticism of Samsung’s original smartwatch.
The Gear 2 and Gear 2 Neo are due to land in April. Neither has been priced up as yet. The Gear 2 will come in black, brown and orange, while the Neo will get a grey version as well.