Samsung have taken the wraps of the new Gear S2 smartwatch, pictured above, which will come in two variants – the Gear S2 (left) and Gear S2 Classic (right) with replaceable bands.
The Gear S2 has a unique user interface; running Tizen, Samsung’s own answer to Apple’s Watch and Android’s Wear platforms, the watch is controlled via a rotating bezel and side button. Like Android Wear, the Gear S2 can connect to just about any recent Android phone, via Bluetooth, and at a simplistic level, it offers the same features — notifications and apps, on your wrist.
Some of the apps that Samsung has mentioned for the Gear S2 include Uber (to hail a car on the go), Yelp (for finding nearby restaurants), and a good number of financial apps that support tap-and-pay, none of which will work in Australia at the moment. Samsung Pay is supported too, when/if that comes to Australia. It’s unknown whether makers of popular and useful Android Wear apps will port their software to Tizen.
The Gear S2 includes unspecified sensors for monitoring various activities related to health and fitness, and while Samsung’s press materials don’t actually specify what those sensors are, we can conclude that a heart rate sensor and step tracker are probably amongst them. The watch is IP68 rated, which means it should survive getting sweat all over it, taking a shower, or going for a swim.
Samsung claim a 3-day battery life for the Gear S2, which would be an impressive feat for a smartwatch, with the current breed topping out at around two days (in LG’s Watch Urbane and Sony’s Smartwatch 3). Featuring built-in Qi, charging is said to be convenient and easy.
We don’t have any information from Samsung Australia, so we don’t have local pricing or availability. Others have been told the watch could be in stores here by the end of October, or a bit earlier.