Samsung’s next smartwatch, the Gear S2, goes on sale through Samsung Experience stores in Sydney and Melbourne today starting at $499. Announced at IFA early last month, the Gear S2 will come in two variants, a sport model (with rubberised band) for $499, and the Gear S2 Classic, which allows for interchangeable standard bands.
Unlike most other smartwatches that we talk about at Ausdroid, the Gear S2 range runs Tizen, Samsung’s own answer to Android Wear and Apple’s Watch platforms. By doing so, Samsung is able to add further tweaks to the user interface, including the Gear S2’s feature rotating bezel.
At a superficial level, the watch works the same way as Android Wear; you get notifications and apps on your wrist, and it pairs via Bluetooth. However, from what I’ve read, the Gear S2 is probably closer to Apple Watch as a platform than it is to Android Wear. Not running Android Wear means you might get different app support, but the key features — notifications — are going to be there, app support or not.
Like other smartwatches, the Gear S2 includes health and fitness sensors, and it’s IP68 rated, so you can take it for a swim without doing damage. Most Android Wear devices are similarly rated, though there are some watches I’d be prepared to treat a little more roughly than others … just like normal watches!
Samsung claim a 3-day battery life for the Gear S2, which would be an impressive feat for a smartwatch, given most Android Wear smartwatches top out at two days, and many less.
The Gear S2 and Gear S2 classic will be available in a Dark Grey case with a Dark Grey band and a Silver case with a White band. The Gear S2 classic will be available in a Black case with a leather band.
Both devices are now able to order from the Samsung Experience Store and eStore, with a wider availability from November through major retailers and major mobile providers.
- Samsung Gear S2 – RRP $499
- Samsung Gear S2 classic – RRP $599
- Watch bands range from RRP $59 to RRP $89
We’ve got a review unit on the way and we’ll let you know what we think in a little while.