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Samsung Gear 2 smartwatch review

Samsung's sequel aims to win over users with a slimmer design and a focus on fitness
Fri May 16 2014, 16:11

Product Samsung Gear 2
Specifications 1.63in 320x320 resolution Super AMOLED display, 800MHz processor, 512MB RAM, 4GB internal storage, 2MP camera with auto focus, Bluetooth 4.0, accelerometer, gyroscope, Tizen operating system, 11.1mm face, 37x58x10mm, 68g.
Price £249

WE WOULDN'T BE LYING if we said that Samsung's first smartwatch, the Samsung Galaxy Gear, didn't set the world alight when it was launched last August. With a chunky, heavy design, a 24-hour battery life and a £300 price, it was hardly the most desirable gadget to hit the market in 2013.

That's why Samsung didn't waste any time bringing a sequel to market and releasing the Gear 2 smartwatch earlier in April with some updated features, such as a slimmer design, a 1.63in Super AMLOED display, a 2MP camera and a focus on fitness.

Samsung claims the design of the Gear 2 is "much sleeker" than that of the original Galaxy Gear smartwatch. And so it is - just not in any major way.

The weight doesn't differ very much; the Samsung Gear 2 tips the scales at 68g compared to the original Galaxy Gear's 74g. However, it does look and feel much slimmer on the wrist and does look better, less bulky and cumbersome, compared to its predecessor. This is mainly thanks to Samsung's decision to move the camera sensor from the strap to above the display.

The Samsung Gear 2 also feels more streamlined than last year's model, and the redesigned strap, which is a textured rubber material, both looks good and sits comfortably on the wrist.

Samsung Gear 2 design

The unsightly screws from the original Gear have been removed too, which means that the device doesn't look quite as brutal as Samsung's original smartwatch. Instead, the metal watchface sports a new home button under the screen, which we found makes the device more intuitive to use.

Another nice design feature is that, much like the Samsung Galaxy S5, the Gear 2 is resistant to dust and water, which means you won't need to take it off while in the shower. Also like the Galaxy S5, there's a heart rate monitor built into the rear of the device, part of the smartwatch shifting to focus on fitness.

Our Samsung Gear 2 review model came in Charcoal black. Those looking for a more fun-looking device will be pleased to hear that it also comes in two other colour strap options; Wild Orange and Gold Brown.

All in all, the Samsung Gear's design is very likable, easy to get used to and unobtrusive. We do however have one small quibble. The metal clasp on the bottom tends to get in the way at times, as it is much thicker at this point. When sat at a desk, for example, it will clank against the hard surface, meaning that your wrist won't lay flat against it. We can't say that this annoyed us too much, though.

Next: Build quality, display, camera.


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