Print 21 comment(s) - last by GreyMulkin.. on Feb 28 at 4:19 AM

Samsung's new smartwatches boost battery life from 24 hours to up to three days

The original Galaxy Gear smartwatch wasn’t exactly a hit on the market, but the company is looking to make a bigger splash with two next generation versions of the platform.
The first big change is the fact that the “Galaxy” branding has been dropped. The two smartwatches that Samsung is announcing instead will be called the Gear 2 and Gear 2 Neo. The rejection of the Galaxy branding explains the second big change: Android has been replaced by Samsung’s home-brewed Tizen operating system.
Samsung hasn’t exactly explained the differences users will see between Android and Tizen on the new Gear 2 smartwatches, but we’ll likely see some further explanations closer to their April release date.

Samsung Gear 2
When it comes to hardware specs, the Gear 2 and Gear 2 Neo differ slightly. They both feature a 1.63” display, 1GHz dual-core processor with 512MB RAM, 4GB internal storage, 300 mAh battery, infrared support, S Voice, pedometer, and a heart rate monitor. Where things differ slightly is the fact that the Gear 2 features a 2MP camera built into the bezel, while the Gear 2 Neo forgoes the camera altogether.
In addition, the Gear weighs 68 grams whereas the Gear 2 Neo weighs 55 grams. They both, however, are lighter than the original Galaxy Gear, which weighs 74 grams. The Gear 2 will be available in Charcoal Black, Gold Brown and Wild Orange, while the Gear 2 Neo gets Charcoal Black, Mocha Grey and Wild Orange color options.

Samsung Gear 2 Neo
Even though the battery capacity has been reduced on the new smartwatches (300 mAh versus 315 mAh on the original) and a faster processor is in use (1GHz vs 800MHz on the original), battery life has improved dramatically. While the original was lucky to achieve “typical usage” of 24 hours, the Gear 2 and Gear 2 Neo are rated for 2 to 3 days.
Pricing for the two smartwatches isn’t known at this time, but hopefully Samsung will learn from its mistake of pricing the original at $299.

Source: Samsung

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What a niche market..
By coburn_c on 2/23/2014 3:23:50 PM , Rating: 5
300 dollars of 'I'm too lazy to reach into my pocket'.

RE: What a niche market..
By jharper12 on 2/23/2014 3:56:02 PM , Rating: 4
I work in the field, I'm assuming you do not. I was previously known as the destroyer of cell phones, I wrecked them, early and often. I haven't broken a single phone since I purchased a Pebble. I paid $110 for my watch, and it's saved me at least $200 in repairs and far more than that in grief, I'm sure. Not to mention I am no longer constantly ignoring the person in front of me to see if I need to answer an important e-mail or text. Sure, I look like I'm always in a rush (as I'm always checking my watch) but I would argue that I'm slightly less of a douche bag for always checking my watch vs always checking my smart phone. I can get away with a quick watch look on a date for a work e-mail, where as without my watch, well, dates are going better these days. Call these what you will, but they are not a tool of the lazy. They are a tool for those who wish to be less tool-ish in their daily lives. I average a little over 300 e-mails a day and a number of work related texts as well. This saves me valuable screening time.

RE: What a niche market..
By JDuckett on 2/24/2014 1:26:45 PM , Rating: 2
I'm totally with you. It's nice to glance at your watch when there is a new notification instead of my phone. While the pebble, in theory, drops battery life of the phone, I found it increased it because I didn't turn it on as often. I'm not a destroyer of phones, but despite that the Pebble was worth every dollar of the $150 I spent.

I don't, however, get notifications of Email. Email, by its nature, suggests it is not urgent. If they need me urgently, they can text or call (which both then notify my pebble).

RE: What a niche market..
By Samus on 2/24/2014 10:11:47 PM , Rating: 2
On the days I forget my Pebble at home, I really miss it. Really a huge convenience. It's extremely durable too; I'm not afraid to scuff up a $150 watch so I wear it while I work on my car, server racks, bathing my kids, etc.

But the point is $150 really is the ceiling for something like this to be adoptable. People just aren't going to spend as much (or more) on a cell phone accessory than they spend on a phone itself. The $250 Pebble Steel should be <$200 and the Pebble should be reduced to $100.

But like everything, the prices will come down as adoption comes up. By that time though, the wrist watch will likely kill the cell phone the same way the cell phone killed the wrist watch over the past decade.

I mean honestly, do you guys really think we'll all be carrying around phones and holding them up to our faces in 10 years? It's all going to be on your wrist. Google seems to think it'll be on your face.

RE: What a niche market..
By BRB29 on 2/24/2014 7:09:15 AM , Rating: 1
I've tried the watch from both Sony and Samsung. They both suck. You look down right silly with that bulky thing on your wrist. Definitely not something an adult professional would wear. Then you realize how extremely silly your decision to pay $300 for a clunky thing on your wrist was.

The only way the wrist watch will work is if they made it thin enough with at least a 3 in" screen. It's a touch interface, you need 3" screens or higher unless you got tiny chopsticks for fingers.

I can definitely see these watches becoming mainstream when they start using flexible screens to get more real estate on your wrist/forearm. Right now, it's a silly toy with limited function.

RE: What a niche market..
By piroroadkill on 2/24/2014 8:45:20 AM , Rating: 2
How the hell can it have a 3" screen AND not be bulky.

Literally not possible. Even the screen was flexible, that thing would be wide.

RE: What a niche market..
By BRB29 on 2/24/2014 9:29:55 AM , Rating: 2
Look at the LG Flex phone. The screen is about 1mm thick, flexible and can work without all that bulk behind it. The watch doesn't need a big battery, powerful processors, mass amounts of memory or all the extra stuff like GPS. The phone can simply do all those tasks and the watch just display it.

In fact, I think the ipod touch is about the same thickness as the Samsung watch. I'm 100% sure they can make the ipod half the thickness easily sine it's old tech.

Making a thin flexible watch to attach to your forearm rather than just a looking like a traditional watch is a better idea. I'm 100% sure you will see this in the future when they can build SoCs with 16GB of flash memory shrink down to a the size of half penny. This is actually already possible but it is not ready for mass production due to price!

RE: What a niche market..
By Dr of crap on 2/24/2014 12:37:44 PM , Rating: 2
POP up hologram for a display and interface.
AND the same size as one of those "big" watches they have now.
THAT's when it will be useful.
Until then no thanks.

RE: What a niche market..
By jimbojimbo on 2/24/2014 10:19:28 AM , Rating: 2
3" screen? Also, a lot of men wear huge watches already and it seems to have long been the trendy thing. With a 3" screen, assuming it's curved otherwise it would absolutely ridiculous, you'd basically be wearing a huge bracelet. Utterly ridiculous.
By the way you bring up a 1mm thin screen but you do realize that screens just don't run themselves right? Right?

RE: What a niche market..
By GreyMulkin on 2/28/2014 4:18:28 AM , Rating: 2
No one even wears watches anymore. What a waste of talent and effort.

RE: What a niche market..
By GreyMulkin on 2/28/2014 4:19:08 AM , Rating: 2
And they're so ugly...

curious about the battery life improvement
By atechfan on 2/23/2014 1:35:02 PM , Rating: 2
Since the battery is smaller and the processor is faster, I am wondering where the big boost is coming from. Is it the screen? Lower power Bluetooth? Or does merely dropping Android enough to get that much more battery life?

RE: curious about the battery life improvement
By ritualm on 2/24/2014 3:16:14 AM , Rating: 2
I'm not buying a smartwatch that costs double the retail price of a Pebble, performs worse and cannot be used with anything that's not a Samsung.

RE: curious about the battery life improvement
By jimbojimbo on 2/24/2014 10:21:11 AM , Rating: 2
So you're not getting the original Galaxy Gear. You don't know anything about this phone yet except the price.

By ritualm on 2/24/2014 2:15:35 PM , Rating: 2
2-3 days battery life? Oh please. Pebble lasts longer than that.

Now, if I ever want to be D1ck Tracy, I can simply fly to Hong Kong and buy a full blown wristwatch smartphone, Android and all, for about the same price as a Galaxy Gear.

By tayb on 2/24/2014 9:22:16 AM , Rating: 2
I am betting that most of the power saving comes from dropping Android. It's a really bloated OS right now that needs some effort from Google to improve efficiency.

Gear is finally worth buying
By edmund on 2/23/2014 12:40:38 PM , Rating: 1
The new changes made to the gear finally make it attractive as a companion device, hopeful they allow all android devices and also they have reasonable pricing on the gear 2 and gear 2 neo.

RE: Gear is finally worth buying
By name99 on 2/23/2014 1:23:37 PM , Rating: 1
uhh, what????
Which EXACTLY of these changes "finally makes it attractive"?
You though the previous Gear was great, but the Galaxy branding upset you?
You really wanted a 1GHz "unspecified" core?
You wanted the camera to move from one useless location to a different almost as useless location?

People have many many complaints with these devices, and I don't see ANY of them resolved. Battery life is still bad. Killer feature still seems non-existent. If they CAN work with anything other than a narrow range of Samsung phones, that hasn't been made public. etc etc.

RE: Gear is finally worth buying
By Flunk on 2/24/2014 12:20:51 AM , Rating: 2
Maybe he was just waiting for the opportunity to buy an orange one?

RE: Gear is finally worth buying
By jimbojimbo on 2/24/2014 10:33:47 AM , Rating: 2
Well the battery life is 2 to 3 times better and it is lighter. Also, the camera isn't sticking out like it did before so it's a little more streamlined.
I was only slightly interested in the original, like $50 interested, but if this goes on sale for $200 it'll be tempting. I'm curious how the heart rate detector works and how well it will work. Does it have to be tightly strapped? It'll be interesting to see. How sensitive is it? Would it be able to detect slight abnormalities? OK, probably not that sensitive but who knows?

Does it work with other phones?
By Aloonatic on 2/24/2014 3:09:17 AM , Rating: 2
One of the main problems with the Galaxy Gear was/is that it only works with a handful of Samsung phones. Will the Gear 2 be compatible with all android phones?

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