Samsung Announces Next Generation Gear 2 Smartwatches, Drops “Galaxy” Branding
February 23, 2014 11:01 AM
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Samsung's new smartwatches boost battery life from 24 hours to up to three days
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 The rejection of the Galaxy branding explains the second big change: Android has been replaced by Samsung’s home-brewed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
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RE: What a niche market..
2/23/2014 3:56:02 PM
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..
2/24/2014 1:26:45 PM
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..
2/24/2014 10:11:47 PM
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.
"Paying an extra $500 for a computer in this environment -- same piece of hardware -- paying $500 more to get a logo on it? I think that's a more challenging proposition for the average person than it used to be." -- Steve Ballmer
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