The world has been buzzing about wearables for a few years now. The world’s largest electronics company Samsung has been in this still nascent market ever since it launched its first and rather unwieldy Gear range of ‘smartwatches’ in 2012/13.
The smartwatch market has since then been inundated with Android based smartwatches from a number of makers like LG, Huawei and even Motorola. None of these though have been able to take on the Apple Smartwatch, for the simple reason, that in terms of intuitiveness and design, simple has been the mantra that has made Apple the clear winner in the smartwatch market. Let us then see if the new kid on the block, the Samsung Gear S2, with its proprietary Tizen OS is any closer to dislodging Apple from its perch high above all else.
Design and Functionality
On first glance, the Gear S2 seems to look like any mid-range analog watch. It features an aluminium shell with an elasto-polymer strap, which does give it a rather plain-Jane style. While the exterior is rather Spartan, it is what’s at the heart of this smartwatch that truly matters. At the centre of all the action is Samsung’s proprietary Exynos 1 GB processor, married with 512MB of RAM, is more than a match for all the apps and tasks you’re ever likely to throw at the watch. What makes the smartwatch that much more appealing, is the presence of the super AMOLED screen that makes reading messages, and generally browsing stuff, that much more pleasant.
The Tizen powered Samsung Gear 2 Smartwatch, works in a rather novel manner, as unlike most smartwatches, where navigation is a function of swiping left or right in order to access the menu, the Gear 2 is that much more different. It features a toggle wheel around its face that may be moved in either direction, in order to access the menu. Samsung says this is a deliberate design call as it sets this watch apart from its competitors.
In what may seem as a deterrent to the purchase of Samsung’s Gear 2, is the decision to use of the ‘work in progress’ Tizen OS, as against the tried and popularised Android OS. This is obviously Samsung’s attempt at asserting a modicum of control over the future of its devices and the desire to provide a viable alternative to consumers, than just the iOS and Android ecosystems. In order to make this happen, Samsung has commissioned the development of over 1000 applications that will be available for the Gear 2 on the Tizen OS App store. Let’s see if this decision pays off in the long run.
Availability and Pricing
The Samsung Gear 2 should be up for release soon and for availability and pricing, watch this space in the near future.