Samsung Gear Watch (2nd Gen)

Samsung-Gear-2

Summary:  The Samsung Gear 2 was released in April of 2014 as the successor to the original Galaxy Gear smartwatch.  There are a number of enhancements that were made to the Gear 2 as compared to the original Gear, but with some unavoidable feature losses, based on the choice to use Tizen (a Samsung controlled, unique variant of Linux) instead of the official Android release from Google.   As before, this watch allows for users to perform minor productivity and communications tasks directly on their wrist.  For individuals who are heavy Samsung users, this watch with some caveats is a worthy companion to a recent Samsung smartphone.

What’s New:  This version of the Samsung smartwatch family adds in heart rate monitoring, an infrared blaster to control electronic and entertainment devices, a user replaceable wrist strap, and slightly improved battery life (clocking in at 1.5 days on average).

What’s Lost:  As this version of the Gear family uses Tizen, instead of Android, several unique capabilities that were present in the original Gear, such as taking pictures to add to notes in Evernote, or capturing calorie data using barcode scanning with MyFitnessPal, are lost due to the lack of app support by software vendors for Tizen.

Intended Market:  Users who are heavily invested in the Samsung ecosystem, who would like to have the ability track fitness elements, such as heart rate and steps taken, and interact with their phone’s notifications, while placing and taking calls using their watch.  Of course, the most ideal market are those people who already own a recent Samsung Galaxy smartphone.

Sub-optimal market:  Those persons who would prefer to use a device that integrates with Microsoft or Apple services and devices would be better served by the Microsoft Band or the Apple Watch.  Those persons who prefer to have a device that integrates with non-Samsung Android devices would find Android Wear watches (e.g. Moto 360 and the LG G Watch R), to be more appealing.  Users who desire that their watch have the ability to operate completely independently of their smartphone would be likely more pleased by the Samsung Gear S, which has its own 4G network connectivity and thus does not need a phone for much of its features.

Caveats:  This watch uses the same pin style connection mechanism for the charging system as does the original Samsung Galaxy Gear.  As you may recall, the connector on the Gear exhibited fragility after around 150 days of consistent use.  While this does not necessarily mean that the same issues would be found on a Gear 2, the fact that the connectors share the same design is cause for consideration.

Approximate Retail Price:  $300 new, $150 used

Purchase Link:  To purchase our specific review unit, please see this Link: UNAVAILABLE.  Note, if the auction is unavailable, our review unit has already been purchased.

Please note that the proceeding quick summary was a NetWise Life Quick Review, and was not intended to be as detailed or thorough as our standard reviews.  With this review, we intended to provide a quick syopsis of the device’s target market, and a few unique advantages.  It was not intended to be an exhaustive review.

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