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Second Gear - Samsung Gear 2 (Part 2)

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On the plus side, a number of useful native apps are included, such as a media controller, sleep tracker, and native music player. The watch also has a built-in IR blaster, which you can use to control your TV, although don’t expect to do anything fancy as this is mainly limited to changing the channel and volume.

The Samsung Gear Fit features 1.84” curved super AMOLED (432*128 resolution) screen as well as integrated accelerometer, gyro and heart rate sensors. The smart-band features integrated pedometer, exercise, heart rate, sleep, stopwatch and timer micro-applications. The device can notify people about incoming calls, emails, SMS, alarm, S-planner, 3rd party apps and so on.

The Samsung Gear Fit features 1.84” curved super AMOLED (432*128 resolution) screen as well as integrated accelerometer, gyro and heart rate sensors. The smart-band features integrated pedometer, exercise, heart rate, sleep, stopwatch and timer micro-applications. The device can notify people about incoming calls, emails, SMS, alarm, S-planner, 3rd party apps and so on.

The most exciting new feature is the Exercise app, which is basically a stripped-down version of the S Health app found on the Galaxy S5. Tell the app what kind of exercise you’re doing - walking, jogging, hiking, or bike riding - and it will automatically track your heart rate, distance travelled and calories burned. In our testing, the pedometer seemed accurate enough, but the heart rate monitor was hit or miss. Any movement or even noise often resulted in a failure message, and back to back readings can fluctuate quite wildly, which raises some concerns over its accuracy.

Samsung Gear 2 is resistant to dust and water which is IP67 certified so that you don't have to feel limited by rough conditions or unpredictable weather.

Samsung Gear 2 is resistant to dust and water which is IP67 certified so that you don't have to feel limited by rough conditions or unpredictable weather.

The Galaxy Gear’s camera module was one of the unique features that set it apart from other smartwatches and the Gear 2 remains one of the few on the market with a built-in camera. Unfortunately, the 2MP module is just a negligible improvement over the 1.9MP shooter from the first Gear and there’s still not very much you can do with it. I found it occasionally useful for taking quick snapshots of things when quality isn’t a concern - like remembering a website URL – but other than that, it’s generally a better idea to whip out your smartphone.

One of the biggest problems with the original Gear was its horrendous battery life, estimated by Samsung itself as “about a day”. Surprisingly, despite the Gear 2 being fitted with an even smaller battery, battery life is actually much improved and I only had to recharge the watch after about three days - although this is still a bit too often for convenience.

The Samsung Gear 2 and Gear 2 Neo are companion devices that allow users to accept or ignore incoming calls and messages as well as provide instant notification options based on a user’s activity and habits. Samsung Gear 2-series feature 1.63” display (superAMOLED, 320*320 resolution), dual-core 1GHz processor, 512MB RAM, Tizen-based operating system, 4GB of NAND flash storage, heart-rate sensor, pedometer, accelerometer, gyroscope as well as Bluetooth v4.0 LE and IrLED connectivity to connect to other mobile devices and control TVs.

The Samsung Gear 2 and Gear 2 Neo are companion devices that allow users to accept or ignore incoming calls and messages as well as provide instant notification options based on a user’s activity and habits. Samsung Gear 2-series feature 1.63” display (superAMOLED, 320*320 resolution), dual-core 1GHz processor, 512MB RAM, Tizen-based operating system, 4GB of NAND flash storage, heart-rate sensor, pedometer, accelerometer, gyroscope as well as Bluetooth v4.0 LE and IrLED connectivity to connect to other mobile devices and control TVs.

Overall, while the Gear 2 is a big improvement over the original, it just doesn’t do anything well enough to justify its $398 price. If Samsung could somehow squeeze a smartphone quality camera into the next Gear, it might have a unique killer feature, but right now the camera is still a novelty. Its exercise features are usable, but the heart rate monitor doesn’t seem accurate enough, and if fitness is your top priority, you’re probably better off with a lighter, dedicated fitness band. If you really have to get one, opt for the all-plastic, camera-less Gear 2 Neo instead, which is essentially the same, but at a much lower price of $298.

 

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