Samsung just announced its new smart watch, the Gear S2, which takes a new design direction since it abandons the wide display form-factor in favor of a more “watch-like” round design. In addition to this obvious change, the Samsung Gear S2 also features two buttons on the side for the Home and Back functions. The bezel can rotate, just like analog chronograph watches, except that this will be used as a control dial. Good idea.
There will be two distinct designs: the Gear S2 (in the photo above) and the Gear S2 Classic. As its name indicates, the latter version will resemble a timeless watch style, while the former will look a bit more modern/technological and would be a good fit for sports, for example. By the way, both models are certified IP68, which means water resistant and dust-proof.
The 1.2” display has a 360×360 resolution for a sharpness of 302 PPI, which is in-line with many smartwatches currently on the market. The Gear S2 runs on Samsung’s Tizen operating system, and is not an Android Wear device.
The watch also incorporates a cellular connectivity which is accessed via an e-SIM (yes, voice calls are possible). This is first and foremost used to transfer notification between phone and watch, even outside of WIFI/BT range. The Gear S2 also supports NFC, but it’s not yet clear if payments or ticketing would be possible, for example.
Samsung claims that its battery can last for “two to three” days, which is encouraging, but we will wait to be able to verify it before vouching for this kind of battery life. That would be a significant progress for a Samsung watch. There’s a wireless charging dock (finally!) which removes further friction from the user experience.
Inside, there’s a dual-core 1GHz processor with 512MB of RAM and 4GB flash storage, which can be used to store music on the watch (great for running…). As usual, there’s a heart-rate monitor, and we look forward to seeing how good it is, since the wrist is a challenging place for this type of measurement.