Today we’re taking a look at Samsung’s new Gear S2 and S2 Classic. If you’ve been in the market for a new Android Wear smartwatch, you may want to hold out for one of these instead. The Gear S2 is standard model that looks a little sporty, but definitely feels great in the build department, while the S2 Classic will give you more of, well, a classic watch style…
Both of these little guys pack a 1.2-inch circular Super AMOLED display with a pixel packed resolution of 360 x 360 (302 ppi). Powering this setup is an Exynos 3250 processor in the Bluetooth versions, but there will also be a model with standalone 3G connectivity that will use a slightly different processor model. Along with that, we have IP68 water resistance, 4GB of storage , 512MB of RAM, and a 250mAh battery (300mAh for the 3G model). There’s also a small microphone that will allow for voice commands and replies.
Check out our Gear S2 vs S2 Classic impressions video below:
Samsung’s new Gear lineup is running Tizen as we’ve seen in the past, but with a new lease on life. Get rid of any dirty thoughts you’ve had about Tizen, because this is so much better than any iteration I’ve seen. The user interface is fluid and easy to navigate and seemingly well organized compared to previous Tizen smartwatches. One of my favorite features is the way you navigate through everything.
On the side of each version, there are two buttons. One is used to access the available apps and the second is a simple back button. The way you move through the menus and options is the new rotating bezel. Literally, the bezel can be rotated to control the watch. It’s pretty damn awesome. I’d have to say that it easily beats out the Digital Crown control on the Apple Watch because it just feels better. Definitely something you need to experience. It’s the best form of navigation on a smartwatch to date. The bezel can be used scroll through the available apps, which can then be selected by tapping on the screen, but you can also use this to scroll through settings and emails, things like that.
I can’t comment on battery life at this moment, but Samsung claims 2 to 3 days on a single charge. Speaking of charging, it rests on a small little Moto 360-like Qi charging dock that plugs into the wall with a Micro USB cable. No word on charging times, but it likely won’t take long given the battery capacity available with the two models.
Both of these watches have a solid metal build and the software experience will be the same between them, but my favorite has to be the Classic version. With its traditional watch appearance and standard interchangeable strap sizing, it just suites my style more. The standard Gear S2 also features customizable band options, but they are proprietary in design which will be available from Samsung and other third-party manufacturers though the process to swap out the bands may not be ideal.
There’s quite a lot to look at with the Gear S2 and S2 Classic as far as features go. Customizable watch faces, stainless steel design, slim fit, and a very smooth Tizen interface. Regardless of what you’ve experienced with Tizen in the past, in my brief time with the Gear S2, it’s been a very pleasant experience.
So if you’re in need of an Android Wear smartwatch, you should really hold out until early October when the Gear S2 is released. Oh and for all of you rocking older hardware, Samsung is making both of them compatible with any device running Android 4.4 with at least 1.56GB of RAM. Both watches have a very different design, but which one do you prefer?