Samsung has announced that its latest smartwatch, the Tizen-based Gear S2, will go on sale at a number of retail locations from this Friday, October 2nd. The regular S2 and the S2 Classic will cost $299 and $349 respectively and will be available from Samsung direct, Amazon, Best Buy and Macy’s. What’s more, customers will be able to get their hands on the devices exclusively at Best Buy and Macy’s Herald Square on October 2, and 50 Macy’s store’s across the States from October 16.

The only real difference between the regular S2 and the S2 Classic is the design. While the former looks a little plasticky and sporty, the latter is a more stylish metal and leather affair. Both devices sport the same set of specifications. On the front is a 1.2-inch, 360 x 360 resolution round AMOLED display surrounded by a rotating bezel. This bezel is used to control many aspects of the software user interface.

Inside the watch is 4GB internal storage, 512MB RAM and a dual-core 1.0GHz processor. It also has a 250mAh battery and supports wireless charging, and won’t get damaged easily thanks to its IP68 dust and water resistance. Other notable features include Wi-Fi b/g/n, Bluetooth 4.1 and NFC. There’s also a cellular version with 3G/4G connectivity and a slightly bigger 300mAh battery which T-Mobile will be selling at some point in the future.

Our initial impressions from the launch event were very positive. The user interface is really attractive and responds to gestures smoothly. It also seems really intuitive. Perhaps the biggest benefit to the Gear S2 over its Gear-branded predecessors is that you don’t need a Samsung phone to use it. Samsung is making the Gear S2 compatible with most phones running Android, and might even bring iOS compatibility at a later date.

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