Samsung slips into Gear with its next generation of smart watches

24 Feb 2014

Consumer electronics giant Samsung kicked off Mobile World Congress with the big reveal of two new wearable computing devices – the Gear 2 and Gear 2 Neo smart watches.

The fact that a second generation of smart watches follows just a few months after the first generation of Gear watches does make you question if the first generation was half-baked in the first place. A knee-jerk reaction by the Korean manufacturer to rumours that an Apple smart watch was being planned?

Perhaps not? The quality is usually in the tasting. Or in this case the wearing.

Both the Samsung Gear 2 and Gear 2 Neo have a camera on the screen rather than the strap, giving the devices a more sleek and sharp design.

The second generation boasts a range of strap colour options; including Charcoal Black, Gold Brown and Wild Orange for the Gear 2; and Charcoal Black, Mocha Grey and Wild Orange for the Gear 2 Neo. Plus you can also customise the home screen background, clock face and font to reflect your own personal taste.

The first wearable devices powered by a Tizen based wearable platform, the are described by Samsung as companion devices that allow you to accept or ignore incoming calls and messages, and providing notification options based on your activity and habits.

The come with personal fitness coaching in real time, so you can develop a customised fitness routine and monitor your heart rate to improve your overall well-being.

Both devices will be available around the world starting from April.

The watches come with a 1.63-inch super AMOLED display, have a 1GHz dual core processor and a 2-MP digital camera with auto-focus. As well as fitness technology the devices also come with a Bluetooth-enabled music player.

“Samsung continues to lead in the wearable technology market with innovative, creative devices that are completely integrated into the lives of our customers,” Simon Stanford, vice president of IT & Mobile division, Samsung Electronics UK & Ireland.

“Offering extended connectivity features, stylish customisation options and a robust application network, we have enhanced everything that people love about the original Samsung Gear to create a second generation of wearable devices that offer unparalleled smart freedom.”

John Kennedy is a journalist who served as editor of Silicon Republic for 17 years