Samsung has unveiled its next-generation Galaxy Gear smart watches, confirming that it’s bringing two separate models – Gear 2 and Gear 2 Neo – to the market.
Gear 2, the direct sequel to last year’s “successful” (but unimpressive) Gear smart watch, packs a feature set similar to the first-generation model: on board is a 1.63-inch touch screen, 4GB of flash storage, 512MB of RAM, and built-in speakers. The model has added an IR blaster, while also relocating the camera to the body of the smart watch itself, rather than its watch strap.
The second-generation Gear 2 also includes a built-in heart rate sensor and a pedometer, and promises two to three days of usage between charges (it’s maintained a similar 300 mAh battery). It seems Samsung is indeed ready for Apple’s Healthbook-powered iWatch product, and has rushed to add health and fitness functionality to its own wearable offering.
Alongside the Gear 2 is the Gear 2 Neo, a similar but less expensive product that doesn’t include a built-in camera.
The most significant change made to the Gear product line, however, is software side: Samsung has ditched Android for its own Tizen operating system with the Gear 2 and Gear 2 Neo, and this was reportedly developed alongside Intel. Concerning the change, Samsung said in a press release:
The Samsung Gear 2 and Gear 2 Neo let users connect to a wide variety of Samsung devices and access an enriched application ecosystem as the first wearable powered by Tizen based wearable platform. Samsung Gear 2 and Gear 2 Neo are compatible with more than dozens of Samsung Galaxy smartphones at launch.
Both smart watches come in a variety of different colors, and should start shipping in April, according to Samsung; pricing is so far unannounced.
Apple, on the other hand, is still working on its long anticipated iWatch, after having hired a large number of experts in the field of medical health and fitness to join its iWatch team. The Cupertino, Calif. company is reportedly aiming for a late 2014 launch for its own smart watch, and postponed further development of its Apple HDTV in order to meet this self-set deadline.
We’ll keep you updated with further information as we receive it.