It was back in October 2013 when Samsung first introduced the Galaxy Gear, providing some of the groundwork for the ever-expanding wearables market.
With an estimated 169 million wearable devices expected to be produced in 2020, Samsung is obviously keen to be a major part of that market and the new Gear S2 reflects that desire, with its compact design and better integrated features.
The Gear S2 is available in two versions; the premium look of the Gear S2 Classic and the more modern style of the Gear S2. The Gear S2’s interface is navigated via a rotating bezel and side button that allow you to access a series of pre-set applications and functions more quickly and conveniently.
As well as the circular display and interface, the Gear S2 is designed for seamless, everyday use with enhanced wearables technology. The always-on communication features let you stay connected via notifications that allow you to check email and review your calendar, along with functions to send texts via pre-set messages, voice input, emoticons and a keypad. Along with 3G connectivity and an e-SIM card—a first for a wearable device— this is all possible straight from the your wrist.
The Gear S2 has also been designed with health and fitness in mind and includes a number of sensors and improved tracking functions to monitor activity progress throughout the day, which is illustrated on a circular timeline. The Gear S2 also acts as a virtual personal trainer by sending messages of motivation when users have been inactive for a period of time, although presumably it can be switched off.
There’s also embedded NFC (Near Field Communication) technology so wallets can be left at home, as you can process payments with a tap on an NFC reader. Furthermore, Samsung is working with a number of partners across a variety of industries to expand the usability of wearables, from smart car keys to hotel room keys and remote controls.
These features are powered by a battery that can last two to three days, says Samsung, although it will be interesting to see if that pans out in real-world use.
Although clearly smaller than a smartphone, the Gear S2 still offers the same access to your apps, and through open collaboration with developers and partners, many of them (we don’t know how many) have been optimised for the device’s circular interface.
The Gear S2 will be available in stores in October 2015.
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