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Never Look At Smartwatches The Same Way Again

Like how the new Galaxy phones have
been radically re­designed, Samsung’s Gear watch has too, undergone a
revolution.

With a twist and a satisfying clickety
clack of its bezel in your ears, the Gear S2 makes a strong statement in the
second age of smartwatches. In a sea of wearable announcements back at IFA, the
Gear S2 stood out with its revolutionary feature, quite literally.

While you can always count on Samsung to
pack its devices with the latest hardware, which we will get to in a bit, its
standout party trick lies in said bezel. The Gear S2, like most other
smartwatches these days, looks like a regular watch, but the bezel is integral
to how you navigate the menus. And it’s rather clever too.

There’re only two buttons on the watch.
Press the bottom button along the side to bring up the main menu, twist the
bezel to scroll through apps, tap on the screen to start it. To go back to the
previous screen, tap the top button on the side. To return the main menu, press
the bottom button again – it’s as simple as that.

Samsung chose not to adopt Android Wear,
and instead use its proprietary Tizen platform. Unlike its previous efforts
however, it’s not ‘proprietary’ device to Samsung phones. You can use it with
any smartphone that has 1.5GB of RAM and running at least Android 4.4 (,
although some features will be locked, like the upcoming Samsung Pay.

The only question mark with Tizen is
whether or not app developers will support the platform in the long term – a
typical tech enthusiast chicken and egg #firstworldproblem. But given Samsung’s
clout and the excellent design of the device, it might not be as worrying as
you think.

As it is, the Gear S2 has all the makings
of a hit, right down to its design. You can choose between two styles – the
regular Gear S2, or the Gear S2 Classic. The Gear S2 Classic sports a more traditional
look, right down to a leather strap that you can easily replace on your own.
The Gear S2 is a modern design, and appeals to fans of minimalism – personally
I preferred this one.

The watch is only 11.4mm thin, and sports a
1.2­inch screen with 360×360 resolution (302 ppi). It’s a fairly safe size that
should fit most wrists. Under the hood, the Gear S2 stocks a 1GHz Dual Core
processor, 512MB of RAM, and 4GB of internal storage. It is also equipped with
a heart rate monitor.

The 250mAh battery can power the device up
to three days, depending on your usage, which is not too shabby considering the
capabilities of this device. It’s also charged wirelessly, which is a real convenience.
Both Gear S2 carry the IP68 rating, marking them ‘life proof’ (waterproof and
dust-proof) – the leather strap on the Gear S2 Classic isn’t, though.

 

The watches will go on sale come 2 October
2015, starting at US$320 (SG$448) for the Gear S2, which will be available in a Dark Gray
case with Dark Grey band, or a Silver case with White band. The Gear S2 Classic
costs US$391 (SG$548) and is available only in a Black case with leather band.

 

 

By Justin Choo / September 16, 2015 3:10PM
GMT+8

 

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