So long Galaxy Gear, we hardly knew ye. It's only been five months since Samsung's first Android-based smartwatch hit the scene. The Korean giant is now ready to move on with the new Gear 2 and Gear 2 Neo after the Galaxy Gear was widely panned for its clunky design, weak battery life and slow UI.
The Gear 2 and Gear 2 Neo address just about all of the complaints on the Galaxy Gear. First, you'll notice that the wearables no longer sport the "Galaxy" moniker. This is because underneath, Android is gone, and in its place is Samsung's own Tizen operating system.
As expected from new devices, the Gear 2 and Gear 2 Neo are slimmer and sport changeable watch straps. There's also a home button on the watch's front now, too. Both smartwatches have a 1.63-inch (320 x 320) Super AMOLED display, 1GHz dual-core processor, 512GB of RAM, 4GB of internal storage, Bluetooth 4.0 LE, microphone, and speaker. Fitness buffs and adventure seekers will also appreciate the IP67 dust and water resistant certification.
While the internal battery has dropped from 315mAh to 300mAh, the usage time has dramatically increased from 25 hours to 2-3 days for normal use and up to six days for low usage. We're not sure what kind of magic sorcery Samsung has worked up, but it most likely has something to do with Tizen being more energy efficient than Android.
The only real difference between the two smartwatches is the Gear 2 has a 2.0-megapixel camera with 720p HD video capture, and the Gear 2 Neo does not. Sharp eagles will notice the camera is now also smaller and placed above the watch face instead of on the wrist strap. Other than the missing camera (that little hole is an IR blaster), the Gear 2 Neo looks to be cheaper in build-quality.
Samsung's got the hardware down in version 2.0 of its smartwatch, now it just needs to sell it at a lower price. Consumers didn't bite on the Galaxy Gear's $299 price. If the Gear 2 and Gear 2 Neo are to succeed, a lower price is a must. The Gear 2 will come in Charcoal Black, Gold Brown, and Wild Orange. Meanwhile, the Gear 2 Neo will come in both the Black and the Orange, as well as a Mocha Grey. Expect the two Gear 2 smartwatches to launch alongside the Galaxy S5.