Here’s a shocker. Oh wait, there are several. Firstly, Samsung is launching version 2.0 of its smartwatch just barely five months since the GALAXY Gear. But wait, that’s not the biggest surprise. Read on.
Samsung is debuting two, not one, update to its wearable line of smart watches with the Gear 2 and Gear 2 Neo. Notice that the new devices also do not use the GALAXY moniker any longer. Hmmm…
There are several design changes that Samsung has made with the new devices. Firstly, the camera is now built into the main body of the Gear 2 and not on the strap in v1.0. The Gear 2 Neo lacks a built-in camera.
Samsung has enhanced its smartwatch lineup hardware too. Each of the two new devices will include a heart-rate sensors including exercise modes, and will feature their own music players and have Bluetooth audio output capabilities.
The watches will also include an infrared emitter, much like ones features in GALAXY tablets.
Both watches will sport a 320 x 320 1.63-inch touchscreen, packing a dual-core 1Ghz processor with 512MB RAM and 4G storage.
Here’s the real shocker.
With the Gear 2 and Gear 2 Neo, Samsung has officially ditched Android. Instead, the Korean giant has chosen to go with Tizen OS, its proprietary mobile OS.
So how will Tizen fare in terms of apps? By ditching Android and its galaxy (pardon the pun) of apps, extended functionality via apps may be limited, at least in the short term. Samsung was quick to note that the two new devices will be compatible wit dozens of other Samsung phones.
That statement still shows that the Gear 2 smart watches will not play nice with others, in comparison with competitors like the Pebble and Sony Smartwatch 2 which have better compatibility all round.
Samsung says the watches will hit store shelves in April.
Expect to see the unveiling at Samsung’s big Unpacked 5 event in Barcelona on Monday. Catch all 2014 Mobile World Congress (MWC) updates here.