One of the more interesting rumors from last year is that Samsung would unveil a new Galaxy Gear less than a year after it launched its first wearable device. While its rare to launch a successor that soon, Samsung hopes you don’t mind that it just made your $300+ smart watch obsolete.
Samsung unveiled the Gear 2 and Gear 2 Neo at Mobile World Congress this week. Unlike the original, the Galaxy name is no longer attached to the Gear. There’s no explanation for this, but it could be due to the fact that the devices are powered by the Tizen OS.
Samsung continues to lead innovation in the wearable market by creating devices that are completely integrated into the lives of consumers through extended connectivity features, stylish customization options and a robust application ecosystem,” Said JK Shin, CEO and President of IT & Mobile Division, Samsung Electronics. “With the Samsung Gear 2 and Gear 2 Neo, we have enhanced everything consumers love about the Gear to offer unparalleled smart freedom in their everyday life.”
As is the case with most hardware upgrades, the specs have received a small boost. Both the Gear 2 and Gear 2 Neo sport the same 1.63-inch display, 512MB of RAM and 4GB of internal memory that was found in the original Galaxy Gear. The CPU got an upgrade from the original as the two new devices now sport a 1.0GHz dual-core processor. The real improvement, however, comes in the form of battery life as the new 300mAh battery promises up to 3 days of battery life.
So, what’s the difference between the Gear 2 and the Gear 2 Neo? As far as anybody can tell, the Gear 2 has a camera and the Neo doesn’t. That’s about it. Thankfully, Samsung makes the camera-equipped option more appealing as it’s no longer on the wrist strap. The camera is now inside the main body of the Gear 2 and can snap photos at resolutions ranging from 1920×1080 to 1280×960.
While all of this sounds like a definite improvement over the original Galaxy Gear, it looks like Samsung is still keeping it within the family. Despite the move to Tizen, Samsung implies that the Gear 2 and Gear 2 Neo will only connect to Galaxy smartphones. That will hopefully not remain the case as Samsung needs to make its wearables compatible with all Android devices for mass market adoption.
The Gear 2 and Gear 2 Neo will be available starting in April. There’s no price yet, but you can probably expect them to cost just as much as the original Galaxy Gear.
Image via Samsung