Last week, Samsung teased the world with a brief glimpse of their upcoming Samsung Gear S2 smartwatch. It is intended to be the new Apple Watch rival, and unfortunately, that intention came across as all too blatant.
Whereas the Samsung Gear S was rectangular and plastic, the Gear S2 is round and metallic. In a surprising move, instead of running on Android Wear, the new smartwatch will use Samsung’s proprietary Tizen OS. This renders the smartwatch interface customizable and sleek, with the UI featuring round movable icons denoting apps (sound familiar?). In lieu of a Siri, the new Samsung smartwatch will have a voice assistant to compensate for the absence of a keyboard, meaning function will be almost wholly voice controlled.
For the fitness-oriented, the Samsung Gear S2 will also harbor an integrated heart rate sensor as well as the ability to pull in fitness-tracking data in real time (hopefully through its own GPS tracker and not via synced smartphone- a question we will have answered in a couple of weeks).
The big secret about this smartwatch though is its control method. A rotating bezel, just like you’d find on an analogue watch, is the Gear S2’s answer to Apple Watch’s Digital Crown. The built-in method of scrolling through apps, features, etc. will provide that “old-school” function and feel to an otherwise voice controlled Internet-integrated watch.
Despite the choice of mirroring the Apple Watch, the Samsung Gear S2 is nonetheless an exciting new product for Samsung as well as the smartwatch wearables market at large. It will be especially interesting to see Tizen at work and learn what improvements have been made to an OS largely called “half-baked”. Furthermore, you’ve got to give it to Samsung for giving users such a drastically different aesthetic and functional upgrade from it’s previous Gear smartwatch. We’ll bring you further details when Samsung gives it’s press conference at IFA 2015 in September.