Samsung breaks from Android with redesigned, Tizen-powered Gear 2 smartwatches

Posted:
in General Discussion edited May 2014
Korean electronics giant Samsung on Saturday unveiled the second generation of its Gear smartwatch line, updating the wrist-worn device's industrial design and moving from Google's Android to the Samsung-backed Tizen operating system.

Gear 2


Samsung made the Gear 2 slightly thinner than its predecessor and relocated its camera from the strap to the watch's main body, giving users the option of changing straps. A second model, the Galaxy Gear Neo, is mostly identical but does not feature a camera.

In addition, the Gear 2 and Gear 2 Neo add built-in heart rate sensors alongside a pedometer, features Apple is rumored to include in its so-called "iWatch." Samsung promises real-time feedback "allowing users to develop a customizable fitness routine and monitor their heart rate in order to improve their overall well-being."

Both Samsung wearables sport 1.63-inch Super AMOLED displays and are powered by 1-gigahertz dual-core processors with 512 megabytes of RAM and 4 gigabytes of internal memory. Battery life from the 300 mAh lithium ion battery is said to be 2 to 3 days.

Gear 2


There is no word on why Samsung chose to eschew Android, though there have been reports that relations between Google and its largest OEM partners are strained. Along with the change to Tizen -- the development of which is guided jointly by Samsung and Intel -- Samsung has added several first-party applications including a standalone music player and television remote control.

As before, the Gear line will only connect to Samsung's own handsets. The company said they are "compatible with more than dozens of Samsung Galaxy smartphones at launch."

Samsung indicated that the Gear 2 and Gear 2 Neo will be available starting in April, though pricing has not yet been revealed. Consumers will be able to purchase the watches in a variety of colors, including Charcoal Black, Gold Brown and Wild Orange for the Gear 2 and Charcoal Black, Mocha Grey and Wild Orange for Gear 2 Neo.
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 172
    SOT:

    Lately, it seems that AI is slow to cover breaking stories such as this.

    Some stories are not even covered at all -- for example the recent Google Tango project.

    Tango is a smart phone and SDK with interior 3D mapping/navigation capability -- it could be a major breakthrough ...

    Yet no mention by AI.

    Edit: as I write this, ARS has more than a four hour lead, with 30 posts, before this AI article hit the Web.

    http://arstechnica.com/gadgets/2014/02/samsung-replaces-the-galaxy-gear-with-a-pair-of-tizen-powered-smartwatches/
  • Reply 2 of 172

    A camera ! ridiculous !

  • Reply 3 of 172
    hydrogen wrote: »
    A camera ! ridiculous !

    Actually, because of the form factor, a watch could have a better camera optics than a smart phone -- enclosed in the length of the watch body versus the thickness of a smart phone.
  • Reply 4 of 172

    Uh? That'll be because it's not an Apple product and the fact that the original was a massive flop, who cares about it's second revision. 

  • Reply 5 of 172
    I will remember this day as a turning point for both android and samsung. If samsung starts to do its own thing, android will lose market share and developers. Samsung has to find new developers first, but it will finally be measurable how many tizen activations there will be and therefore real market share numbers. Also this will fragmentate the market further and i guess not all android partners like retailers will jump on the tizen train directly.
    Will be interesting to see how samsung manages it
  • Reply 6 of 172
    ivan ski wrote: »
    Uh? That'll be because it's not an Apple product and the fact that the original was a massive flop, who cares about it's second revision. 

    The Sammy watch is of interest to many here, because it is potentially a competitor to an Apple product ...

    On several occasions, Tim has stated that Apple is quite interested in "wearables".

    As an Apple customer and aapl shareholder, I, for one, care very much about activity in this space ...

    Including things like this:


    [VIDEO]
  • Reply 7 of 172
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by Dick Applebaum View Post





    Actually, because of the form factor, a watch could have a better camera optics than a smart phone -- enclosed in the length of the watch body versus the thickness of a smart phone.

     

     

    I do not think it is a spec sheet issue ....

  • Reply 8 of 172
    anonymeee wrote: »
    I will remember this day as a turning point for both android and samsung. If samsung starts to do its own thing, android will lose market share and developers. Samsung has to find new developers first, but it will finally be measurable how many tizen activations there will be and therefore real market share numbers. Also this will fragmentate the market further and i guess not all android partners like retailers will jump on the tizen train directly.
    Will be interesting to see how samsung manages it

    Google cannot let that happen ...

    Sammy can readily make it happen
    • run android apps on tizen
    • marketing dollars to developers
    • marketing dollars to carriers
  • Reply 9 of 172
    hydrogen wrote: »
    Actually, because of the form factor, a watch could have a better camera optics than a smart phone -- enclosed in the length of the watch body versus the thickness of a smart phone.


    I do not think it is a spec sheet issue ....
    ,

    I agree ... It is a usability issue. When taking pictures or videos -- the small size, wrist-stability, and potential for optical zoom, make it much more practical than shoving a big, honking camera in someone's face ...

    Selfies might be a little awkward, though ...
  • Reply 10 of 172
    So ugly
  • Reply 11 of 172
    marvfoxmarvfox Posts: 2,275member

    It is one unattractive piece of crap to wear.It is a joke to purchase this item.

  • Reply 12 of 172
    cyniccynic Posts: 124member

    I'm actually starting to get concerned about the battery life of all those wearables.

     

    It is already annoying having to charge the phone and tablet on a daily basis. Last thing I need is having to charge glasses and watches as well. What a mess that'd be. :)

  • Reply 13 of 172
    asciiascii Posts: 5,941member

    A dual core 1GHz processor and 512MB of RAM in a watch! That's pretty cool from a tech specs perspective. Hasn't DED (author on this site) been predicting Samsung might move to Tizen? So what is the future - iOS vs Tizen vs Windows Phone (and Android a mere appliance OS for very very cheap phones?)

     

    I think Google has a problem - in order to get a lot of the benefits Apple gets from controlling the whole ecosystem, Google has to impose a lot of controls on their Android customers: insist that they include this or don't include that. But the more they do that, the more likely bigger customers are likely to chafe.

  • Reply 14 of 172

    All that SameDung does is copy everything from Apple.  I for one am sick of it.  Apple cannot be the R and D lab for an entire industry!

  • Reply 15 of 172
    ascii wrote: »
    A dual core 1GHz processor and 512MB of RAM in a watch! That's pretty cool from a tech specs perspective. Hasn't DED (author on this site) been predicting Samsung might move to Tizen? So what is the future - iOS vs Tizen vs Windows Phone (and Android a mere appliance OS for very very cheap phones?)

    I think Google has a problem - in order to get a lot of the benefits Apple gets from controlling the whole ecosystem, Google has to impose a lot of controls on their Android customers: insist that they include this or don't include that. But the more they do that, the more likely bigger customers are likely to chafe.

    Maybe Apple should start selling Android and Tizen apps through the iTunes Store.
  • Reply 16 of 172
    rogifanrogifan Posts: 10,669member
    sudonym wrote: »
    All that SameDung does is copy everything from Apple.  I for one am sick of it.  Apple cannot be the R and D lab for an entire industry!
    Yes because Apple has a "smart watch" on the market right now that looks and functions similar to this. :no:
  • Reply 17 of 172
    asciiascii Posts: 5,941member
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by Dick Applebaum View Post





    Maybe Apple should start selling Android and Tizen apps through the iTunes Store.

    Radical idea. Those customers probably want a properly curated App Store they can trust, and Apple has a trusted name. But couldn't Samsung make Tizen refuse to run any app that wasn't signed by Samsung? Or maybe you were being tongue in cheek.

  • Reply 18 of 172
    Maybe Apple should start selling Android and Tizen apps through the iTunes Store.

    Do not let Woz read that remark! He will state it then claim to have been misquoted.
  • Reply 19 of 172

    One day, Samsung will realize it does not want to do the market research for Apple.  

     

    Introduce a new product or a new feature just because a competitor is rumored to be doing something is just ridiculous 

  • Reply 20 of 172
    marvfox wrote: »
    It is one unattractive piece of crap to wear.It is a joke to purchase this item.

    I agree, but you can bet that Samsung will claim it shipped 1.6 million Gear watches three two months after releasing the watches. No sales figures will be released though.

    EDIT...
    Changed three to two to match last year's knee jerk reaction to the press calling the Galaxy Gear a failure.

    Here are links to last year's 800,000 shipment articles...

    http://appleinsider.com/articles/13/10/28/samsung-adds-galaxy-gear-support-to-more-phones-but-faces-high-return-rate-at-best-buy

    http://appleinsider.com/articles/13/11/18/samsung-galaxy-gear-smart-watch-flops-with-just-50000-units-sold---report

    http://appleinsider.com/articles/13/11/19/samsung-announces-800k-galaxy-gear-smartwatches-sold-since-launch

    This link is for Google's supposed watch...

    http://appleinsider.com/articles/13/10/29/google-reportedly-enters-home-stretch-of-smartwatch-development-launch-within-months
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