Although Samsung’s Galaxy Gear was not a success, Samsung Electronics Co., Ltd. (LON:BC94) (KRX:005930) is not in any mood to give up in the wearable market. The company has made a come back with two new Galaxy Gear smartwatches, and they both surely look like an improvement over the original Galaxy Gear.
The South Korean electronics giant has announced the Gear 2 and Gear 2 Neo ahead of the Mobile World Congress trade show. Previously it was rumored that Samsung was going to announce the Gear 2 along with the Galaxy S5, during the same event at the MWC, but it’s hard to predict what a company like Samsung will do. Now that Samsung has officially announced both the smartwatches, all the rumors have come to rest. So without any further ado, let’s take a look at some major differences between all three versions: Samsung Gear 2, Gear 2 Neo and Galaxy Gear.
Samsung Gear 2 vs Gear 2 Neo vs Galaxy Gear
The first thing that we notice is the difference in name. Samsung Electronics Co., Ltd. (LON:BC94) (KRX:005930) has chosen to drop the Galaxy naming convention, and that’s why both newly announced smartwatches are named Gear 2 and Gear 2 Neo. That’s because Samsung has chosen to drop Android and instead use Samsung’s own Tizen operating system. Samsung wants to use the Galaxy brand only with its products that are based on Android, and since these new smartwatches are not based on Android, we do not see the Galaxy brand attached to the name.
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So why Tizen and not Samsung’s favorite – Android? Well, from what it looks like, Samsung wants to control its own destiny, and doesn’t want to depend on Google. The company doesn’t want to pay licensing fees to Google, and wants more control over its software. In fact, we won’t be surprised when Samsung drops Android for Tizen in its smartphones too. But the million dollar question is, will Samsung be able to develop so many apps, and convince developers to make Tizen based apps? Only time will tell.
Major difference between Gear 2 and Gear 2 Neo
The major difference between the two is that the Gear 2 offers a camera, while the Neo lacks a camera, and that’s why it can be said that the Neo is targeted more towards budget conscious customers.
The Neo is presumed to be a cheaper version of the two, since it lacks a camera. Pricing details are not announced by Samsung at this time.
Screen, processor and RAM
If there’s one similarity between all three smartwatches it’s in the display department. The Galaxy Gear, Gear 2, and Gear 2 Neo all feature a 1.63-inch Super AMOLED display, with a 320 x 320 resolution and 278 ppi.
Talking about the speed, then both the Gear 2 and Gear 2 Neo are faster than the Galaxy Gear. Both of them feature a 1GHz processor and 512MB of RAM, compared to an 800MHz processor in the Galaxy Gear. All three also feature the same 4GB of onboard storage.
The Galaxy Gear features a 315 mAh battery, while the Gear 2 and Gear 2 Neo have a smaller 300 mAh battery. The Gear 2 and Gear 2 Neo are claimed to run 2 to 3 days of typical usage.
The camera of the original Galaxy Gear was built on the strap, while the camera of Gear 2 is built on top of the actual watch, and not on the strap.
The Gear 2 features a 2-megapixel autofocus camera capable of capturing 720p, 30fps video. The camera of Gear 2 is only a slight upgrade over the Galaxy Gear, which came with 1.9-megapixel camera.
The strap of the original Galaxy Gear could not be replaced, because it had the camera built on the strap. However, Samsung seems to have made a good choice by integrating the camera on the body of the Gear 2 and Gear 2 Neo, and not on the strap.
You can swap to any 22mm strap on the market, on both the Gear 2 and Gear 2 Neo. The Gear 2 will ship with Charcoal Black, Gold Brown, and Wild Orange, while the Gear 2 Neo will have Charcoal Black, Mocha Grey, and Wild Orange colors.
OS and apps
The new Gear range will run on the Tizen operating system instead of Android. The original Galaxy Gear was an Android based smartwatch, but Samsung has made the decision to run the new Gear range on Tizen, instead.
Samsung Electronics Co., Ltd. (LON:BC94) (KRX:005930) hasn’t revealed many details on the new OS, but the company has indeed mentioned which apps would ship with the smartwatch. Apps from Banjo, BMW, CNN , Conde Nast, Expedia, eBay, Evernote, Feedly, Garmin, Glympse, GM, iControl, Line, Path, PayPal, Runtastic, Volkswagen, Weather Channel, and Under Armour will come to the Gear 2 and Gear 2 Neo.
Both the Gear 2 and Gear 2 Neo feature a built-in infrared LED sensor, which will allow you to control various home appliances.
For now, these are the key differences between all these three Gear smartwatches. Now let’s wait for the reviews to hit the web, and see how Samsung has scored on their second try.