Samsung is launching two new smartwatches, as expected. What’s a bit unexpected is that the Samsung Gear 2 and Samsung Gear 2 Neo are dropping the “Galaxy” name. That’s because these new devices may look like the 2013 Android-powered Samsung Galaxy Gear, but under the hood these are entirely new devices running a Tizen-based operating system.
Like last year’s smartwatch, the new Gear 2 and Gear 2 Neo will be compatible with Samsung smartphones. Among other things, that means you’ll be able to view and respond to notifications while your phone stays in your pocket.
The main difference between the Gear 2 and the Gear 2 Neo is that Gear 2 has a camera built into the case, while the Neo model does not. That will also presumably make the Neo a bit cheaper.
Both devices feature 1.6 inch, 320 x 320 pixel Super AMOLED displays, 1 GHz dual-core processors, 512MB of RAM, 4GB of storage, Bluetooth 4.0, an IR port that lets you use the watch as a universal remote for your TV or other devices. The watches have 300mAh batteries good for up to 3 days of “typical” use.
The case is IP67 certified dust and water resistant, and Samsung has added a number of health and fitness-related features including a heart rate sensor, pedometer, and sleep and exercise tracking capabilities.
While the new smartwtches don’t run Android, they’ll be able to pair with your Android phone and let you view call, email, and SMS notifications. You can also run apps including weather, calculator, and voice memo apps on the watch itself. It also functions as a music player when you pair a Bluetooth headset or speaker.
Samsung hasn’t yet announced the price, but the smartwatches should launch globally in April.