Samsung Galaxy Gear S2 Updated 2016 Review!

With the advent of powerful electronic components with the size of pea, and the advent of complex operating systems that could take advantage of the powerful hardware it was only a matter of time till we have more smart devices besides the smartphone. Hence the smart glasses like the Google glass and the smartwatches running on android and iOS.
Samsung Galaxy Gear S2 Updated 2016 Review!
Samsung Galaxy Gear S2 review

Samsung on the other hand decided for its 2015 smart watch that it would use its homegrown Tizen operating system. Will this help in getting more marketshare? We'll see!


Samsung Gear S2 Specs

Display: 1.2 Inch Full Circle Super AMOLED 360 x 360 resolution at 320 ppi
CPU: Pega W (BT), MSM8226 (3G)
RAM: 512 MB
ROM 4 GB
Battery: 250 mAh (BT), 300 mAh (3G)
OS: Tizen
Connectivity: WiFi, Bluetooth 4.1, NFC
Sensors: Accelerometer, gyro, hrm, barometer, ambient light, GPS (3G)
Others: Water resistant (IP68)
Price: 13,490 Pesos (Gear S2), 15,490 (Gear S2 Classic)

Unboxing / Accessories

The box is made of matte black paper similar to the design of the boxes of the Galaxy S6 and Galaxy Note 5. The box contains the watch, the charging dock, the power plug, the documentation and the extra strap.

Build Quality / Design

Unboxed
Gear S2 Classic unboxed

The watch face itself is made from premium shiny solid materials but it attracts a lot of fingerprints. The leather strap is made of generic manufactured leather that that gives it a more upscale look. My only gripe with the materials is the usual thin flimsy cable from the power cord Samsung uses.

The rotating piece for input is an amazing and intuitive idea! It even helps with making it look more like a real time piece!

Battery

Battery when only using the bluetooth connection to my Samsung Galaxy Note was good. It lasted an average of a day and a half or 36 hours. I was wearing the watch through most of my day where I glance at it to check the time or for when I get notifications from social media, email, reminders and the like.

When on battery saving mode, the screen is on grayscale and most connections are turned off except for when you turn on the bluetooth. The battery life is the significantly increased up to 3 days or 72 hours.

The great thing about it is that it barely drains my smartphone battery. After an hour of being connected via bluetooth without using my phone, the battery drain was only 1 percent.

Charging time can take up to two hours.

Performance

Running on Tizen is quite limiting in terms of software capabilities because it does not have the ecosystem that Android and iOS has built over the years. This its weakness.  Otherwise, reading news, weather, notifications and health tracking the watch almost never slows down or stutters.
Gear S2 watch faces
Multiple watch faces

I have yet to see it reboot unexpectedly although before I received the January 2016 update I could not get notifications from third party Android Apps. After it however I receive all my notifications on my watch.
Gear S2 with Note 5
Gear S2 with Note 5

I like the novelty of not picking up my phone when I get a text or an email when in a meeting and can only reply at a later time.

Pros - Can read Notifications without pulling your phone out, Bluetooth drain is barely noticeable, rotating piece for input is a great idea, few update makes watch notifications compatible with third party messaging, email apps from Android, high number of stock customizable watch faces, it actually looks like a watch!

Cons - Ecosystem is almost non existent, another extra cable and plug to use when charging or to bring when traveling, leather could be better

Verdict

In terms of design, this is a big upgrade from the last generation but the utility factor remains the same. We do not see this product more than something to read notifications from and see nothing else. If more apps could support it, then maybe or if this is what you want in a smartwatch then, we won't stop you. Otherwise, hold off until we get more real-world functionality.

GIZ Rating: 3/5 Stars
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