25/01/2016 8:43 PM IST | Updated 15/07/2016 8:25 AM IST

Samsung Gear S2: First Impression


Samsung India launched the Gear S2 smartwatch at an event in Gurgaon on 21 January. Manu Sharma, the Director of marketing and IT of Samsung India, announced two version Gear S2 and Gear S2 Classic.

"We didn't want any luxury device. This watch is symbolism of simplicity and focus. The round design reflects that. We kept in mind the ease of use of the Radio's volume button and made it the north star. On the every turn of the bezel, you would discover something new. The main advantage is that you don't have to block the display while reading the message," he said.

Gear S2 is the smartwatch with 1.0 GHz Dual Core processor based on Tizen Platform. It has 512 MB of RAM and 4 GB of Internal memory. It connects to the smartphone via Bluetooth v4.1 and it has an NFC module too. A good feature in the watch is the Wi-Fi connectivity which allows you to receive notifications even when your phone is not connected to the same WiFi network. The watch is compatible with all the Android phones having Android 4.4 or above and 1.5 GB or RAM.

Manu also added that "most of the Android users are comfortable with the idea of the home button and the back button so we decided to have them in the watch. You can customize to home button action too".

Samsung said that the main focus on the software side was notification and activity. With S-Health and the heart rate monitor at work, you can get a detailed analysis of your health. They said the general tracking has been improved as the watch can track more set of the exercises.

They have developed the special software in partnership with SRI, Bangalore and other Indian partners that would encourage users to stay more active. In partnership with Obino, Samsung has developed a diet coach app which will suggest the Indian dishes to users based on their activities and goals. Users can also download more health-based apps from the Gear App store.

Here's our hands-on experience with the smartwatch

We had a hands-on on with the smartwatch in the experience area of Samsung. The watch case and the bands felt really nice. The display is of 1.2" so it doesn't feel that significant on the wrist as a Moto 360 or a Huawei Watch would do. The bezel turn feels really useful although the amount of the apps initially available are not that much.

You can turn to different screens like music controller, weather, contacts etc by the bezel turn. The turn is generally smooth and can be operated with one hand. The bands are well designed and they are swappable with the third party 20-mm bands. You can straight away change bands in the leather version but for Gear S2 version you need to buy an adapter from the Samsung store. The price of which was not confirmed.

We talked with the developers about the performance and they said the battery would last 1.5-2 days and it would charge from 0 to 100% in 2-3 hours with the wireless charging. Samsung has also developed specific applications for Tennis, Cricket and Golf.

In the Tennis app, you can have an offline or an online session which will track all of your movements and shots. You can see the stats of your serve, forehand and backhands. Each shot's speed will be registered with the watch. Cricket app only has the bowling measures as of now, it records your arm height when you release the ball, speed and inclination angle. Golf app has the swing, speed and hitting angle measurements.

On the Fitness front apart from normal steps counting, calories burning and heart-rate monitoring Gear S2 has the capability of measuring your weight training, rep counts and free-hand etc. A big downer is though that the watch has music controls you can't sync the local library of your phone. So you have to take your phone with you while running.

We will have a detailed review of the Gear S2 Smartwatch soon.

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