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Samsung unveils Galaxy Gear 2, Galaxy Gear 2 Neo smartwatches

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Ahead of Mobile World Congress and its Samsung Galaxy S5 reveal, Samsung un Saturday revealed its Galaxy Gear smartwatch successor, the Galaxy Gear 2 and Galaxy Gear 2 Neo. The news came via Engadget as well as email to media.

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The two watches are really the same device, but the Neo does not include a built-in camera. The updated devices come only a few months after the introduction of the Galaxy Gear, which launched to mostly negative reviews. It's not clear how many Gears were sold, but considering the update comes so close to the launch of the original device, it was probably just as big a non-hit with consumers as with reviewers.

Typically, Samsung did not give an exact launch date for the devices, but it did say it would happen sometime in April. Also typically, the Korean giant didn't give a price for the new devices, but considering that the current version of the Galaxy Gear sells for $300, it's likely that the Gear 2 will sell for $300 (the current model has a camera) and the Gear 2 Neo slightly less.

A summary of the major changes:

The new Gears will no longer run Android. Instead, as rumored, they will run Samsung's home-grown Tizen platform.

Expect to be pointing your Gear 2 at the TV; both models include a universal remote control app and built-in infrared sensor that will let users control their TVs.

There's a music player app that lets you listen to your songs; it works even if the device isn't currently connected to a smartphone.

The Gears double as fitness devices. The data syncs with Samsung's S Health app, which you have probably noticed on your Galaxy S4 and Galaxy Note 3 smartphone.

Both models are slightly thinner and lighter than the original Galaxy Gear, but the Gear 2 is a bit heavier than the Gear 2 Neo. However, the Gear 2 Neo is actually slightly larger, dimension-wise.

The major complaints about the Gear were usability and a confusing UI. Updating the hardware won't make a difference if Samsung didn't improve those faults, but the fact that they went to Tizen for the new watch means there's a good chance things have changed for the better.

The specifications for the devices are as follows:

Display: 1.63” Super AMOLED (320 x 320)

Processor: 1.0 GHz Dual Core Processor

OS: Tizen based wearable platform

Camera: Gear 2 : 2.0 Megapixel Auto Focus (1920x1080, 1080x1080, 1280x960); vGear 2 Neo : N/A

Camera Features: Auto Focus Camera, Sound & Shot, Location Tags, Signature

Video:

  • Codec: H.264, H.263,
  • Format: 3GP, MP4
  • HD(720p, @30fps) Playback & Recording

Audio:

  • Codec: MP3/AAC/AMR/Vorbis
  • Format: MP3, M4A, AAC, OGG

Fitness Features:

  • Heart Rate sensor
  • Pedometer
  • Standalone Modes: Running, Walking
  • Companion Modes: Cycling, Hiking
  • Sleep & Stress (Downloadable)

Music Player with Bluetooth® Headset and Speaker

WatchON Remote: Remote Controller via IrLED Sensor

Basic Features:

  • Bluetooth Call, Camera, Notification(SMS, E-mail, Apps)
  • Media Controller, Schedule, Smart Relay, S Voice, Stopwatch, Timer, Weather

More Features (Downloadable): Calculator, ChatON, Flashlight, Quick Settings, Voice Memo

Changeable Strap

Color Options:

  • Gear 2 : Charcoal Black, Gold Brown and Wild Orange
  • Gear 2 Neo : Charcoal Black, Mocha Grey and Wild Orange

IP67 Certified Dust and Water Resistant, Noise Cancellation

Featured Apps: Banjo, BMW, CNN , Conde Nast, Expedia, eBay, Evernote, Feedly, GARMIN, Glympse, GM (Onstar 4G LTE), iControl, Line, Path, Paypal, RUNTASTIC, Volkswagen, Weather Channel, Under Armour( Map my fitness), Samsung Services, Samsung Apps

Bluetooth® v4.0 LE, IrLED

Accelerometer, Gyroscope, Heart Rate

RAM: 512MB

Storage: 4GB Internal Memory

Dimension

Gear 2 : 36.9 x 58.4x 10.0 mm, 68g;Gear 2 Neo : 37.9 x 58.8 x 10.0mm, 55g

Battery

Standard Battery, Li-ion 300mAh; Typical Usage 2~3 days, Low Usage up to 6 days

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