Samsung Gear 2 and Gear 2 Neo Launched
Samsung has launched two new smartphones just five months after unveiling the original Galaxy Gear.Samsung

It is just five months since Samsung launched the original Galaxy Gear smartwatch, and while it never admitted publicly that it was simply testing the waters with the original device, that is clearly the case, as the company has just announced its second generation of smartwatches ahead of Mobile World Congress (MWC) in Barcelona.

Widely panned by reviewers, the original Galaxy Gear had terrible battery life and only worked with a very small number of smartphones.

Samsung is hoping to address both these concerns with the launch of the Gear 2 and Gear 2 Neo.

The company is also looking to put health and fitness at the centre of its new smartwatches with the inclusion of an optical heart-rate monitor as well as an accelerometer and gyroscope. These will work with a suite of apps from Samsung and gives the company a couple of months headstart on Apple which is expected to launch its own iWatch later this year.

As you may have spotted, Samsung has jettisoned the Galaxy brand for the new smartphones. This is because it has decided to ditch Android as the operating system for the devices and gone with Linux-based Tizen instead.


While details of how the Tizen software works have not been made available, the interface shown on the publicity shots look very similar to the original interface.

Samsung Gear 2 Neo
Samsung Gear 2 Neo

There isn't too much of a difference between the two devices but the Neo, with a plastic rather than metal finish, will likely be the cheaper of the two, when the smartwatches go on sale worldwide in April.

One of the big design changes over the original is the inclusion of the camera in the main body of the watch and not the strap. This makes the strap much less bulky and means you can now swap straps (available colours include Charcoal Black, Gold Brown Wild Orange and Mocha Grey).

Battery life

The watches still feature a 1.63in screen with a resolution of 320 x 320 pixels, 4GB of storage, 512MB of RAM, Bluetooth 4.0 and an IR blaster. Samsung has boosted the processing power with a 1GHz SoC which should address some of the performance issues of the original.

Samsung has also reduced the battery to a 300mAh unit, but despite this and the increased processing power, Samsung has given the Gear 2 and Gear 2 Neo an improved battery life of 2-3 days compared to the single day of the original.

This may be down to the way the Tizen software handles the jobs the Gear 2 and Gear 2 Neo will carry out, but Samsung has so far failed to reveal details of how the software will work.

In terms of compatibility, Samsung said the Gear 2 and Gear 2 Neo will work with "more than dozens of Samsung smartphones" from launch.

Samsung is holding a major press event in Barcelona as part of MWC on Monday, where the South Korean company is widely expected to announce its Galaxy S5 smartphone and more details of the Gear 2 and Gear 2 Neo will be revealed.

Huawei, the Chinese smartphone manufacturer, is also holding an MWC event on Sunday, where it is expected to announce its first wearable device.