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Samsung Gear 2 review: Your questions answered

Posted on 14 April 2014

Samsung has reinvented its smartwatch and given us the brand new Samsung Gear 2. It has more features, a new design and much more. Here are some of the questions you’ve been asking.

Is the Gear 2 much different from the original Samsung Galaxy Gear?

There are some style changes, and you can now swap the straps of the new Gear. When it comes to features, the Gear 2 can do everything the old Galaxy Gear can do, like make calls and show you your notifications.

The two main additions are that it can control your TV with its infrared blaster and record your heart rate. The heart rate information combines with an accurate step-tracking pedometer to make it excellent at measuring your walks and runs. It can also connect to Samsung smartphones and use the GPS information to record a cycling or hiking session.

What’s the difference between the Gear 2 and the Gear 2 Neo?

The Gear 2 has a camera, while the Neo doesn’t. The Neo will also be slightly cheaper, but otherwise they have the same features.

Is the camera any good and easy to use?

Surprisingly, the camera is actually very easy to aim. And, to take a photo, all you need to do is tap the screen or use a voice command. The shots look good on the watch’s screen and it’s definitely worth using for quick snapshots. Video quality is OK and the audio recording is actually quite good. Quality of photos and videos is not in the same league as a smartphone camera though.

How accurate is the heart rate monitor?

The monitor can take about 10 seconds to start measuring your heart rate, but once it’s going it seems pretty accurate. The watch displays your heart rate on the screen too, so it’s easy to keep track of.

Is it really that water resistant?

Yes. To gain IP67 certification the Gear 2 had to be officially tested. This means it will last for 30 minutes in water up to one metre deep.

How long does the battery last?

The Gear 2 gives roughly three days of power on a single charge.

Is the coach feature useful?

The coach feature tells you whether you’re exercising hard enough and yes, it works very well. It tells you when your heart rate is high enough, and lets you know how close you are to completing your workout goal. It also tells you when your workout is finished. It vibrates whenever the coach kicks in, so you can look at the screen to see what the watch is displaying. There’s also a voice prompt, which is really useful. The speaker’s pretty loud and easy to hear.

I wear my watch on my right wrist, will it still work?

That’s no problem. The Gear 2’s screen flips round depending on how you’re wearing it. This makes sure the screen is always the right way up.

Why has the Galaxy part of the name been dropped?

The new smartwatch doesn’t use the Android software. Instead, it’s powered by Samsung’s own Tizen software. Because the Galaxy name is only used for devices that use Android, Samsung decided to name the watch simply Samsung Gear 2.

What phones or tablets can I use with the Gear 2?

Right now the Samsung Gear 2 is compatible with 18 types of device models. This list will be added to throughout the year: Samsung Galaxy S5 Samsung Galaxy Grand 2, Samsung Galaxy Note 3, Samsung Galaxy Note 3 Neo Samsung Galaxy Note 2, Samsung Galaxy S4, Samsung Galaxy S3, Samsung Galaxy S4 Zoom, Samsung Galaxy S4 Active, Samsung Galaxy S4 mini, Samsung Galaxy Mega 6.3, Samsung Galaxy Mega 5.8, Samsung Galaxy Note 10.1 (2014 Edition), Samsung Galaxy NotePRO 12.2, Samsung Galaxy TabPRO 12.2, Samsung Galaxy TabPRO 10.1, Samsung Galaxy TabPRO 8.4

You can learn more about the next great phones, even before they're announced, on our Launchpad Rumour pages. Or, head over to our YouTube channel to keep up with what's happening in the mobile world. We'll be at the best technology shows, get you all the news about the latest phones, and post video reviews of our favourite gadgets.

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