Tech

Samsung expands wearable tech lineup with Galaxy Gear 2, Gear 2 Neo and Gear Fit

By James Geddes , Feb 25, 2014 06:11 AM EST
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When you don't succeed at first, try, try, try again. That's what Samsung is attempting with its latest range of smartwatches and fitness band.

Samsung has never been shy about flooding the market with as many devices as possible to give customers options, while also allowing the company to test out new devices. This is what Samsung had in mind when it unveiled its new Galaxy Gear 2 and Galaxy Gear 2 Neo smartwatches, which, unlike the first-generation Galaxy Gear, run Samsung's own Tizen OS.  Samsung also created its new smartwatches with Intel to lessen its reliance on Google in the mobile space. The company was surely not going to leave out the growing fitness band trend of wearables such as the Nike FuelBand, Jawbone Up and FitBit, which send data to users' smartphones, and introduced its own Galaxy Gear Fit.

The new Galaxy Gear is an improvement over the company's first attempt at a smartwatch, which has had dismal sales. Just like the previous generation, the Galaxy Gear 2 and Galaxy Gear 2 Neo only work with a handful of Samsung smartphones. The company has also chosen to drop Android as the Galaxy Gear's OS and use its very own Tizen OS instead.

The smartwatches run a touchscreen-based OS on a 1.63-inch Super AMOLED display with a resolution of 320 x 320 and are powered by 1GHz dual-core processors. Both smartwatches have built-in heart rate sensors, pedometers, and sleep and stress sensors that users will be able to monitor with a corresponding app on one of a dozen Samsung Galaxy smartphones that support the new Galaxy Gear smartwatches.

The high-end Galaxy Gear 2 includes a camera on the main body of the device as opposed to last year's Galaxy Gear, which had a camera placed on the wrist strap. The Galaxy Gear 2 Neo doesn't include a camera at all in order to keep costs down, especially since not everyone thinks they'll be taking many pictures from their wrist. The new models also offer longer battery life and a more streamlined and less-bulky design than their predecessor.

"Samsung continues to lead innovation in the wearable market by creating devices that are completely integrated into the lives of consumers through extended connectivity features, stylish customization options and a robust application ecosystem," said JK Shin, CEO and President of IT & Mobile Division, Samsung Electronics, in a new press release regarding the company's wearables. "With the Samsung Gear 2 and Gear 2 Neo, we have enhanced everything consumers love about the Gear to offer unparalleled smart freedom in their everyday life."

Samsung decided that some consumers would like a third wrist option and it launched the Galaxy Gear Fit, which is a health band similar to the Fitbit and Nike FuelBand. The new Galaxy Gear Fit marks Samsung's foray into that growing market and gives users a way to view all of the information on its brand new Galaxy S5.

The Galaxy Gear 2, Galaxy Gear 2 Neo, and Galaxy Gear Fit will be available in April. The smartwatches have been designed to be expensive accessories to the Galaxy S5, but no pricing details are available at this point. 

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