Samsung unveils Gear 2 and Gear 2 Neo smart watches

A big upgrade from its predecessor, Samsung's Gear 2 smartwatch is water resistant and has a standalone music player and comes with fitness tracking funcitonality

MANILA, Philippines — A day before the official start of the 2014 Mobile World Congress and 5 months after the release of its original smartwatch, Samsung announced its Galaxy Gear successor.

The new wearables dubbed the Gear 2 and Gear 2 Neo both sport a sleeker new water resistant design that wraps around the wrist more comfortably than their predecessor. The Gear Neo is a lower-priced model without a built-in camera. 

Samsung dropped Galaxy from the device’s name because it is ditching Android for its Tizen operating system. Both devices sport 1.63” Super AMOLED displays and run off a 1.0Ghz dual-core processor, 512MB of RAM and 4GB of internal storage. The Gear 2 comes with a 2MP autofocus camera. Both devices are powered by a 300mAh battery that is rated to last 2-3 days on normal use.

GEAR 2. The Gear 2 includes a built-in 2 megapixel camera.

Similar to their predecessor both Gear 2 smart watches work as companion products, meant for answering calls and displaying text notifications from paired Galaxy smartphones. 

Improving on the biggest weakness of the original Galaxy Gear, both smart watches can also function as standalone devices. Using a built in IrLED sensor and its companion WatchOn Remote app the watches can be used as TV remotes, and also come with a standalone music player that will work in tandem with Bluetooth headphones.   

GEAR 2 NEO. The Gear 2 Neo is cheaper but doesn't come with a built-in camera.

Samsung is also keen on competing with fitness tracker wearables. Both smart watches have built-in heart rate monitors, pedometers, and sensors that measure exercise, sleep and even stress.

The Gear 2 is available in charcoal black, gold brown and wild orange while the Gear 2 Neo is available in charcoal black, mocha grey, and wild orange.Users can purchase additional straps and switch them around for more color options.

Both devices are compatible with over a dozen Samsung Galaxy smartphones and should be available globally along with the Samsung Galaxy S5 in April. –

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