Samsung refreshes wearables with Gear 2, Gear 2 Neo, Gear Fit
At Mobile World Congress 2014, Samsung stakes out its position as the fastest-moving company in wearables with an April 11 delivery of its new lineup.
Samsung released its Galaxy Gear smartwatch just five months ago, and now it's intent on shelving that unit for not one, but two new models: the Gear 2 and Gear 2 Neo. Alongside the refreshed smartwatch lineup is the Gear Fit, a fitness band with a 1.84-inch full-color screen that rounds out Samsung's continually aggressive and fast-moving push into wearables. All three devices will go on sale April 11, the company announced Monday.
The Gear 2 was announced over the weekend, but to refresh, Samsung is ditching Android in favor of its custom Tizen OS, previously only employed in the company's NX300m camera.
As for aesthetic changes, the Gear 2 camera and microphone have been repositioned to the actual face of the watch, instead of the strap, allowing for interchangeable wristbands down the line. The device will keep its 1.63-inch touch screen, 4GB of internal storage, and 512MB of RAM, but will come with a boost in processing power from 800MHz to 1GHz.
Additional features include IP67 certification for water and dust resistance, a heart rate sensor, and 720p video capture. It will have a battery life, Samsung says, of two to three days, almost three times as long as its predecessor. The Gear 2 Neo is almost identical to the Gear 2 save for a slight difference in weight -- the Neo, at 55 grams, is 13 grams lighter than the Gear 2 -- and, most importantly, its lack of camera.
Though the sale date has been confirmed for April 11, pricing details for the Gear 2 and Gear 2 Neo have not been released.
The Gear Fit, on the other hand, is a completely new device for Samsung, pairing its propensity for bright, colorful screens with the restraining limitations of a wristband. The result is a device that is more powerful than your average fitness tracker but not quite as heavy and pronounced as its full-blown smartwatch.
The Fit is 23.4mm by 57.4mm by 11.95mm and weighs 27g, but Samsung managed to pack in a curved Super AMOLED 1.84-inch screen with 432x128 resolution. That means the Fit brings much of the notification functionality -- for standard things like texts, calls, and e-mails -- of the Gear 2, but will primarily focus on health with personal-fitness coaching software and a heart rate monitor on the underside of the device that can stay active for extended periods of time.
The device itself fits into what will be an interchangeable rubber wristband and is expected to run up to four days on "typical usage," the company says, or up to five days on "low usage."
Pricing for the Gear Fit is not available either, but like its smartwatch brethren, it will ship on April 11. All three devices will be available through carrier outlets selling the accompanying Galaxy S5 -- AT&T, Sprint, T-Mobile, Verizon Wireless, MetroPCS and U.S. Cellular -- as well as Samsung Experience Shops at Best Buy and other large electronics retailers.