CNET First Look
Samsung Gear S2 spins its new smartwatch in the right directionIt's good-looking, and its design is clever and fun. Here's why Samsung's newest watch is our favorite yet...and a model for Android Wear watches to aspire to.
[MUSIC] Smart watches aren't perfect, but Samsung's doing its best to make smart watches cooler, starting with the Gear S2. It's round. It's nice-looking and it works with many Android phones, not just Samsung ones. Why is this such a big deal? It's well designed as a round watch. See that rotating bezel around the watch dial? You can spin it to change watch modes, and you can scroll through menus. It's like Apple Watch's digital crown, but on the watch face, and apps are in a wheel. Everything's designed to be round. It's a fully round display, and it looks beautiful. It feels good and looks good. That's not easy. The S2 fits on my wrist well and is not too big. The simple, sort of futuristic design stands out but isn't weird. It's flashy but understated. Well done, Samsung. It handles most of the things you need. Clever watch face apps can be used to follow your favorite team via ESPN. Or check stocks via Bloomberg, or check fitness using Samsung S Health or Nike Plus. It gets messages, it can play music, and has pretty decent voice recognition. What's the temperature outside? [MUSIC] Battery life. It's not a monster, but it get a day more on average than most fancy smart watches like the Apple Watch or Android Wear. You can miss charging it one day and be okay. And it comes with a nice magnetic contactless charge dock, too. Fitness tracking works, step count, heart rate, all day activity tracking. They happen smoothly and fitness apps are easy to use on the watch interface. You can even track water and coffee intake. It's not the best fitness tracker, but it's one of the best fitness tracking set ups on a smart watch. It's good enough to replace another tracker if you have one. Apps aren't plentiful however, because this is Samsung [UNKNOWN], not Android wear. It runs its own specific apps. And there aren't that many of them. But even with what it's got this Gear S2 is pretty nice and it shows Androware watches a thing or two about how watches could be designed next and look a lot more interesting on your wrist. I'm Scott Stein at CNET with the Samsung Gear S2