Samsung has provided more info -- and photos -- of its upcoming Gear S2 smartwatch. It will be available in two styles, the Gear S2 and S2 Classic. And a version of the S2 will also offer cellular connectivity in addition to Wi-Fi.
The Gear S2 is actually a family of watches available in two different styles, both 11.4mm thick. The main model -- called simply the Gear S2 -- has a modern, minimalist bent, while the more traditional Gear S2 Classic boasts a black body and leather band. The former model is slightly larger and heavier -- 42.3 mm wide by 49.8 tall, and weighing 47 grams -- versus the 39.9-by-43.6 mm dimensions of the Classic, which tips the scales at 42g. The watches will be rated at IP68 dust and water resistance, which is toward the top of the scale -- though Samsung still needs to specify the depth and duration for water immersion.
On the inside, the specs of the two models are largely the same. The 1.2-inch (30.5 mm) 360x360-pixel display uses the same AMOLED technology found in Samsung's winning phone screens (versus the standard LCD technology found on some competing Android Wear models). The watch is powered by a dual-core 1.0 GHz processor, and includes 4GB of storage. It's unclear how much of that space is user-accessible, but the Gear S2 models are ready to double as portable music players, thanks to compatibility with the usual MP3, AAC and Ogg audio formats.
Both Gear S2 styles will be chock full of sensors, including an accelerometer, gyroscope, heart-rate monitor, ambient light sensor and barometer (the latter is usually used to determine stair climbing activity). Those trackers will feed into S Health, Samsung's own health software, or Nike+ Running, both of which will be available. (No GPS indicators were listed on the spec sheets provided by Samsung.)
The watches will feature built-in Bluetooth 4.1 for communicating with paired smartphones and audio devices (wireless headphones and speakers), as well as Wi-Fi, which implies phone-free communication ability. Furthermore, the (non-Classic) Gear S2 will also be available in a version that includes built-in 3G cellular capability. That opens up the possibility of it working as a standalone Dick Tracy-style watchphone -- a trick Samsung previously pulled off with 2014's original Gear S model.
AT&T, T-Mobile and US Cellular have already pledged to offer the Gear S2 when it becomes available later this year.
Finally, Samsung is pledging a two-to-three-day lifespan with the 250mAh battery on the Wi-Fi Gear S2 and Gear S2 Classic models with "typical usage." That drops to two days with the cellular version of the Gear S2, despite its larger 300mAh battery. And yes, the new Samsungs will offer wireless Qi charging, too.
The Gear S2 has two different color options, either a white band with a silver body, or a dark gray band with a matching body. The Classic will be available in black with a leather band.
AT&T and T-Mobile have already announced that they'll be carrying the Gear S2 in the United States.
Pricing, availability and device compatibility are still a mystery for the Gear S2. Those are just some of the questions we'll have when we see the phone later this week at the the IFA show in Berlin.