The Good The Gear S2 has an eye-catching design, a clever rotating bezel that's actually useful, beautiful display, solid health tracking and slightly better battery life than other high-end smartwatches. Plus, it works with a variety of Android phones.
The Bad Fewer available apps or seamless connected services than Android Wear and Apple Watch; no speakerphone; S-Voice commands work, but not as well as they could; not compatible with iPhone.
The Bottom Line Samsung's newest smartwatch reinvents itself with a whole new look and feel to create one of the best-designed wrist gadgets around -- but it still lacks the apps to set it above the competition.
A new spin on smartwatches
So far, 2016 has been a quiet year for wearable tech. The best watches and fitness bands you can buy right now were, for the most part, released in 2015. You can count the number of new and notable wearable things that debuted in the first five months of this year on one hand: The Fitbit Blaze, Fitbit Alta and -- for hard-core runners -- several new GPS watches from Garmin.
Samsung's Gear S2 debuted last year at at the IFA show in late August. It's a safe bet that the Gear S3 unveiling could happen at the same show this year. In the meantime, earlier this year, Samsung introduced the Samsung Gear S2 3G -- a close copy of Samsung's Wi-Fi-only S2 smartwatch, only with the addition of a speakerphone, built-in GPS, and phone and data service. Though it's an interesting device, it's not particularly easy to use and it comes up short compared with the Gear S2; it's bigger, more expensive, and comes equipped with a weaker battery.
Samsung also has yet to deliver the iPhone compatibility it promised for the Gear S2 back in January. And its app selection is still pretty weak.
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