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Samsung Gear S2 review: I’m not impressed

As always, I have copied the whole article from my blog (except images and text under them) here, so you can simply scroll down and read. However, if you enjoy the full experience of reading, you can read the same text in my blog, here. Enjoy reading, and comment! 

 

Smart wearables already have their place in the tech industry, smartwatches already became what we want to see. For example, Samsung Gear 2, launched in 2014, looked... Well... Weird. But this year Samsung has launched Samsung Gear S2 that looks like a normal watch and acts like a smartwatch should. Many people even think that it is the best smartwatch yet. I was one of those people. But now I have tried the watch and I know the truth.

 

Design is the strong side of this smartwatch

Until Samsung's Gear S2, all company's smartwatches looked unique and weird. Samsung Gear S2 is also unique. But it's not weird, it's a smartwatch in a usual watch's case. I have got a sports variant of Gear S2, but it looks better than other sports smartwatches. If you are classy, you can buy a Gear S2 Classic and damn that one is hot! This is what a round screen can give you.

When you wear the Gear S2 it feels quite good, although, not as good as the Apple Watch. It's quite hard to adjust to its unusual silicon band - at first, it's really uncomfortable and when you feel okay with it, you start hearing all those crackles and rattlings that the band makes. Not to mention that it takes quite a lot of time to put this smartwatch on. But otherwise, it's a really comfortable watch.

On the right side there are two buttons, but the more importantly, there is a rotating bezel. For some, it may look as a gimmick, but it's really not. It's one of the best design choices that I have ever seen. Even Apple Watch's crown doesn't feel that good. Samsung made a really good job with the bezel - both from hardware and software sides.

 

Screen is just gorgeous

Samsung Gear S2 has a 1.2 inches 360x360 Super AMOLED display. It's just fantastic, I have no words to describe it. It looks almost as good as bigger Super AMOLED displays. Yeah, I would like to have more pixels, but it doesn't matter as the Gear S2's screen is still one of the best screens in smartwatches market.

 

Software could be better

First of all, Samsung Gear S2 uses Tizen OS, not the Android Wear, so keep that in mind. But don't worry, it supports all Android devices (at least, Samsung says so) and it should support iOS soon. Sadly, Windows Phone users get no love.

It supports all Android devices. I believed it. It does support not only Samsung's phones but... There are some big problems. I have tried connecting my Gear S2 to LG Optimus G, Sony Xperia Z3c and Alcatel OneTouch Idol X+. No luck. I can connect the smartwatch to those devices for a few hours, but after some time, it disconnects and to connect the watch again, you must reset it. Sadly, I was not the only unlucky guy, there are lots of people struggling with this problem. But I have successfully connected Gear S2 to Galaxy S6 Edge+.

And since then, I had no connectivity issues. And everything looks pretty fine inside of the OS. It's even more comfortable than Apple's Watch OS or Android Wear. However, there are some small issues - you can't dismiss all the notifications with one touch or swipe, there are very few settings, but these are really small problems wen compared to the competition. Tizen OS is incredibly fast, stable, the only thing I didn't like about its performance is almost never working gesture for waking up the watch.

But there is one more thing that disappointed me very much. Tizen OS has no apps. Facebook, Messenger, Whatsapp, Instagram, Twitter, Todoist, Skype, forget it all. I know, SMS, email and other default apps are good. But default apps is not enough. The best you can get on Gear S2 are some news apps, watch faces and games... Lots of games.

Interestingly, when you get a Twitter or Messenger message, you can reply. But you can't compose a new message or tweet. Samsung, that makes no sense. And so does whole Tizen's ecosystem. There are lots of games and even a YouTube app, but there're no usable apps. Ugh.

 

Samsung Gear S2's battery doesn't change the world

„Gear S2“ has a 300 mAh battery and it won't change the world. If you turn off the always-on display, it will hold-up for about two days. It's nothing impressive when compared to Pebble, but Apple Watch and most of Android Wear competitors are behind! However, sometimes the battery discharged in a few minutes when it still had about 15-30% of juice. I hope it's only a software issue.

 

Beautiful piece of hardware ruined by software

Samsung made a beautiful piece of hardware. I love it. Maybe the band isn't perfect, but everything else is really good. Despite almost perfect hardware, software is ruining the experience. If you don't have a Samsung phone, you can't use Gear S2 normally yet. If you want Facebook, Twitter, and many other apps, buy and iPhone with Apple Watch, Pebble or any Android Wear smartwatch. But if all you want is a good looking smartwatch with a quite good battery, perfect screen and you will only use it for tracking your steps, checking weather or dismissing notifications, Gear S2 is a decent choice. But that's a really rare case, so I would recommend this smartwatch for almost anyone.

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it's your fault, should have bought huawei watch, way sexier.

Location: Kaunas, Lithuania, Europe, Earth, Solar System, Local Interstellar Cloud, Local Bubble, Gould Belt, Orion Arm, Milky Way, Milky Way subgroup, Local Group, Virgo Supercluster, Laniakea, Pisces–Cetus Supercluster Complex, Observable universe, Universe.

Spoiler

Xeon 1230v2, B75 Pro3-M, 16GB Crucial Ballistix, Msi TF GTX760, Crucial M500, Seagate Barracuda 1TB, CM G550M, Fractal Arc Mini.

 

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it's your fault, should have bought huawei watch, way sexier.

Hahah, I'm happy that I didn't buy it :D. Samsung gave it to me for a few weeks to make a review. I'm a journalist from Lithuania, so I get review devices sometimes. Recently, I decided that I should start writing in English as I want to reach more people and, of course, earn more money :).

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I'm currently deciding between the gen 2 Moto 360, gear s2, and pebble time round, but i guess ill cross the s2 off my list. Thanks for the informative review!

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