As the smartwatch market continues to grow and populate with various options ranging from stylish to functional, the Samsung Gear S2 is a solid choice. It offers a balance between design appeal, performance and practicality, and is proving to be a top performer against competition.
What to Look for in a Smartwatch
But first things first, there are different factors to consider when choosing a smartwatch. A smartwatch should allow you to call, text, email, receive notifications and track activities at its core—if it doesn’t, or if that’s not what you care to do directly from your wrist, then these gadgets are not for you. Other crucial considerations to take are the type of phone a smartwatch will pair with. This will affect your ability to connect and sync information between the two devices. Also know what apps can run on it because not all watches offer the same applications that you might value. Then evaluate the features, such as a fitness tracker, the size of the screen or touch sensitivity, and decide which ones fit you and your needs the best. Finally, customization level is something that will dictate making the watch your own.
Now that you know what to look for in a smartwatch, you can figure out if the Samsung Gear S2 is for you. This 1.65-inch wearable boasts a super AMOLED 360 x 360 pixel display, runs with a battery life of up to three days, holds 4MB of flash memory and is operated with Tizen OS. It retails for approximately $300 and is available through service providers like T-Mobile, a carrier that includes the watch with current smartphone plans for an additional $5 a month.
The watch’s design mixes classic and futuristic with its traditional round watch face paired with an impressive rotating bezel that works to switch between watch mode. This bezel surrounds the display and is the main interaction point for watch owners to easily and quickly navigate through the menus and screens. Its interface smoothly flows to fit the round design with functionalities optimized for intuitive user experience within a circular display. The Gear S2 is made with stainless steel and also provides 13 watch face styles to choose from.
Nike+ Running, Notification Center, S Health, Samsung Apps and Twitter software come with the watch, along with an array of sensors including an accelerometer, ambient light sensor, barometer, gyro and heart rate sensor and pedometer. In terms of fitness apps and trackers, it’s one of the best fitness tracking set ups. Step counting is accurate and with the S Health software comes easily glanceable graphics. Additionally, the heart rate monitor can take spot readings and can continuously take your pulse at exercise intervals. Voice control, powered by Nuance voice recognition technology, is standard, but pails in comparison to top competitors Google Voice and Siri.
Although its Tizen OS gives way for one of the strongest user interfaces on the market, it’s also a reason why there are app selection is limited. Since it’s not Android Wear and Samsung Tizen runs its own specific apps, many common applications, like for instance Uber, are not compatible to download.
Overall the Samsung Gear S2 offers a good mix between well-designed and practical use. In comparison to other smartwatches on the market, its battery life lasts slightly longer but customization lacks with its more simplistic approach. The watch’s high-quality display resolution is comparable to the 42mm Apple Watch’s retina display which makes it the sharpest smartwatch screen available. For consumers looking for a round design with smooth navigation through applications and simple but useful applications, the Samsung Gear S2 is a solid choice.