Samsung released the Galaxy Gear a few short months ago, but the company has just made its second-generation smartwatches official. The Gear 2 and Gear 2 Neo have dropped more than the Galaxy branding – these devices aren't running Android at all. Samsung has made the jump to Tizen for its wearables.

Group_Gear 2, Gear 2 Neo

The Gear 2 and Gear 2 Neo look very similar with the new physical home buttons, but the latter lacks a camera sensor. The Neo looks like it has a plastic housing, whereas the Gear 2 is brushed metal. That makes the Neo a bit lighter (55g vs 68g) and also hopefully cheaper. The Neo will come in different colors than the Gear 2 as well. Here are the full specs from Samsung.

  • Display: 1.63” Super AMOLED (320 x 320)
  • CPU: 1.0 GHz Dual Core Processor
  • OS: Tizen based wearable platform
  • Camera: Gear 2 – 2.0 Megapixel Auto Focus (1920x1080, 1080x1080, 1280x960); Gear 2 Neo – N/A
  • Video: Codec: H.264, H.263, Format: 3GP, MP4, HD(720p, @30fps) Playback & Recording
  • Audio: Codec: MP3/AAC/AMR/Vorbis, Format: MP3, M4A, AAC, OGG
  • Fitness Features: Heart Rate sensor, Pedometer, Exercise (Standalone Modes: Running, Walking – Companion Modes: Cycling, Hiking), Sleep & Stress
  • Music Player with Bluetooth Headset and Speaker
  • WatchON Remote: Remote Controller via IrLED Sensor
  • Basic Features: Bluetooth Call, Camera, Notification(SMS, E-mail, Apps)
    Media Controller, Schedule, Smart Relay, S Voice, Stopwatch, Timer, Weather
  • More Features (Downloadable): Calculator, ChatON, Flashlight, Quick Settings, Voice Memo
  • Changeable Strap
  • Color Options: Gear 2 : Charcoal Black, Gold Brown and Wild Orange – Gear 2 Neo : Charcoal Black, Mocha Grey and Wild Orange
  • IP67 Certified Dust and Water Resistant, Noise Cancellation
  • Connectivity: Bluetooth v4.0 LE, IrLED
  • Sensors: Accelerometer, Gyroscope, Heart Rate
  • Memory: RAM: 512MB
  • Storage: 4GB Internal Memory
  • Dimensions: Gear 2 – 36.9 x 58.4x 10.0 mm, 68g; Gear 2 Neo – 37.9 x 58.8 x 10.0mm, 55g
  • Battery: Li-ion 300mAh
  • Typical Usage 2~3 days, Low Usage up to 6 days

Samsung didn't elaborate on the reason for switching to Tizen, but it's probably a question of battery life. A smartwatch simply needs to add value to the smartphone experience – it doesn't have to run Android itself to be useful. Sony's smartwatch and Pebble both run non-Android operating systems, for example.

01 Gear 2 black 1 04 Gear 2 gold 1 07 Gear 2 orange 1

03 Gear 2 black 3 05 Gear 2 gold 2 Group_Gear 2

Gear 2

There are multiple fitness apps and sensors built into the new Gear devices, but they will also connect to a number of Samsung apps like WatchON. Samsung didn't elaborate on compatibility with other brands of smartphone, but did say the Gear 2 and Gear 2 Neo "are compatible with more than dozens [sic] of Samsung Galaxy smartphones at launch." That's vague enough that it could go either way, but I'd still bet on it being Samsung-only.

09 Gear 2 neo black 1 12 Gear 2 neo mochagrey 1 15 Gear 2 neo orange 1

17 Gear 2 neo orange 3 Group_Gear 2 Neo 10 Gear 2 neo black 2

Gear 2 Neo

There are no prices available yet, but the Gear 2 and Gear 2 Neo will be for sale worldwide in April.