When it comes to gadgets, round shapes are the new black, especially for smartwatches. If there’s any doubt, just check out Samsung’s latest update to its smartwatch lineup, announced Monday.
Taking a cue from the Moto 360 and other wearable gizmos—the LG G Watch R and Watch Urbane, and the Huawei Watch, to name a few—Samsung cut the corners off of its smartwatch’s previously boxy shape with the new Gear 2.
But unlike those Android watches, it’s what’s on the inside that separates this device. And what’s inside shows off Samsung’s latest bid to separate itself from Google by powering it all with the Tizen operating system.
Rounding Off Tizen
Samsung has been touting its open-source Tizen software for everything from TVs to phones and wearables. Here, the Gear 2 follows suit. While it will still work with Android phones, it won’t rely wholly on Google for software features and updates.
There’s a downside to that, though: It also won’t benefit from the ballooning assortment of Android Wear apps either. Tizen has tried to go on a charm offensive to court developers, but it still has nowhere near the support of Android.
We also don’t know which Android mobile devices it will be compatible with. Samsung’s own, surely, but whether it will only work with the latest smartphones, or support older models is not yet clear. Neither is the price.
Likely, the cost will be vary across the company’s duo of Gear 2 models: A sportier version in gray or silver with a white, permanent wristband, and a higher-end Classic model in black with an interchangeable leather strap.
Unlike the other smartwatch on people’s lips (or wrists)—namely, the Apple Watch—the Gear 2 has no crown or scroll wheel. Its 1.2-inch circular display features a rotating bezel instead, as well as buttons to go home or navigate backward.
Other details: 360 x 360 resolution display, Near Field Communication (the short-range wireless technology that will support Samsung Pay mobile payments) and battery life that’s roughly average for this breed of gadget, at 2 or 3 days. Verizon, AT&T, and T-Mobile plan to carry the Gear S2, whenever it is that the watch will launch. Among the other missing details is the release date.
Images courtesy of Samsung