As expected, Samsung has announced a new round-faced smartwatch, the Gear S2. Continuing Samsung’s embrace of the open-source Tizen operating system and rejection of Android Wear, the Gear S2 introduces a new interface element: a rotating bezel that would allow users to literally “dial-in” their inputs.
The watches are nearly 12 mm thick and faces are 1.2 inches in diameter, with super AMOLED screens. There are three versions of the watch: the base Gear S2 and the “classic.” The former came in either dark gray or silver; the latter has a black case with a leather band. In addition, there will be a Gear S2 3G, which includes a micro-SIM and does not require tethering to a smartphone. The watches are basically notification devices, although they include a heart rate monitor and will pass fitness data through to a Nike+ Running app.
The watches include an NFC chip for wireless payments, but the company made no mention of the Samsung Pay infrastructure that it announced this past winter at Mobile World Congress as part of the Galaxy S6 phone launch.
The watches support wireless charging of the 250 mAh batteries, and claim typical usage of between 2 and 3 days before depletion.
Samsung did not say which phones are required to work with the Gear S2 line. Past experience would indicate that it will only work with Samsung phones — and probably only with relatively current models.
Pricing and availability were not announced, nor were 3G partners,
We haven’t had our hands on it; Samsung will be formally showing the Gear S2 for the first time — and announcing applications for it — on September 3 at the IFA consumer electronics conference in Berlin