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Samsung Gear 2: A smartwatch with great features

May 26, 2014 11:41 IST

Samsung Gear 2: A smartwatch with great features

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Abhik Sen

Gear 2 is a distinct improvement over its predecessor, and besides being a smartwatch also bundles in a number of functions of a fitness band.

The other day, I was to meet an old friend. We were meeting after a very long time, but I distinctly remembered this fellow was afraid of ghosts during our school days. 

I needed to find out whether I could spook my friend.

Therefore, soon after I visited him at his hotel, funny things started happening. Suddenly the AC turned off by itself and next the TV started switching channels on a whim. 

My friend was about to call the front desk to shift to another room, when I revealed I was the one up to some mischief, showing him what I was wearing on my wrist: The Samsung Gear 2 smartwatch.

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Photographs: Courtesy, Samsung

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Samsung Gear 2: A smartwatch with great features

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The Gear 2's predecessor, the Galaxy Gear, was panned by many for sticking out like a sore thumb.

But the Gear 2 revels in its understated elegance.

The brushed metal look and the understated removable strap will fit in at the boardroom as well as on your early morning run. 

The Galaxy Gear was an Android-powered device (which many called a work in progress) that had its power button and camera on the strap, while the Gear 2 is a Tizen-powered device with the power button and camera integrated with the main unit, which sports a 1.63-inch OLED screen.

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Photographs: Courtesy, Samsung

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Samsung Gear 2: A smartwatch with great features

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The Gear 2 also sports an IR blaster next to the two-megapixel camera. The IR blaster helped me spook out my friend that night!

For your Gear 2 to function, you need to carry one of the supported Samsung Galaxy devices as well. 

Download the Gear manager on the phone and pair it with the Gear 2 over Bluetooth.

Gear 2 gives one options to customise the home screen. One can access the other menu screens swiping left and right, with each screen housing four apps.

Gear 2 shows notifications, texts, emails and can display pictures snapped by its camera (the pictures are also synced with the phone).

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Photographs: Courtesy, Samsung

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Samsung Gear 2: A smartwatch with great features

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It can act as a media controller/ player (music can be stored on the Gear 2's 4GB on-board memory) when paired with headphones over Bluetooth.

It can record 15-second videos and voice memos. Along with Samsung's S Voice app, one can use the microphone on the device to use one's phone with voice commands. 

One can also access one's contacts and answer and make calls on the Gear 2 - the speaker is pretty capable of handling such calls, even outside. And one can also respond through preset text messages from the watch.

The Gear 2 also goes to sleep by itself and wakes up when you lift your arm to see the time. This is a cool feature but can invite nasty glances from neighbours if you're in a movie theatre. 

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Photographs: Courtesy, Samsung

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Samsung Gear 2: A smartwatch with great features

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The Gear 2 can be set up to control ACs, TVs and set-top boxes as well. But one needs to get used to using this watch to switch channels, as one has to point it to the TV.

The watch isn't heavy or clunky to wear all day, and on a single charge, we got about a day and a half of battery life, with extensive usage.

The Gear 2 also bundles in features of a fitness band and like its sibling, the Gear Fit, can measure your heart rate and sleep patterns. 

It also has a pedometer and exercise modes such as running, walking, cycling and hiking.

It is pretty accurate in measuring your heartbeat, but the pedometer seemed to be a bit off the mark. Like the Gear Fit, the cycling and hiking modes are GPS-enabled while the running and walking modes aren't.

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Photographs: Courtesy, Samsung

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Samsung Gear 2: A smartwatch with great features

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The Samsung Gear 2 is a distinct improvement over its predecessor and besides being a smartwatch also bundles in a number of functions of a fitness band at Rs 21,900.

If you're looking for a smart band, you have a number of options, including the Gear Fit at lower prices, while if you're looking for a smartwatch, bear in mind that you will also need to shell out for a Samsung phone to pair it with.

If you're a Samsung fan and want to be the coolest dude in town, you're welcome to splurge.


Photographs: Courtesy, Samsung

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