Samsung on Saturday evening — and early Sunday morning in Barcelona where we’re reporting from — officially announced its second and third smartwatches, including the Gear 2 and the Gear 2 Neo.
Both watches are equipped with a 1.63-inch 320 x 320-pixel Super AMOLED displays, 512MB of RAM, 4GB of storage, a 1GHz dual-core processor and, unlike with the first generation Galaxy Gear, the smartwatches both run Tizen-based “wearable platform,” according to Samsung. The main difference between the two devices is that the Gear 2 comes with a camera while the Gear 2 Neo does not. The 2-megapixel camera sports auto-focus and has been repositioned to the main body of the smartwatch instead of on the side of the strap. Both smartwatches have a focus on health management, and feature a heart rate sensor as well as a gyroscope to keep track of movement.
Another big feature that has been added is an IR-LED sensor, which will allow you to control your TV set-top box with a pre-installed WatchON application. This app has previously been available on Samsung’s smartphones and tablets, but now makes its debut on a smartwatch.
Meanwhile, Samsung said the smartwatches will have access to a “rich” Tizen-based ecosystem of applications. Some initial ones include apps from CNN, BMW, Conde Nast, Expedia, eBay, Evernote, Feedly, ARMIN, Glympse, Banjo, GM, iControl, Line, Path, Paypal, RUNTASTIC, Weather, Channel, Under Armour and Volkswagen.
Samsung also didn’t touch on battery life — we hope to hear more later during Mobile World Congress — but that was a major pain point with the Galaxy Gear, so we hope to see a huge improvement in that space.
Samsung said the Gear 2 will launch in charcoal black, gold brown and wild orange while the Gear 2 Neo will launch in charcoal black, mocha grey and wild orange. Both devices, which support more than a dozen Samsung Android handsets, are set to launch globally in April, though pricing has not yet been announced.