Samsung introduced two new smartwatches during Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, including the Gear 2 and the Gear 2 Neo, and here we’ll discuss our thoughts on the Gear 2 Neo, which we recently tooled around with. The Gear 2 Neo will likely launch as the more affordable option out of the two smartwatches — though no pricing has been announced just yet — because it lacks the 2-megapixel camera on the Gear 2.
It has a rubber and plastic body, which on one hand feels kind of cheap, but on the other actually makes it much lighter, and is more comfortable to wear on the wrist. The Tizen user interface is clean and colorful, and it’s fluid enough that moving throughout it to select an app doesn’t seem overly sluggish. Samsung says there will soon be more than 100 apps available for its smartwatches, and a new SDK also means you should see even more software coming down the road.
We also dig that Samsung includes a heart rate sensor on the back of the device — that’s definitely a pattern across all of its new devices — though we weren’t able to test how well it worked during our brief hands-on. Also, Samsung says the watch has two to three days of battery life, which is better than before but still not as good as competitors like the Pebble or Pebble Steel. Still, with light usage you should get up to five days of use.
We’re really excited to see how this is priced by Samsung when it hits the market. At the right price, and with new apps coming, the Gear 2 Neo could be a really compelling smartwatch.