Samsung has updated their smartwatch line for 2014 at Mobile World Congress, announcing the new Gear 2 and the slightly cheaper Gear Neo, both devices coming with a number of key changes to entice more buyers. The original Galaxy Gear was seen as a hurried product from Samsung, with a lack of good features and a rather ugly and heavy design, even the executives at Samsung started calling it a prototype for the next smartwatch, the Gear 2.
This was also notable in the customer response to the Galaxy Gear, a lack of actual buyers and a rather large amount of the people that did buy the smartwatch decided to bring it back to the store, realising the purchase was not worth it.
The new Gear 2 integrates the camera onto the front of the device, instead of on the strap, allowing users to replace the strap for a different design. Samsung has also added a home button onto the Gear 2, an odd change pointing to a touch heavy platform.
On the software side, the Gear 2 will be running on Tizen OS instead of Android. It looks like Samsung will move away from Android for smart watches, something we are sure Google is not happy about, considering they are likely to announce their own SDK sometime in the coming weeks.
A heart rate monitor has also been added onto the Gear 2, allowing people to check their heart rate and pulse live. This has been added to the Galaxy S5 and looks to be a continuing theme on all high-end Samsung devices.
Samsung will drop the Galaxy moniker for the Gear 2 and has officially stepped away from that brand for smart watches, possibly because they are no longer running Android. There is still no word on pricing for the Gear 2 or Gear Neo.