When a company churns out its first smart watch after less than a year’s development, then follows it up with a sequel less than six months later, there’s something funky going on. So what does it mean when a company releases not one, but two sequels to its half-baked initial offering, announcing them alongside a funky fitness bracelet and the headlining Android smartphone for 2014?
It says the company is determined to make a meaningful splash in the wearables space before its competitors get the chance, and it’s taking a typical Samsung approach to getting there.
To be sure, the Gear 2 is a strange beast: it’s svelter than the original but comes in less playful colors, as though it’s trying to shrink from attention; it offers more extensibility via an open SDK but it runs on Tizen instead of Android; and it offers a heart-rate monitor just like its Gear Fit sibling, even though the latter is a much better smart watch choice for the fitness-obsessed. Finally, it’s got a home button – which is somehow even worse here than it is on a smartphone.
But weird isn’t necessarily bad, and the new Gear definitely has its share of pluses. Take a look at our direct comparison between the original Gear and its Galaxy-less offspring, then pay a visit to the comments to let us know which one you prefer (not to let us know you just don’t see the point of a smart watch, please. Everyone heard you the first time.)