A watch packed with the right smarts

TRACK THE BEAT: Samsung Gear 2 can function as a heart-rate monitor.


    Mar 28, 2014

    A watch packed with the right smarts

    THE original Samsung Galaxy Gear smartwatch was more of an accessory to Samsung smartphones. It lacked too many features to be a true standalone device and worked best when paired with a phone.

    The Gear 2 is a different beast altogether. While similar in interface and design, it actually runs on Samsung's Tizen operating system.

    This explains why the Gear 2 and Gear 2 Neo do not have the Galaxy monicker, which is used exclusively on Samsung's Android devices.

    The main difference between the Gear 2 and Gear 2 Neo is that the Neo does not have a 2MP camera.


    Instead of having to jog with a watch and phone, the Gear 2 alone can track your runs.

    It also works as a pedometer. But activities, such as cycling and hiking, still require the use of the Gear 2 and a smartphone, but at least the phone can be kept in your jersey pocket or bag.


    The Gear 2 comes with 4GB of built-in memory. Although the operating system will consume some of the storage space, there is still plenty left to store several hundred songs.

    Pair the phone with a Bluetooth headset and you can now jog with your music library, minus your smartphone.


    The watch has a 1.63-inch Super Amoled screen and a 1GHz dual-core processor.

    Though it uses a 300mAh battery compared with the 315mAh of the original, software improvements keep power consumption down. The Gear 2 can operate for two to three days before needing a recharge.

    It resists dust and water, and comes with an IR LED sensor which you can use to remotely control the channels and volume on a Samsung TV set.


    Located on the underside of the watch, the monitor tracks and records your heart rate.

    All readings are stored and can be transferred to your Samsung smartphone. The results can be tracked for as long as eight months.


    The Gear 2 will work with several Samsung phones, such as the Note 2, Note 3, S3, S4 and S4 Zoom, right out of the box.

    Once paired, it can receive incoming e-mail, SMS and call notifications. It can also be used as a hands-free speaker to take calls when you are driving.