Samsung launches two Tizen-based smartwatches

The Gear 2 and the Gear 2 Neo are lighter and more powerful than Samsung's orginal smartwatch

Samsung's Galaxy Gear 2 smartwatch

Samsung's Galaxy Gear 2 smartwatch

Samsung will soon put on sale two new smartwatches, the Gear 2 and the Gear 2 Neo, which both run its Tizen operating system instead of Android.

Last year saw Tizen struggle as Samsung was unable to put out a smartphone running the operating system. But the company now seems to have come up a different tactic to get the platform up and running on smartwatches, instead.

That may make more sense than using the platform on smartphones, because the competition isn't as fierce and the platform's reliance on HTML5 would be less of an issue with fewer and less advanced apps running on smartwatches. (

"It would be an interesting way for Samsung to keep Tizen alive. Android is incredibly hungry in terms of memory footprint and battery consumption. Therefore a more efficient OS might appeal to vendors because they can reduce the bill of materials and address one of the big shortcomings of wearables right now, which is battery life," said Ben Wood, director of research at CCS Insight in a interview on Friday.

Samsung on Sunday said the two new models will run for two to three days of "typical usage" and up to six days with "low usage" before requiring a battery recharge, which would be an improvement over the original Galaxy Gear.

Both devices are powered by a dual-core 1GHz processor and have a 1.63-inch Super AMOLED screen with a 320 by 320 pixel resolution. They also have 512MB of RAM and 4GB of integrated storage. The Gear 2 has a 2-megapixel camera while the Gear 2 Neo doesn't have a camera at all. The two products are dust and water resistant and also come with a number of fitness features, including a heart-rate sensor and a pedometer.

The main difference between the models is the weight: the Gear 2 weighs 68 grams and the Gear 2 Neo comes in at 55 grams. That makes them both lighter than the Galaxy Gear, which weighed 73.8 grams. The original phones only has a 800MHz single core processor.

The Gear 2 and Gear 2 Neo will be available around the world starting from April, according to Samsung, which didn't announce the price.

Send news tips and comments to mikael_ricknas@idg.com

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Mikael Ricknäs

IDG News Service
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