Samsung Gear S2 Watch — One to Watch

 

It seems that everyone and his uncle is coming out with a high-tech watch. It is still questionable whether or not wearables like high-tech watches will really take off, but the Samsung Gear S2 make a good stab at being really useful.

Like the Apple Watch and the iPhone, the Samsung Gear S2 is a companion device for an Android smartphone. It is compatible with most devices using Android 4.4 and later with at least 1.5GB RAM. It worked seamlessly with my Samsung Galaxy S7 phone.

Here’s what I liked.

  • Looks like a pretty normal watch with round face
  • Lightweight, comfortable & durable
  • Bright and vivid 1.2-inch Super AMOLED screen
  • Good Tizen operating system functioned with few lags
  • Rotate the bezel to make choices — Easy and intuitive
  • Wireless charging – I am in love
  • With S Health you can track your steps, check your heart rate and get a nudge when it’s time to get moving
  • Water-resistant
  • Battery can easily last more than one day
  • Wi-fi and Bluetooth
  • Can make and receive calls from the watch without having your phone nearby. (Verizon charges an additional $5 a month for this, but gives the watch its own phone number.)
  • See callers, messages, and notifications at a glance.
  • GPS for good directions
  • NFC for Samsung Pay

Here’s what needs work

  • The regular S2 doesn’t fit standard straps and only has the rubbery ones. You have to pay $50 more for the Classic to get a leather strap
  • Not as customizable as some others
  • The S Voice controls need work
  • While recent apps have included Uber and Flipboard, more good apps are badly needed.

As you can see, the pluses outweigh the minuses. While I found the Apple Watch fun to use, my main complaint was that the microphone and speaker were so bad, you couldn’t really use it to make or receive a phone call. That is not a problem with the Gear S2. You can easily make and answer calls with adequate clarity. And you don’t have to have your phone nearby.

On the golf course. No problem. Need to screen your calls. No problem. What started for me as a fun gadget quickly became a useful everyday tool.

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