Just five months after the original Samsung Galaxy Gear hit the market, it's getting replaced. The Korean electronics manufacturer has announced two new smartwatches; the Gear 2 and the Gear 2 Neo. What are the major upgrades that the new devices bring? Here's a quick overview.
1) Dust and Water resistant
One of the biggest complaints about the original Galaxy Gear was its lack of water resistance. A device you wear on your wrist everyday needs some protection from the weather. Thankfully, Samsung met these criticisms by making sure the two new Gears are IP67-compliant. This means they are dust and water resistant.
MORE: Best Smartwatches 2014
2) Tizen OS
Samsung also wizened up by switching the operating system for the Gear 2 from a custom Android-based system to Intel's made-for-wearables Tizen platform. The Linux-based platform has been used in an expanding range of devices including TVs and cameras, which hopefully means there will be more apps and cross-compatibility with more devices in the future.
3) Frame/Body-mounted Camera now shoots up to 1080p
The Galaxy Gear sports a conspicuous, bulging camera on its strap. With the Gear 2, Samsung built the 2-MP camera into the frame of the watch itself, making the device sleeker and better-looking overall. You can also shoot pictures and video at up to 1920 x 1080p with the Gear 2, up from 1392 x 1392p pictures and 1280 x 720p videos on the Galaxy Gear's 2-MP shooter. The Gear 2 Neo does not have an onboard camera.
At 2.3 x 1.5 x 0.39 inches, the Gear 2 and Gear 2 Neo are slimmer and lighter than the Galaxy Gear (2.2 x 1.4 x 0.43 inches) but just a tad wider and longer.
5) Improved Processor
The 800-MHz single-core processor on the Galaxy Gear has been replaced by a 1.0-GHz dual-core processor with 512MB of RAM on the Gear 2 and Gear 2 Neo, meaning you should expect speedier response and performance on the new smartwatches.
6) Extra Features
Built into the new Gear 2 and Gear 2 Neo are infrared sensors that, when paired with Samsung's WatchON app, let you use your smartwatch as a remote control for your TV. Samsung also added a heart rate sensor and pedometer into the Gear 2 watches so you can use the device as a basic fitness tracker. You can now play music from the Gear 2 and Gear 2 Neo without a phone connected to it.