Samsung Gear S2: First Impressions

The Gear S2 is Samsung's answer to the Apple Watch.

I have been using Samsung’s Gear S2 smartwatch, which just came out today, for the past four hours. I don’t know if this watch is a keeper, but there are plenty of things to like about it. Here are some things I am very pleased with, so far:

Screen

The AMOLED screen on the Gear S2, which has 302 pixels-per-inch, is almost perfect. Text is very crisp on all applications. While the Apple Watch has a screen containing 326 pixels-per-inch, the one on the Gear S2 is still better.

Build and Design

The Gear S2 has a round screen that looks like a typical watch. I like how you can spin the bezel of the watch in order to select programs or other features. There was far more thought that went into designing the Gear S2 than Samsung’s previous watches over the past couple of years.

Battery Life

I started using this with 68 percent battery life for four hours and have been using it intensely. It still has 38 percent of it’s battery life left. I am predicting that with regular use, I will get at least two day’s battery life — that’s one day more than I would get with the Apple Watch.

The Gear S2 comes in a very unique package.

Notifications

Notifications work perfectly with the Gear S2 and I’m not used to that. With the Apple Watch, notifications would work about 80 percent of the time. But every single time I get a text or an email, the Gear S2 watch notifies me. Samsung did a great job in this area.

Here are some things that I don’t like, so far:

Tizen Operating System

Samsung’s Tizen operating system certainly isn’t awful on the Watch, but it’s not that great either. There are some bugs and twice, when trying to run an app, the Gear S2 turned off. I expect there to be a lot of updates in the near future and the operating system isn’t a huge disability to the overall watch — at least for now.

S-Voice

S-Voice works better on the Gear S2 than it does on the Galaxy Note 5 or other Samsung phones, but it’s still not as accurate as Siri on the Apple Watch. I’ve responded to texts ten times with my voice and two times, S-Voice misinterpreted my voice. I hope this doesn’t continue.

Lifestyle App

I find it hard to believe that you can’t track total calories throughout the day; each segment of the day summarizes the calories you have burned, but — so far — I haven’t found a way to display the total calories I have burned throughout the day. Sure, I can add each segment’s figures, but why should I have to?

I’ll have more on the Gear S2 after I test it out for at least a couple more days. Right now, I will say that the device is at least worth checking out.

About Daryl

Daryl Deino has been a technology enthusiast since 1995 and has written for several newspapers and technology sites. Please reach him at [email protected]
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