Samsung Gear 2

Mobile World Congress

Samsung's brought its new wearables to Mobile World Congress in the form of the new Gear 2 and Gear 2 Neo smartwatches — as well as a surprise addition, the Gear Fit.

The smartwatches, as we now know, mark Samsung's switch from Android to Tizen for the wearable. The Gear 2 and Gear 2 Neo are roughly the same device — it's just that the Neo lacks a camera.

The Fit, however, is a sexy little fitness companion.

Let's take a closer look.

Gear 2 and Gear Fit hands-on video

The Gear 2 and Gear 2 Neo

After spending a few brief minutes with the Gear 2 and Gear 2 Neo, it's obvious that Samsung was listening when original Gear users offered feedback. The watch itself has been slimmed down a tad. And while it loses the exposed screws out front (some will be happy they're gone, others will miss the industrial design), the Gear 2 maintains the overall look and design of the original. That's a good thing.

The straps have been much improved, too. They're now removable, a feature Samsung's making good use of with custom bands — but you can swap in your own, too; it uses a standard 22mm watch pin. That means the speaker had to go, and it's moved into the body of the watch as well. A home button has been added as well. It's in a much more obvious spot than the button on the side of the Galaxy Gear. Good change.

What's more is that doing all this has allowed for some proper waterproofing. The Gear 2 and Gear 2 Neo are rated IP67 — same as the Galaxy S5 — and that means you don't have to fear water like before. An excellent change.

There's been a pretty big shift under the hood, too. Android's been swapped out for Tizen, the open-source OS Samsung helped develop. Other than some perceived lag in the basic operation — and that's not good, but it's apparent — there's no real difference. The Gear 2 looks and acts like the original Galaxy Gear, insofar as apps and menus are concerned. The shift will be a bigger deal to developers. But for end-users? Most likely won't notice.

You're still able to make and receive calls on the Gear 2, Samsung says, but we were unable to test that function.

But perhaps our favorite feature? The Gear 2 serves as a stand-alone music player. Pop as much music as you want in the 4GB of on-board storage and start your workout — no phone needed. That's great for runners.

The Gear Fit

The Gear fit may really be what best grabbed our attention, though. It's in the bracelet-style category of wearables, and not the first we've seen with a largish display. But this one is 1.84 inches of curved Super AMOLED, and it looks pretty striking. The band is like a watch strap, and you've got a decent range for sizing. Plus you can swap it out for a different band, if you wish.

It's pretty easy to use, too — just swipe through menus like you do on the Gear 2. It's very intuitive. Battery life is rated at a few days, so you'll still need to charge this guy on a pretty regular basis.

The Fit has a number of sensors on board, of course, and can directly monitor heart rate, and measure your activity with the accelerometer and gyroscope. On-board apps include: Notifications (social networking, calls, email and apps), schedule, Smart Relay and a media controller.

What we don't know for any of this is pricing or a better sense of availability, other than Samsung's shooting for April.