Galaxy Gear and Gear 2 smartwatches

The Samsung Gear 2 runs Tizen, not Android — but do you care?

Samsung today announced the Gear 2 and Gear 2 Neo — two new smartwatches that work with its Android-powered Galaxy smartphones. Unlike the original Galaxy Gear, however, the new watches themselves run the Tizen OS. But with similar software and a matching user experience, does the underlying OS really matter? If you're not planning on hacking the device to run third-party apps, do you care that the wearable connecting to your Android phone doesn't also run Google's OS?

Share your opinion in our poll!

 

Reader comments

Poll: Do you care what OS your smartwatch runs?

111 Comments

I will be purchasing the Galaxy Gear 3 and Note 4 in October 2014.

What OS doesn't matter I applaud Samsung for getting Tizen out to it's users period.

Posted from my Galaxy Note 3 on Tmobile via Android Central App

You mean the Gear 2, lol.

But, yeah, I will probably end up getting the Note 4 and, if the price is right, the Gear 2, as well.

Posted from my "Gift from God" Note 3, my "God-Given" iPad Mini 2, or my "Risen" Samsung Chromebook.

Physical buttons on a 12 inch tablet is bad enough... and now on a watch ?! Design wise they actually look ok.. wonder about battery life..

Yeah, we want to know what time it is (+notifications) even when we have gloves. And nokia-like active display is not the answer (battery life is more important).

Posted via Android Central App

You're an idiot for not only thinking Samsung will have a Gear 3 in October, but for claiming that Samsung is "getting Tizen out to it's users" when not one device running Tizen is yet available.

I was really just waiting on the home button.

Posted from my "KNOX-FREE" 4.3 Sprint GS3 Maxx...!!!
(ZeroLemon 7000mA battery and ZeroShock Case)

i love how samsung just c0ck blocked apple from making a watch with and without a home button.....lol

The only people who need to know are developers. As long as it works with my phone, who cares(as long as it doesn't run iOS)

Lol yeah. OSX is great. iOS isnt. (Especially on tablets, I think they should put more of OSX on tablets.)

-------------------------------------------------------
Sent from inside a cave. Yes, T-Mobile covers caves. N5

I'd buy an OSX tablet, even though I actually like iOS on my iPad Mini.

Posted from my "Gift from God" Note 3, my "God-Given" iPad Mini 2, or my "Risen" Samsung Chromebook.

I have a 4th gen iPad

Its good. But I wish it did more. It just needs that something.

-------------------------------------------------------
Sent from inside a cave. Yes, T-Mobile covers caves. N5

I would prefer more of an OS X theme launcher for the iPad, but still run iOS underneath. I don't really like iOS, but if it looked more like OS X on the iPad, I might consider.

Posted via Android Central App

I'm not getting a smart watch until it features Google now. So android is probably pretty important....

Posted via Android Central App

Depends how it works. I'd guess that a watch would get Google Now information from a tethered phone, otherwise the watch would need a cellular radio and GPS to be useful. So Google Now would need an API to access it over bluetooth, in which case it could work with any OS on the watch.

That's a great point. I would love to tell my phone, ok Google, and then do a search right on it and depending on that switch over to the phone. Either way at this point only smartwatch I would purchase is the Sony sm2.

Posted via Android Central App

And I don't think that Samsung is about to abandon Android in phones. Android was never designed to run on smartwatches. Samsung knows that Now.

I'm not that excited about tizen. I'm more excited about Sailfish and Ubuntu and the future of Windows Phone.

-------------------------------------------------------
Sent from inside a cave. Yes, T-Mobile covers caves. N5

Actually, Android Kit Kat was specifically engineered to run low spec/companion devices optimally. Kit Kat is a game changer, I'm not going to write all the examples/details because I would be here all night. I'll leave it off with this... Kit Kat is on another level, and Samsung should be embarrassed... The nexus watch will show everyone how its done... One again.

Nexogen

That's not what I meant. I meant android wasn't optimized for smartwatches. Not becuase of specs.

-------------------------------------------------------
Sent from inside a cave. Yes, T-Mobile covers caves. N5

I know what you meant and a smart watch falls in the category of low spec/companion devices in which Android Kit Kat was specifically engineered to run flawlessly on.

Nexogen

Actually, Android has been designed from the beginning to be very "device agnostic" so that it can run on literally *anything* (assuming RAM, etc, which Google has reined back in with 4.4). I suspect part of Samsung's problem is that they tried to make the original Gear do too much.

I agree entirely. If Samsung decides to make its flagship run Tizen, it'll be a total flop and quite frankly suicide for the company.

Posted via Android Central App

Yeah. But your also underestimating the important of an OS to people.

-------------------------------------------------------
Sent from inside a cave. Yes, T-Mobile covers caves. N5

Majority of people that will get this smartwatch will be of two kinds of people. One that knows it not running Android and they will not cate as long as it does what it is suppose to do with their phone and the other ate the people who don't know the OS and will use the watch for its basic usage nothing more this making this OS possibly a norm for smartwatches and Android with phones and tablets

~My $0.02~

Not really. Look at all the people that have been fooled into thinking Apple is innovative and that all their products are the best devices ever made.

Posted via Android Central App

Yeah I can only think of 2 of their device that are the best...The ipad air and the Macbook air. Unless you count any Apple device using a touchpad which is also hands down the "Best"

I'm not talking the OS, I prefer Linux, but the hardware is still better than anyone else's.

I think you overestimate the Samsung marketing machine. It has had no effect on me whatsoever. The Galaxy Nexus is the only Samsung I've ever had. From the build quality to the weak antenna, I hated that phone. I only got it because it was a nexus device.

Posted from my Nexus 5

You're right, I should have said I'm smarter than you and am not influenced by flashy gimmicky advertising. Thanks and have a nice day. ;-)

Posted from my Nexus 5

The OS of any wearable doesn't matter, as long as it works with my device, and has functions that I want and need.

I am actually hoping that with Tizen on the Gear 2 it will be compatible with other devices. My company gave me a Galaxy S 2, that I really like, but the Galaxy Gear won't work on it. If this won't be compatible, I will have to look at some other device.

It will almost certainly still need the Gear helper app, which likely will not be compatible with the S2. I'm hoping that with Tizen the battery life will be better, which is great for everyone.

I'm not sure about 3rd party apps running on the Gear. I remember seeing the single-line keyboard app, which looked neat, if not very practical. Ignoring 3rd party apps though, the OS on the watch seems pretty irrelevant, as it usually just gets information from the phone to display anyway. As long as they can communicate, and the watch understands the concept of notifications, it doesn't matter.

I don't since I love my Pebble. I did read though that on the galaxy gear you could run Nova launcher on it. Without android that would not be possible. That would disappoint me.

Posted via Android Central App

The current Pebble Android beta sucks.. Also why doesn't Pebble on Android use Bluetooth 4? ( aka lower power)

Posted via Android Central App

One thing, one thing only! It doesn't have the gargantuan price tag the Galaxy Gear has!

I don't use, or acknowledge the word ""troll"".

It's a neat tech demo to see launchers with live wallpapers on Gear (there are YouTube videos, if you're interested), along with web browsers, but I don't think it's very practical due to the limited screen size and the battery life.

Personally, having dedicated apps with a tiny-screen-suitable UI and optimised for battery life is more important, which would mean a rewrite for a lot of apps anyway, so it may as well be on some other OS.

I don't think Samsung is in it to sell smart watches. And they will either way.

-------------------------------------------------------
Sent from inside a cave. Yes, T-Mobile covers caves. N5

Exactly. The OS of the watch doesn't matter to me. Compatibility with "all" Android phones is what I would want. I will not buy a watch that limits my future phone options. In fact I'm still struggling to see the value in a smart watch, so any limiting factor is an automatic no for me.

Posted via Android Central App

This. My sentiments exactly.

Posted from my "Gift from God" Note 3, my "God-Given" iPad Mini 2, or my "Risen" Samsung Chromebook.

But that's a big if. I think we'll have a better chance of seeing cool stuff on a watch if it's a platform that thousands of developers already know.

Posted via Android Central App

I could careless either way. I have no desire what so ever to ever wear a watch let alone a smart watch. Even if I were given a free watch right now I would just toss it in a drawer.

Posted via Android Central App

I don't but I feel like tizen in time will be able to offer a lot and give a new aspect on things rather then the available os 's now. And since Samsung is putting it into something it will make it a bigger deal. Like if they adopted Firefox os more people would pay attention to it

Posted via Android Central App

Currently own the original galaxy gear and it does what I want. Thus couldnt care what os it uses

Posted via Android Central App

This sort of looks like a Skagen watch, which is nice. Either way, the comparison between the original and the 2 is striking. The 2 looks far more streamlined and attractive. I'm rather picky about watches, and I'd probably wear the 2. Still, smartwatches aren't grabbing my attention and I'm going to wait a while longer. But this is a step in the right direction. Now just make them compatible with every smartphone available (yes, even iPhones), and Samsung will have a winner here.

It seems some are confused to what Kit Kat was engineered to do... An OS that runs whatever architecture at optimal level from high end beast devices to low spec accessories... This version of Android trumps all older versions, and opens up endless possibilities, it baffles my mind that Samsung found a way to fail at their attempt...

Nexogen

I bet with Tizen it'll tell time better since "time" and "Tizen" both begin with the letter "T". If the time-keeping is better, I'm there. ;)

Posted via Android Central App

It matters to me, sort of. I have the "old" galaxy gear, and it's running full android (primarily independent from my phone) but paired no my Nexus 5. I use it for the little things like answering a call or replying to a text, but I also use it to watch YouTube and crawl forums. Just sorta a "I'm kinda bored for a second" kinda toy.

Posted via Android Central App

I don't care what OS.... Just that it's the latest version of whatever crap I am putting on my wrist.

Posted via Android Central App

With my old man eyes, I find watches thougher to use. The smart watch concept just does not hook me, not just yet. My watch shows me the time, charges with solar cells and synchronizes with the atomic clock. That has been enough for me thus far.

Also, for those of us who work in secure facilities, the smart watch is prohibited.

So long as each smartwatch requires a proprietary app on your phone (or whatever), the OS on the watch is irrelevant. When developers can write one phone app and one watch app per OS, then it will matter. Until then, pebble wins by having the best watch app selection that talks to all phones.

Honestly, I couldn't care less what OS my smartwatch ran, or even smartphone. That's assuming I have all the functionality I need everyday though and this functionality is provided in a seamless way.

The more invisible technology becomes, the better in my opinion.

I need/care more about a smart watch being compatible with all Android phones I own. Not just a select few.

I'll keep my actual watch on my left wrist and my Jawbone Up24 on my right wrist. Not into the whole Dick Tracy/Nightrider watch thing.

No! Cause I have NO intentions of getting a smartwatch anytime soon!

I don't use, or acknowledge the word ""troll"".

It just needs to be priced right.$300 for the original galaxy gear was seriously overpriced. But there were reasons for it too. First smartwatch to run an android OS. The camera, the calling, and being samsung. That was probably part of the problem too running android. Even though, it was easy to send APK files to the galaxy gear. And it was only for samsung phones.

I'm hoping that Gear 2 sells for a more reasonable price and that it works on more than one devices. I would miss services like google now, google music, and hangouts. Hopefully they'll find a way. I'm hoping Galaxy Gear gets another price drop too. $150 is a sweet spot.

It means that the gear will never have Google Now integration. I still held out hope but not anymore

Posted via Android Central App

If the watch has notification capability then the App on the phone that is sending the notification will determine what is sent. So you can't say what it can or can't do until you see the Phone app that controls it.

My wife has the Fitbit Force and has never asked what software it has. Wearables should only be a group of sensors and a display, most of it will be controlled by the Connecting phone app anyway.

Definitely don't care. As long as it works with any phone and has features like on the Sony smartwatch 2 like nfc. Waterproof feature wouldn't be too bad either.

Posted via Android Central App

It does not matter. My Pebble does not have an Android OS but works with my Gnex just fine. As long as the watch connects and communicates with our phones....thats all that matters.

Who cares? As long as it provides me with a state of the art experience, coupled with long battery life, I personally do not mind what's under the hood. Besides, the Smartwatch is not supposed to replace my phone. So if I want Android, I can use my phone.

Posted via Android Central App Runnning on Samsung Galaxy Note 3

I'll choose option #3:
I don't care about smart watches so I don't care whether it runs Android or not.

Posted from the Future via Android Central App

May Tizen suffer a quick death. Samsung told me everything I need to know about their OS with the statement "Tizen allows for more carrier customization."

Yes, I care.
The OS itself is nothing. The wideness and quality of applications running on that OS is what matters!
So I expect to have either iOS or Android, where a large amount of high quality apps are available.

I won't vote on this poll. Cause I don't care for smartwatches period, regardless of what OS their running.

I don't use, or acknowledge the word ""troll"".

I just bought a galaxy gear when it went on sale for half off at Best Buy. I hope Samsung doesn't abandon it and concentrate on the Gear 2/ Neo.

Samsung is all about controlling everything on your Samsung device.

Tizen will eventually lock the owner out.

Samsung does anti consumer actions and then waits to see the reaction.

It matters. Tizen pretty much ensures that the gear 2 won't be hacked to work with other devices. The world doesn't need another proprietary device. Open source and Android for a life. #Nexus #nosheep
I won't get locked in again!

Posted via Android Central App