Samsung has rolled out an update to the Gear S2, bringing the smartwatch to parity on the software front with the newer Gear S3. Gear S2 owners will now be able to download Gear S3 watch faces via the Galaxy Apps store, as well as the new Reminders app and Alti-Barometer.
The rotating bezel on the Gear S2 has picked up more functionality, and can now be used to accept or reject calls, dismiss alarms, timers and alerts. Turn the bezel clockwise to accept a call or acknowledge an alert, and a counterclockwise alert dismisses the notification.
The Gear S2 now comes with a handwriting mode that transcribes characters drawn on the device in Korean, English or Chinese. There's the option to choose from over 180 emoji, or dictate texts using voice input.
The update also adds several fitness-focused features that made their way to the Gear Fit 2 last month. S Health on the Gear S2 will be able to recognize more activities — running, walking, cycling, elliptical, and rowing-machine — automatically, and it will also start counting reps for repetitive exercies like squats, lunges, crunches and star jumps. The Auto Pause feature is also now available on the smartwatch, which pauses activity tracking when you take a break in the middle of your run or cycling session.
Other workout features include Pace Coaching, which lets you set an optimal pace for your jog or run. Samsung is introducing a Stretching Guide function into the Inactive Time Alert, with which the watch will suggest stretching exercises when it detects you've been inactive for an extended duration of time.
That's not all in the update: you also get third-party widgets for apps like Uber, Yelp and USA Today, location-tracking support via Glympse, and access to more games. The comprehensive update definitely makes last year's Gear S2 an enticing option if you're in the market for a smartwatch. Available from Amazon for $299, it costs $50 less than the Gear S3 Classic, and at 42mm, it isn't as unweildy.
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