Skip to main content

Samsung Gear S2 review

The quick take

Samsung was a pioneer in the new generation of smartwatches, but it hasn't produced the best overall products in its past few tries. With the Gear S2 it finally has a lot of things right — the watch looks nice, has a good screen, is built well and is now a proper size for most wrists. The Tizen-based operating system doesn't have as many restrictions as before and now works properly with non-Samsung phones, which is huge. Unfortunately the software still feels a little rough around the edges, and tries to do far too much considering the screen size it has to work with.

The good

  • Compact and light
  • Innovative rotating bezel
  • Great screen
  • Good battery life

The bad

  • Software still tries to do too much
  • Native apps offer poor experience
  • More complicated than Android Wear
  • Notification support not entirely universal

Samsung Gear S2

Samsung's best watch yet

Gear S2 Full Review

When you look at the history of the modern smartwatch, it's hard to ignore Samsung's involvement in the process. Though it hasn't necessarily made blockbuster products that have led the wearable industry, Samsung has been eager to keep trying new things with each generation — whether it's large screens, new software interaction or standalone cellular connections in watches. Samsung also hasn't shied away from different operating systems, starting with Android, trying Android Wear and finally settling on Tizen.

With the launch of the Gear S2, it's clear that Samsung has been learning from its mistakes as well — and this is finally the first watch from Samsung that feels like a complete product. The new watch is compact, capable and designed to look like a watch — and the new rotating bezel is a truly innovative way to interact with it. Perhaps most importantly, the Gear S2 works with Android phones other than Samsung's own, which was a bigger issue for most people than the overall quality of its previous wearables.

But while the Gear S2 is a better product than any previous Gear, the competition is a bit stiffer now as well. Android Wear finally has some legs, and Pebble has released new versions of its own watches. Does the Gear S2 have what it takes to be considered as your new primary wrist computer? We're here to answer that question in our full review — read on.

About this review

I (Andrew Martonik) am writing this review after a little more than a week using a silver and white Gear S2 (with a cameo appearance by Phil Nickinson's black and dark grey model). It's a standard Bluetooth and Wifi model (not 3G), and for the entire review period was connected to either a Samsung Galaxy Note 5 or Moto X 2014.

There are two distinct designs of the Gear S2. There's the "standard" model (which I have here) that's a bit sporty in design, and then there's the Gear S2 Classic, which has a more standard watch design with proper lugs and a standard watch band on it. Both are roughly the same internally — the only difference is the case design. There is also a 3G model of the standard Gear S2, which is slightly larger and has a bigger battery.

Samsung Gear S2

A new take on Gear

Gear S2 Hardware and display

Samsung has tried various approaches to its smartwatch designs, but the one unifying feature — from the original Galaxy Gear to the gigantic Gear S — was that they kind of just felt like little phones. They were all bulky for smartwatches, had relatively large (and rectangular) screens and some even integrated cameras into the bodies or the straps. It doesn't make sense to do so much on a watch, and with the Gear S2 Samsung no longer tries to.

Samsung didn't just move down to the competition, it went smaller with the Gear S2.

Rather than just drop down to the same size on offer by the current crop of Android Wear devices, Samsung went a step further with the Gear S2 and went smaller than what's out there already. The Gear S2 has a slightly smaller display, and is thinner and lighter than your average LG Watch Urbane or Huawei Watch. The only downside here is that there aren't two different case sizes on offer like the Moto 360 2015 and ASUS ZenWatch 2 — you'll have to like the one size available.

Image 1 of 5

Samsung Gear S2

Image 2 of 5

Samsung Gear S2

Image 3 of 5

Samsung Gear S2

Image 4 of 5

Samsung Gear S2

Image 5 of 5

Samsung Gear S2

First off, let's talk display. Samsung went with a relatively small 1.2-inch circular Super AMOLED screen, at 360x360 resolution, and it looks beautiful. The reliance on black backgrounds in the interface make the whites and colors pop, and while there's no automatic brightness mode I found myself comfortable with brightness set to 80 percent. The resolution is plenty high for this screen size, and it has good viewing angles as well. I just expect Samsung's displays to be good at this point — no matter what the size — and the Gear S2 doesn't disappoint.

The display is really great, and the simplistic stainless steel case is of top-notch quality.

The display is surrounded by a solid casing made of 316L stainless steel, available in a light silver or a dark grey, with a plastic and glass insert on the bottom to allow for wireless charging and heart rate monitoring. And while it doesn't have standard lugs for attaching watch bands, it does extend on the top and bottom to marry up with a proprietary connector for its own bands. The bands are designed to flow seamlessly into the case, giving it a slick look, but some may still prefer the more "standard" look of the Gear S2 Classic instead.

The case is nicely machined in a minimalist design, with the flat and lightly-textured steel being set off just a bit by a shiny bevel all along the rotating bezel that surrounds the screen. That rotating bezel serves as a main way of interacting with the watch, which I'll get to in a later section, but it's important to note that the bezel is very well engineered. It clicks along as a great interaction mechanism for the watch, but also doesn't look out of place (or get in the way) when it isn't in use.

Unfortunately the same can't be said about the dedicated "back" and "home" buttons on the right side of the case, which indeed stand out as not only poor choices for usability but also kind of detract from the otherwise sleek case. A single button would've looked much better, but I can at least applaud Samsung for ditching the big front-mounted home button of previous models.

Image 1 of 5

Samsung Gear S2

Image 2 of 5

Samsung Gear S2

Image 3 of 5

Samsung Gear S2

Image 4 of 5

Samsung Gear S2

Image 5 of 5

Samsung Gear S2

The Gear S2 comes with a flexible elastomer (aka rubber) band out of the box, with a standard watch buckle in matching metal to the case, and while it still has a proprietary connector it's at least easily swappable and can be changed without tools. Samsung includes both large and small bands in the box — but really they should be called "long" and short" because the only difference between the two is the length. You can mix-and-match the two bands to get the right fit, and while I just used the standard large set, those with smaller wrists will want to opt for the small ones.

The only downside to the standard Gear S2's design is its sporty style, which doesn't work in all situations.

Samsung is only offering the Gear S2 in two color choices, but at the launch of the watch showed off quite a few different band color options. We haven't heard anything more about when or where those band choices will be available (Samsung did eventually sell replacement bands for previous Gears), or if third parties will be able to get in on the action, but I wouldn't put much stock in them becoming available — just pick the color you'll be happiest with out of the box, and anything more is just a bonus.

The elastomer bands give the Gear S2 more of a sport watch feel, not unlike the Sony Smartwatch 3 or any other basic (non-smart) active watch from Nike or Adidas, and that can be a little polarizing. It feels right at home with casual attire and daily wear, but stands out notably if you're dressing up for a nice dinner or a meeting. Of course the opposite is true with a design like the LG Watch Urbane, which is just far too flashy, but I do wish that the standard Gear S2 band and case were a bit more neutral. At least Samsung is offering the Gear S2 Classic, which costs $50 more but has a design that should work in more situations.

More: How to change the Gear S2 straps

Samsung Gear S2

Tizen is better, but incomplete

Gear S2 Software and performance

Samsung's Tizen-based smartwatch operating system has greatly evolved since it took over for the Android offering on the first Galaxy Gear. And just like its smartwatch hardware story, Samsung's smartwatch software often feels more like it belongs on a small phone rather than a watch. Though the latest iteration is far simpler to understand and use, I still get the impression that Samsung is just trying to do too much on the watch — particularly for a device with only a 1.2-inch circular display.

The entire interface is navigable with swipes, but the rotating bezel is preferable in almost every situation.

Though this watch packs a touchscreen, there are multiple ways to interact with it that don't involve tapping the screen. The Gear S2 has two buttons on the side — one for "back" and another for "home" — as well as a rotating bezel to help alleviate navigating a rather complex interface on a small screen. The back button simply takes you back to the previous screen you were on, just like on an Android phone, and the home button returns you instantly to the watch face. You can also set a double-press of the home button to launch any app of your choosing.

While the entire interface is navigable with swipes, the preferred method is twisting the watch bezel. The bezel clicks while turning, with each click in position being analogous to a full-screen swipe. In most of the interface you'll turn the bezel clockwise to move right, and counterclockwise to move left. In vertically-scrolling lists, menus and apps, you'll turn clockwise to go down and counterclockwise to go up. Turning the bezel means you aren't covering the interface you're trying to manipulate, and on such a small screen it helps to just move in a series of bezel clicks rather than swiping. In multiple areas of the interface, you can highlight items from a radial list with the bezel, and then simply tap the center of the screen to select the highlighted item.

Samsung Gear S2

At the highest level of the interface you have a set of home screens, with your watch face of course being the primary screen — a swipe down on the screen returns you to the watch face, and a swipe down again on the watch face gives you quick controls for media playback, do not disturb mode, and brightness controlls. To the left you'll find your notifications as they come in, and to the right you'll find a succession of customizable widgets. There are 13 in total pre-loaded, and you can choose to organize, add or remove them as you see fit — by default you'll have a quick app launcher, as well as widgets for your calendar, S Health step count, weather and heart rate.

The Gear S2's software still feels a bit like it belongs on a phone, and can get confusing quickly when you use it.

For the cleanest possible look you can remove all of these widgets, but you'll still get a blank page to the right of your watch face with a "+" imploring you to add more. Many of the widgets just aren't useful at all, like the full-month calendar widget, or some of the widgets that require deep multi-level dives into apps to make use of. But others, like the media playback control widget and the step counter, are genuinely useful to have at a glance over from your watch face. The best part about these is being able to choose which ones you want.

The main interface paradigm is rather simple to figure out, but it gets quite confusing once you dig deeper into it. Again you get the feeling that there's more smartphone DNA in this watch than anything else, as there are still situations where you need to be several taps, swipes or clicks deep into the interface to get things done. Diving into the settings is just a rabbit hole of lists upon lists, with every option imaginable available, and doing some things like replying to an email can take upwards of five taps on the screen. You can get by with just the simple things on the Gear S2, but there's a lot going on here that can get frustrating and confusing to navigate on such a small display.

Watch faces

Samsung has done a pretty good job with the watch face offerings on the Gear S2. Out of the box you'll have 15 distinct watch faces to choose from, some of which are branded with pre-loaded apps like Nike and CNN, but in general run the range between modern and classic, as well as analog and digital. Most of the faces can be customized (some more than others), with options to change the dial, hands (if analog), colors and information layout.

You can also browse through dozens of watch faces from Samsung's Galaxy Apps store, though I honestly couldn't find many that appealed to me and was more than happy with a customized version of a pre-loaded face. Perhaps these offerings will improve over time, but only time will tell there — there's nothing in the Galaxy Apps store that can rival the watch face offerings for Android Wear today.

Samsung Gear S2

Notifications

One of the most important experiences on any smartwatch is how it handles notifications from your attached smartphone, and thankfully Samsung has made huge strides in this area compared to the original Gear S. There are two major improvements to the notification system — two-way notification sync, and actionable third-party notifications. Two-way sync means any action you take on the smartwatch is reflected on the phone, and vice-versa, while actionable third-party notifications mean you can actually do things with notifications that arrive rather than just clear them.

When notifications arrive on your phone they're pushed over to the watch and lined up in chronological order — grouped by app — on individual screens to the left of your watch face. You can also have the watch screen turn on when notifications arrive, as well as adjust the vibration intensity on your wrist for notifications. Unfortunately if you turn on this heads-up notification mode, you can't actually clear the notification right as it arrives — you need to hit the back button and then go back to the main notification area to clear it. Baffling, but that's how it is.

As you scroll or swipe through your unread notifications you'll see an app icon indicating where it came from, as well as a brief bit of information on the content — such as the subject line of an email, or the first few words of a text message. Tapping individual notifications expands them so you can view the full content — as in, you can actually scroll through a 500 word email if you want. If it's a text-based chat — like an email or Hangouts message — that can warrant a response, you can reply with quick canned responses, a set of emoji, voice dictation (which is unfortunately not very well done), or even type in words with an absolutely tiny T9-style keyboard (believe me, it's not great). If you'd prefer to just clear the notification, you can swipe it up on the watch and it'll also clear on the phone.

Notification sync and actionable third-party notifications are a minimum requirement in a modern smartwatch.

Because the Gear S2 now supports more than just Samsung phones that also means it supports non-Samsung apps, and the compatibility is surprisingly good. For example when Gmail messages arrive you can actually archive or delete them from the watch, and when Hangouts messages come in you actually see the person's picture as a background and can reply properly. There are also a few glaring omissions, like a lack of turn-by-turn notifications from Google Maps, and informational pop-ups that are more watch-specific like boarding information from airline apps.

Just as is the case with Android Wear you can't expect every app you have to interact properly with the watch, but it seems as though Samsung has done its part to get popular apps working as expected on the Gear S2. Unfortunately it isn't likely that new apps released further down the road will be supported, and if a developer is choosing to hook into just one wearable platform on Android, chances are they're going to start with Android Wear.

Apps

Samsung using Tizen for its wearable platform has many advantages, but one of the biggest downsides is in its handling of apps. Because there's no inherent link between the apps on your phone and the watch outside of just basic notifications, if you want any more complex interaction you need to install an app on the watch directly. Samsung showed off dozens of apps from well-known names at the launch of the Gear S2, but unfortunately a large number of those have yet to show up in the Galaxy Apps store for download. And those that have are quite a pain to install, involving downloading the watch app from Samsung's store, often followed by another app download from the Play Store on the phone side, and then some complicated setup.

Some of the big name apps aren't here yet — but unfortunately even those that are here aren't great.

Apps like CNN, Bloomberg, Nike+ and Here Maps are on-board, but dozens of others — like Uber, for example — aren't here and have no time frame of when they'll arrive. But I'm not losing much sleep over it, because the app experience as a whole isn't that good anyway. As you'd expect there isn't a ton you can do on a 1.2-inch screen, and reading CNN articles three words at a time or scrolling through Bloomberg headlines just isn't in any way something I want to do on a watch.

Really, outside of direct fitness trackers and small utilities, there isn't much you can do on a watch that would warrant a full app running on it. And while the apps do run smoothly and work, they don't offer a good enough experience to make you want to use them on the watch instead of just taking out your phone. The only real downside of not having local apps is for things like messaging, where it's impossible right now to initiate something like a Facebook Messenger message, a Gmail email or a Skype call — the only way to interact with those apps would be through a reply to a notification.

S Voice

Samsung's S Voice service — think Google voice search, only from Samsung — is baked into the watch, and getting beyond the awkwardness of trying to interact with a watch for voice controls, it has some limited functionality. You can initiate phone calls by number or name, send text messages (though only if you use the default app on your phone), show contact information, get calendar information, play local music, set an alarm and get current weather.

You can turn on always-listening mode to respond to your command of "Hi Gear" or train it for any other phrase, which works any time the watch is on, but that feature is turned off by default, likely for battery concerns.

The voice command list is relatively limited, and S Voice just isn't as robust as Google's offering on Android Wear.

While voice commands for calls and texts seem to work, other natural language queries like "What was the Seattle Seahawks score last night?" just came up blank and queries such as "Send an email to Phil Nickinson" returned a "no matching applications found" error. It's hard to knock S Voice too hard considering that voice commands aren't the biggest feature of a watch, but when it doesn't work properly for basic Google-style searches or can't handle basic queries, it limits the number of times I'm going to actually turn to it throughout the day.

S Voice is also the speech-to-text engine when you're sending messages or speaking voice replies to messages, as an alternative to the other text input methods. Voice replies are rather accurate, but the method for taking input and sending the message is a bit clunky. S Voice doesn't do a good job of identifying when you've stopped speaking when you're replying to a message, leaving you to simply hit the "send" button to stop the recording — I really wish it would identify the end of your sentence as it does in the main S Voice interface.

Samsung Gear manager

Gear Manager

In order to get up-and-running with the Gear S2, you'll need to have the Gear Manager app installed on your phone. The Gear Manager app itself hasn't changed dramatically since Samsung's last wearable release, but quite importantly the compatibility of this companion app has opened up to non-Samsung phones. The full list of supported phones is right here{.nofollow}, but basically anything running Android 4.4 or above with 1.5GB of RAM should work just fine.

Samsung finally supports other Android phones, and thankfully the experience is nearly identical.

Gear Manager is the middleman that lets your phone talk to your watch, and it's necessary because Android doesn't inherently talk to non-Android Wear smartwatches. You can use the app to change your watch face, choose which apps give you notifications, and toggle a few different settings on how the phone interacts with the watch. You'll also find it puts a persistent notification (in the shade, not the status bar) telling you the watch is connected, but you can simply "block" it in the phone's application settings without issue.

Thankfully the experience of using the Gear S2 on a Samsung phone and any other Android phone is nearly identical. Of course things are a bit more seamless on the Samsung phone on account of the Galaxy Apps store and Samsung's apps being pre-loaded on the phone, but you can overcome these things on any other device — the Gear S2 hooks right into the stock dialer, messaging app, calendar and other system-level functions on compatible phones. I never had any issues or notable differences in app performance, notifications or Bluetooth connection when using the Gear S2 on a non-Samsung phone (in my case a Moto X 2014).

Samsung Gear S2

Just charge at night

Gear S2 Battery life

With the Gear S2 being relatively small and thin, I was immediately worried about how Samsung was going to handle battery life with the 250 mAh cell inside. Thankfully my concerns were completely overblown, as I haven't had a single worry about battery life on the watch. Leaving the Gear S2 at 80 percent brightness (remember, there's no automatic brightness) with its ambient display mode on, S Voice listening for a wake-up phrase, and receiving nearly all notifications on the watch, I would end each day with at least 20 percent battery life — many times ending with up to 40 percent.

Now that's with what I'd consider "normal" smartwatch usage, as in I wasn't interacting with it all day. I would regularly check messages, archive Gmail, check my step count, look at the weather or my upcoming appointments on the calendar — but I didn't regularly perform lots of voice searches or do anything that kept the screen on more than 20 seconds or so at a time.

If you do plan to use the watch on a more frequent basis — as in more often than when notifications arrive — I'd recommend turning off the ambient watch face mode and lowering the brightness to get the most out of the 250 mAh battery. You can also flip into a limited Power Saving Mode, just like Samsung's phones, that severely limits functionality to preserve battery. In any case, I don't think you can actually expect the Gear S2 to make it through multiple days of use comfortably, which is hardly a knock on it considering that's the case on just about any other non-Pebble smartwatch out there.

You'll be charging every night, but at least the cradle is well designed.

The Gear S2 charges wirelessly, which is preferable from a case design standpoint but does mean that you'll need the included dock to get the job done (even though it's Qi, the band design makes it tough to use on other charging pads). The dock is a simple small cradle that holds the watch with the screen vertical and the strap ends resting on the table, similar to the Moto 360 2015's cradle, but unlike that model the Gear S2 actually holds magnetically to the back of the cradle for a secure charge. The entire cradle is quite a bit smaller than Motorola's offering, which is good.

The vertical cradle style certainly looks nicer when on display on your desk or bedside table, but it's far less practical if you plan to bring it with you when you travel when compared to the flat disc-style charging attachments. That's a small deal for most, but considering the watch will need charging every day you'll have to bring this thing with you wherever you're going to be spending the night.

Samsung Gear S2

The best Gear, but not the best smartwatch

Gear S2 Bottom line

It's hardly a stretch to say that the Gear S2 is Samsung's best effort yet at making a compelling smartwatch. The hardware is very attractive and well made, and between the standard and Classic version you'll likely be able to settle on one that fits your style. The Gear S2 is refreshingly small for a smartwatch, and the rotating bezel is a genius way to overcome issues related to interacting with a very small touch screen. The screen is absolutely top-notch, and the battery lasts a full day without worry.

Unfortunately, the software on offer is still a bit of a mixed bag on the Gear S2. It's very capable when it comes to handling basic notifications, giving you glanceable information and using native functions provided by Samsung. On the other hand, the third-party app support is anemic and poorly implemented at best, interaction between the watch and the phone can be a bit clunky, and voice commands and speech-to-text leave something to be desired.

Samsung clearly learned a lot of lessons from the original Gear S, but with the Gear S2 it's still trying to do far too much in the software considering the limitations of the screen size. Having lots of options and features on a watch is great in theory, but those extra options and interactions get in the way of getting things done on the watch — and in the end the goal should be to interact with the smartwatch less, not more.

LG Watch Urbane and Gear S2

Should you buy it? Android Wear is still in the lead

One of the biggest hurdles facing Samsung on previous Gears was its limited support of just its own phones, which with this generation it has finally eliminated. Though that opens up the Gear S2 to dramatically more people, it doesn't mean the Gear S2 has vaulted to the top of the list of smartwatches to buy if you have an Android phone.

While the hardware on the Gear S2 is really great, and surely on-par with other Android Wear offerings in the same price range, the software doesn't quite offer the great experience it may have seemed to at first glance. And even though Samsung has made leaps in adding support for third-party apps and improving its overall interface, there's no getting around the fact that Android Wear more seamlessly integrates with all Android phones and is simpler to use.

Sure there are places where the Gear S2 beats Android Wear — namely in the use of widgets, the rotating bezel for interaction and (albeit limited) on-watch apps — but those few wins don't overtake the issues in interface and interaction that are handled much better on Android Wear. And when we're talking about a $299 or $349 smartwatch, I don't think you should feel the need to settle for something that doesn't work as well as the other offerings out there.

Where to buy the Gear S2

Amazon BestBuy Samsung Macy's Expansys UK

Where to buy the Gear S2 Classic

Amazon BestBuy Samsung Macy's Expansys UK{.nofollow .cta .shop}

Andrew was an Executive Editor, U.S. at Android Central between 2012 and 2020.

89 Comments
  • My sister makes $40 on the internet. Priceless Jerry.
  • "My makes $40 IN the internet". Apparently Jerry's sister found Flynn's arcade and is working to pay her way out of the game...
  • Still the best performing smart watch out there, smarter than android wear tho Posted via the Android Central App
  • Rotating bezel is a great feature, but I don't find the watch attractive at all. Also...way to go Samsung stealing Motorola's charger and box.
  • Thanks for the review. I love my Gear S2 and I don't find the software clunky at all. There is a lot to it, if the user wants. But also the user doesn't have to do anything to get a great experience IMO. Notifications work great, and I like having the OPTION of doing things (other than archiving with Gmail, for example). Android Wear is plain boring at this point, to the point that the watches are mostly homogeneous, except for the hardware. There is nothing to differentiate them . I used my Moto 360 for a long time, and it was fine. I liked it. The S2 is better in every way for me, and this OS is better than Wear IMO. the inclusion of the wheel mechanism and interactions are great. Good luck!
  • In your opinion is the S2 better? I'm not sure if you made that clear
  • Point taken. I modified it a bit :-)
  • Buy a Moto 360 and/or Gear S2 (where there is a 10 day or 2 week return policy) and draw your own conclusions - return the one you don't like. I have used both and prefer the S2 - but, there is no perfect smartwatch or platform.
  • Agreed...no perfect platform...for as basic as it is, the Band 2 does a lot that the S2 can't do and vise versa. If you love notifications, the Band 2 is off the charts. I am currently deciding between the Band 2 and S2.
  • Just to provide a counter argument, I've been using Android Wear devices since the LG Watch first came out. I have a Samsung phone (S6 Edge+), and decided to try out the S2 since I really liked what I saw in theory, and I use Samsung Pay a lot. I found the UI required way more proactive work on my part than Android Wear. It's great that the rotating bezel is a nice way to operate the phone, but I found myself having to use it so often that it was irritating. Lack of real support for Nine email, and lack of proactive changes on the watch based on what I'm doing with the phone convinced me to return it. Specifically, when I start playing music on the phone, the music control UI on the watch doesn't automatically show up like it does in AW. You have to open the app, and then if you switch back to the watch face, you have to reopen the app again to change tracks or volume. Same thing with navigation. Also, once a notification has shown up briefly, it disappears and if you happened to miss it, you won't know there is one just by looking at the watch face. You have to rotate the bezel left. This meant that I found myself rotating the bezel left after meetings just in case I missed something because I was in do not disturb mode. It has a lot of strong points, and my unit was defective in some areas, so some of these issues may be isolated to my unit, but overall, I far prefer AW. Currently using the the beautiful Huawei watch. Posted via the Android Central App
  • I feel pretty much exactly the same. I have a Moto 360 2 tethered to an S6 Edge+, and I got an S2 the same day. There are some great things about the S2, especially how polished the UI is, the ridiculously gorgeous screen and the rotating bezel. But the fundamentals were really frustrating, namely S-voice, the way notifications disappear and force you to go look for them, and no Google Now. You can receive Google Now notifications, but they don't work or appear like they do on AW. Also, the music app drove me nuts! You have to navigate to the music app every time you want to change the volume or track, very frustrating considering in AW the music playing is always priority on your screen. The S2 was really cool, I liked how everything moved and looked, but at the end of the day, the stuff I really "use" a smartwatch for is where it fell short for me.
  • I somewhat agree with you. I actually think Tizen is the best smartwatch OS(between Android Wear, Tizen and watchOS) in terms of user interface currently available. My major issue with it remains though - lack of support. Samsung and third parties just haven't given enough of a crappie about it and it's sad. This is why I will probably still end up with an Android Wear watch.
  • Agreed. Posted via the Android Central App
  • Nice review. I really had hoped to move up to this watch. Unfortunately, when I discovered the omission of a microphone on the all but the Classic, I found that to be a deal breaker. I love that feature on my Neo and I am puzzled as to why a mic was left out.
  • The microphone is there on the 3G version to allow for making and receiving calls on the watch by itself. ..waiting for that myself
    Supposedly coming out nov. 6 ... Posted via the Android Central App
  • There's most definitely a microphone, on account of you being able to use S Voice and speech-to-text. I believe you're referring to a speaker? Well yeah there are size concerns to worry about, and considering this isn't the 3G version there's no real reason to be making/receiving calls with just the watch considering the phone is within Bluetooth range.
  • Thank you... my bad. I did, in fact mean to say "speaker" . I guess my point was that on my Gear 2 Neo, I have both a speaker and mic...and am able to make calls and get the audio responses from S Voice directly from the watch. Having to use a bluetooth headset just seems odd to me I appreciate the size constraints of the S2, I just wish there had been a way to include a speaker.
  • There is a microphone for S-Voice and voice memos (saved to your phone). If you are wearing a Bluetooth headset, answering the call on the watch goes directly to the headset or the phone if not using a headset - very convenient. I use a BT headset most of the time because I don't hear as well as I used to, particularly in public or outside.
  • All versions of the S2 have mics. I think you meant "speaker". That is left out for all but the 3G version which I'm leaning towards getting because I agree that after a year with my Neo is a surprisingly useful feature. I'm hoping that when the Gear S2 3G lands (Nov 6th according to their training video) that some of these little quirks with their UI will be worked out and fixed. It's such a brand new UI that I can't imagine Samsung wouldn't release at least some updates based on user feedback. Aside from SVoice, this watch looks better than AW in every way...to me anyway.
  • Agree with dsignori. The S2 interface is way better than Android Wear which I still find to be confusing and too swipe happy. Where Tizen fails is app support: there just isn't anything special to date and Samsung lied when it promised that the S2 would launch with 1000 apps: No Way! And please give us examples of how and where AW interactions are "handled much better".
  • Might get one. But alas. I'm still not sold on wearable tech. Here lies the "2016 Flagship Killer". It got slayed by 2015 flagships like the LG G4 being used to post this.
  • how is it more complicated than android wear ? The only thing missing is third-party apps otherwise it would be the best smartwatch
  • Having multiple homescreens, widgets, on-watch apps, full settings menus, menu buttons and the like all make it more complicated. There's a LOT going on on the Gear S2.
  • What android user isn't already comfortable with multiple homescreens, widgets, full settings menus and menu and back buttons? These are the things that make android android and not IOS!
  • But this is a watch. With a 1.2-inch screen.
  • It's super simple. Watchface is the Home screen. Left for notificaitons. Right for widgets. Button goes home. Congratulations, you have mastered Tizen on the Gear S2.
  • What is the best watch then? ? I wish they would have said spend like the moto 360 or LG is better. Posted via the Android Central App
  • I'd say there's no "best" watch considering there are lots of factors that go into that — like your design preference, feature needs and cost considerations. Both the new Huawei Watch and Moto 360 are solid choices, though.
  • The best watch depends on the user. But, I have used all of the operating systems available to date and I would highly recommend this updated and improved Tizen system on the S2.
  • Thank you guys for your answers. Helps me make a choice Posted via the Android Central App
  • Damn. I thought the watch had an ambient sensor. Oh well. I'll still happily accept it as a gift from my fiance. ;)
  • It does. Andrew is talking about about automatic brightness, and he's being a bit confusing. True that you have to set S2 to a certain brightness setting, but if you are set to 5, and go out into blinding sunlight, S2, definitely goes to maximum brightness, and returns to 5 when no longer in intense light.
  • This is what confuses me. It DOES have an ambient sensor according to Samsung and this review, but yet, why no "Auto Brightness"??? That's a major bummer. What is the ambient sensor for then?
  • Looking forward to reading this long review. Wanted to point out though that since I upgraded my Nexus 5 to Marshmallow on Monday, and upgraded the Gear app, Gear Plugin and Samsung Accessory Service Marshmallow versions, my S2 will no longer connect to my Nexus. S2 is paired, but will not connect to the Gear app. Fails, even though passkey is correct on both S2 and Nexus. Gear application and Gear Plugin have a few permissions that are toggled off, and I can't toggle them on (untoggles when backing out). Permissions are "Access device connection status" and "Transferring data via framework". So, dead in the water since Monday. SO, BEWARE OF S2 WITH MARSHMALLOW. That being said, frigging love the S2, particularly the bezel and widgets. However, the pedometer undercounts by about 25%, there is no indicator on ambient watch face, and most regular watch faces of unread notifications, also app selection and S Voice are a bummer.
  • Never trust Samsung software Posted via the Android Central App
  • No doubt it collects information about you so Samsung can sell it to the North Koreans.
  • I must be different in what I'm looking for in a smartwatch than most everyone else.
    What I want is a normal-looking size and form, and have the mfr fit what works into that format.
    What I see is mfrs figuring out what content would be cool and then designing a watch to fit it all in. This results in smartwatches that are way too big and not really watches at all, but a screen with a wristband.
    The Gear S2 is the first smartwatch I've seen that has the right priorities, at least for what I've been waiting for for two years. My Classic is on order and I'm anxiously awaiting delivery.
  • I purchased the s2 classic yesterday and today was my first day using it at work.. currently it appears I have to be within about 10 feet of my phone to receive notifications. It is logged on to the WiFi here at work and the blue tooth on my phone. I was hoping the range would be better. Any suggestions?
  • If the watch is logged in to the same wifi network as the phone, you will still get all of your notifications, albeit with a slight delay - whether you are in Bluetooth range or not.
  • Doesn't sound right at all. It has standard Bluetooth range — about 35 feet. And Wifi should carry over if it disconnects from BT.
  • I've had my s2 since day one and I also have a gear live and gear s . At first I was to a little bumbed that you couldn't make are receive calls . But after using it for more then two weeks now I really like it . Compared to the android ware watch I like the ui a little better myself and don't find it confusing at all . And I like how the watch looks very modern on your wrist Posted via the Android Central App
  • Andrew, to be fair, the S2 uses your brightness setting, but gets brighter as necessary, and is very sensitive and quick. I concur that the S2 doesn't get dimmer than your setting, but wanted to point out that there is a sensor. However, the wireless charging is definitely not Qi. Doesn't work on Moto 360 charger, nor my Tylt charger. Many others in the S2 AC forum have also reported no Qi.
  • I set mine on the Moto 360 charger and it charges. I set the Moto 360 on the S2's charger and it charges. There can be issues with placement, but it's Qi alright. Not like it really matters, as the band style means you can only use it on a charging cradle that comes in the box — you won't be putting this on any other charging pad.
  • Haven't been able to do anything other than have charging screen come on for a few seconds and then fail, regardless of placement. Have you actually been able to completely charge on your 360 charger? Saw reports of significant overheating. Also have you tried the S2 with Marshmallow? Assume not, else you'd probably be aware that S2 will only connect once, and then never reconnect. Can you test this?
  • So there IS a sort of auto brightness? Now I'm confused.
  • Yes, the sensor will turn the screen brighter if you encounter bright light, but will not go lower than your setting. Works really well outdoors to increase brightness, for example.
  • Interesting. So it won't go lower than your setting. I'm trying to understand what you mean by that. If you set the brightness to the lowest setting/number, would you then essentially have the full range of brightness automatically?
  • Yes, in your example with S2 set to 1, you'd have full range. In general though, on your phone if you set to auto brightness, your phone goes as bright or as dim as the external light source dictates. With no auto brightness setting on S2, you manually pick a brightness setting from 1 to 10. If you pick 5, for example, and go outside on a sunny day, your S2 goes to 10. If you take that same S2 set to 5 and walk into a dark closet, you'll still be on 5, not 1, 2, 3,or 4.
  • That's cool. Now all we need is someone really smart to figure out how to hack this thing and add Google Voice search instead of SVoice. :) Thanks for the info!
  • I was really hoping the battery life would be better. The Gear S had pretty respectable battery life. I actually really like Tizen, too, but I was frustrated by the lack of app support and I don't see that changing any time soon. I mean, I don't need a ton of apps for my watch, but the basics need to be good. I really wish they hadn't gone quite so small, either. Or at least had made two sizes. I like a bigger watch.
  • I have owned every Samsung Gear watch offered (except the Android Wear version). I also own and have used the Moto 360 and the original Peeble. The Gear S2 is Samsung's best offering to date and IMO, the best smartwatch available right now. Android Wear is simply a vehicle for Google Now which is not always welcome on a watch and, let's face it, it's boring. The new Tizen operating system has been upgraded significantly and it works great, particularly notifications - which is why I have a smartwatch (the rotating bezel is brilliant too). All of this discussion about apps or the lack of them is meaningless. Most apps suck on any smartwatch, period. There is no perfect smartwatch available. I wish this watch was a little larger, had more style options and a speaker along with better voice recognition - but I would highly recommend the Gear S2 - it does what a smartwatch should do well. It is easy to use and very functional.
  • If you could uninstall Samsung's apps I would buy Posted via the Android Central App
  • I have the original Gear S and I love the bigger screen on it. I had the S2 and I decided to return it after a day.
  • I also have a gear 2 and it does way more than the gear s2. It reminds me of samsungs note 5 vs note 4. style over features.
  • Not sure what you mean by the gear 2 doing more then the s2 I traded my neo for the s2 and the only option missing was the call and receive option other then that the s2 is way more polished product then the first gear 2 , now my gear s is a whole different kind of beast. Sounds to me like a lot of you guys didn't do your homework before purchasing Posted via the Android Central App
  • Do you get your normal Google Now notifications? Like traffic updates and YouTube video adds? Wish you could choose to use Google instead of S Voice. Still probably going to try it out! Posted via the Android Central App
  • Anything that'd normally be a push notification for Google Now will show on the watch. How useful it'll be and what exactly it'll show is another story.
  • Anything's better than Wear smartwatches on iOS iPhones and reality is there will be differences on phones with different versions of Google's Android OS from Tizen. That's just because Tizen is completely Open Standards based and the others are largely all running on closed..... locked down tight..... PROPRIETARY OS's (Android is semi Open not even sponsored by Linux Foundation like Tizen)!!! .......and that goes for Fragmentary Nation Android, as well as Prison Cell iOS devices. Where users have their hands tied behind their backs, to keep them from touching anything!!! But hey.... maybe Apple has the right idea by not allowing their dumb watch to even sync to Android, Windows phones or Tizen phones. I don't see any of you prissy little snot nosed brats, crying over the fact your Apple watch won't work on your Android phones or can't use Siri, etc. But mostly et all lame retarded ignorance, FUD and Misinformation, that I'm reading here. What's so insane about you writers here on iAndroid Central is you all aim squarely at destroying Samsung's marvelous new Gear S2 sales and reputation. Don't like it? Maybe you haters shouldn't have bought one in the first place. But we all know your primary objective here is hating on SAMSUNG. Oh yeah... you don't pay for anything do you? Samsung should maybe stop giving tech illerate haters like you, their pearls. You know like in, "Cast Not Your Pearls to Swine"! But hey.... just go out and buy a Samsung Galaxy Smartphone and Gear Watch instead. Maybe paying for it would give you a better appreciation of their products and why they will remain #1 in wearables as well as smartphones for years longer than even Apple!!! Well at least you could actually take better advantage of what True Open Standards based Tizen brings in the first place. Well before they become the STANDARDS.... instead of only going to be virtualized on the two leading mostly Proprietary OS's now. Along with leading the IoT (SmartThings in Tizen OS as in EVERYTHING in the Future), memory, processors now...... skyscrapers, oil and gas and leading OEM battery supplier for your phones, iPhone, BMW, VW/AUDI, etc and you certainly can't leave out Full KNOX Security Suite now being totally Cross Platform either! KNOX Security code Samsung gave Google Android? Well... it really doesn't even come close to what NSA has acknowledged as the.... ONLY Security Suite GOOD ENOUGH..... to run on their Private Network to date!!!
    Samsung's deal with Blackberry? ....where Blackberry devices now get KNOX Security Suite. With Samsung's help in exchange for BES10..... Encryption Server use? Well it's proving to be landmark partnership to give Blackberry a leg up and keep the best encryption servers working in full service! Both Google and Apple are now on the outside looking in at these big enterprise and government deals. Like Obama being able to keep his Blackberry phone with IBM, Blackberry, Samsung, etc..... still selling Full KNOX Security Suites for iPhone, Blackberry, Android device users across Enterprise, Government and Military! haha.... Samsung? Well no matter all the hate you fools can generate they are still #1 in about EVERYTHING!!! Plus they get the added bonus of selling both own phones and KNOX Security Suite cross platform ready. Plus Plus Plus..... lol... supplying a major portion of parts for their competitors and now bigger in Open Source than both Google and Apple Contributions put together. It isn't Google or Apple that got the huge deals with government like the US Navy and that FBI contract alone, for 26,500 Full KNOX Security Suites! :D Enjoy Your Anti Samsung Hate While You Can! lol... Because when Open Standards get in full swing, your Proprietary Everything will surely be taking a major dump of is that getting dumped on by Linux Foundation W3C Open Source and Open Standards!!! :DDD ......besides Gear S2 does what a smartwatch phone should do. Want stand alone Internet data and calling? Verizon will add it for $5 a month! xD ......now tell me what other smartwatch phone can do that? lol..... certainly not iOS or even Wear OS and none of them are being offered by carriers on contracts either!!!
  • I have owned every Samsung Gear watch offered (except the Android Wear version). I also own and have used the Moto 360 and the original Peeble. The Gear S2 is Samsung's best offering to date and IMO, the best smartwatch available right now. Android Wear is simply a vehicle for Google Now which is not always welcome on a watch and, let's face it, it's boring. The new Tizen operating system has been upgraded significantly and it works great, particularly notifications - which is why I have a smartwatch (the rotating bezel is brilliant too). All of this discussion about apps or the lack of them is meaningless. Most apps suck on any smartwatch, period. There is no perfect smartwatch available. I wish this watch was a little larger, had more hardware style options and a speaker - but I would highly recommend the Gear S2 - it does what a smartwatch should do well.
  • This is easily the best smartwatch on the market right now. The Gear S3 should be even better if they make two sizes and fix a few things.
  • Very comfortable. First smartwatch i ever slept with on. But smartwatches are still at near useless level to me
  • Why did you buy it then?
  • Looking at one at a Best Buy yesterday, I came away with 2 conclusions... 1) I'm almost certainly going to get the 3G version next month as it will have the speakerphone, and GPS, plus it's an all around amazing design. I do wish they had a 3G Classic. And oh, that SVoice. It never seems to know when you've stopped talking and just hangs. Ugh. But otherwise, amazing design and functionality and a reasonable size. Could be a bit bigger, but I tend to think most smartwatches are TOO big for my taste these days so I'm okay with it. 2) Best Buy's "Samsung Booth" employees don't know much and are terrible at promoting their own gear. Well, maybe it's just the guy I talked to but he was incredibly unenthusiastic despite my excitement for the watch. My wife asked "what's the range on getting notifications?" and he said "31 feet". I paused and waited for more, but then finished out the incomplete answer myself by saying "at which point it'll switch over to Wifi if you're connected to a wifi network and then the range goes as far as the network's wifi range which could be much, much further." He had no life in him when speaking. My wife got a new Note 5 and said "does this have visual voicemail?" and he said, "No, not really. I mean you can use google voice if you want" Again, I paused and said, "well, yes you can, or you can use Verizon's Basic Visual Voicemail if you want which is free when activated and only removes the transcribing feature, which yes, is free in other apps" I'm an andoid lover, and a mac user. I can't deny that when you walk into an apple store all those employees seem excited and knowledgeable about their products. Again, this may have been this guy alone, but wow.
  • First off sometimes not every person you in counter is going g to know as much as you not everybody is a tech geek. Now if you already knew all the answers why where you trying to trip the guy up . When I purchased my gear s2 I knew what I needed to know already and walked in the store and just bought it didn't fill the need to ask questions in this day and age of YouTube and these tech news sites you should be a educated shopper just saying Posted via the Android Central App
  • Truthfully, I wasn't there at all to try to trip anyone up. The guy simply came over while my wife was looking at the watch. I was nearby looking at one too. She asked him the questions, not me. I just had to jump in when his answers were disappointing and not entirely true. I don't blame employees for not trying to "sell" everything and generally I do like the relaxed approach to sales, and I also know that not every BB employee will be as knowledgeable about a product as someone who's done extensive research, but I would love to see some level of enthusiasm from about a guy in the Samsung booth, with the Samsung shirt on, when it comes to a new Samsung product. I want my wife to get one because I think she could use one as she's always running around our house looking for her phone when it rings or buzzes. She's on the fence. And this guy wasn't helping.
  • Hey I can tell you it's one of the better smart watches if you at all in the market. And one thing samsung thought about was to not make the watch face to big which its good for guys and gals. And there another watch strap in the box for your wife . I for one really love the fact that there's a actual samsung outlet to be able to go to . And I kind of like the fact that you can play with their products all day without going to the carrier. Posted via the Android Central App
  • Sounds like you don't need to be tripped up by lame ignorant salespeople at Best Buy. You must already be on an acid trip! :D .......but seriously, in sales (of which I'm in Real Estate sales), you always strive to know as much about the product you are selling as you can. You get history, specs, pictures and dig up information on it and your buyers needs and wants. You never make it.... as a stand around bump on a log, just there to collect a hourly paycheck. Those kind of people are little better than automated cashier checkout stands and dolts!!!
  • It's not just that guy alone, I've had the same experience at Best Buy. The salespeople are mostly useless and have no idea what they're selling and giving false information about a product is bad for everyone.
  • I like my Pebble Time, but dont love it, as it seems like there aren't a lot of good apps for it. How does the Gear S2 compare to Pebble Time and vice versa? Posted via the Android Central App
  • So does this thing have GPS or not? Did you try out the heart rate monitor? Why do a review on a sporty watch and use none of the sporty features? You guys want to send me the sports-based watches and I'll test them out for usability?
  • Andrew, tested this on a phone with Marshmallow? My BT is broken (only connects once, won't reconnect). Worked fine until I upgraded Nexus 5 to M. Might be time for a PSA that S2 doesn't work with Marshmallow, currently.
  • The best smart watch around period.
  • That's my thinking to now don't get me wrong I still love my gear s but this new s2 is so polished and smooth Posted via the Android Central App
  • I hope all manufacturers - including Apple and Windows device makers - steal the rotating bezel idea. It's the only interface I've ever used that makes a smart watch even remotely practical.
  • Just returned mine. Same reason I got rid of the gear 2, and two Moto 360s....seems like a good idea. And then realize the number of actual decent apps is low. Posted via the Android Central App
  • Yeah right? lol.... If you've got that much money or are in all reality..... just a simple minded.... "Lookyyy...Lou", then why are you wasting ours and your precious time to be a hater??? Your type is the reason why the price of products keep going up. To pay for all those needless returns, when you don't know why you're buying them in the first place! .....or more likely just another busy body out spreading FUD and Misinformation for want of something better to do with your time and money. Should just stuff it all in a Sock under your mattress where it's safe from your Spend-a-holism and brainless appraisal of innovation and technology!!!
  • I bought the gear s2 and returned it the next day. The notifications did not work for text or email as well as the navigation would not work with it either, I called Samsung and after an hour of trouble shooting they chalked it up to compatibility issues with my droid turbo.
  • wheres the damn video review??????? more video less writting
  • How bout u goto YouTube for video? ? Posted via the Android Central App
  • Lovin my s2 so far, I hope ESPN can make an app exactly like the one on Pebble Time, my only complaint at the moment is the Gear Manager app, it's not organized well at all, for example if you look to see what apps there are under Utilities there will be too many watch faces - someone needs to do a much better job of managing apps that go with the appropriate category Posted via the Android Central App
  • How I see it is, it is more involved than Android Wear and less than the Apple Watch is right where I want it. Android Wear in my experience with the Urbane and the 360 version 1 is buggy and laggy. It also peeves me that circle display watches don't get interfaces or content optimized for it. Instead the same square interface is shoehorned on. So what there is more apps, if you have a circle display nothing was made specifically for your watch unless it's a watchface. Battery life has always been horrible on my 360, it runs hot, has an ugly flat tire, the back cracks, it lags and takes forever to get updates. On top of this I use a Note 4 and S6 Edge and I hardly use Google apps on my watch except for maps on occasion but it is extremely hit or miss if it wants to start navigation from the watch. I use Google Search but it's mainly to send messages and get navigation (when it works). AW is great. I am pretty happy with it, but it's so imperfect and from what I have seen, Samsung's new watch seems so thoughtful, like they really considered how the experience would be whereas I feel like Google hasn't really put that much into Android Wear. I am going for the S2 Classic when it comes out tomorrow.
  • I have the Gear S, there's no way I would go to a smaller screen and a watch that looks like every other watch out there. I don't like my Gear S very much anyway, so when I'm done paying for it it will probably get turned off and put in a drawer. Big waist of money imo. Posted via the Android Central App
  • I've been hearing a lot about Gear S2 not having enough apps and I don't understand why people are complaining so much. Why does a watch (even a smart watch) need to be so complicated? I hear that a big reason the apple watch isn't selling so well isn't necessarily because it's expensive, but because it's too complicated as well. I want a smart watch to do notifications, music, GPS when needed, voice directions, podcasts, and the ability to have offline functionality with everything listed. I can add a few extra apps when I need it, but having hundreds of apps on a smart watch sounds like a bad idea. It's a damn watch people! Posted via the Android Central App
  • People just like to complain. They just don't get the fact .that a smart watch is just in extinction to your phone not a damn replacement. Both my s2 and gear s handle that business perfectly .even all the apps on the I watch are a novalty at best just give me my notifications and I'm good Posted via the Android Central App
  • These fools like this Anti Samsung Hating Writer are clueless as to what Tizen's and Samsung's hardware and software are actually capable of. Nevermind the fact they're really not even Google Android fans here at Android Central and most other backdoor funded Applewellian sponsored sites online. They all make out like as if Tizen is some kind of Alien Operating System! hahaha....... Yeah that's right...... yet it's the preferred OS of Auto Makers led by about all of them even being on Linux Foundation's Automotive OS board. BMW and Volkswagen Audi seem to think Tizen is awesome. Tizen is also being installed on modems and routers. Boeing has no problem utilizing Tizen OS on Samsung's Entertainment Systems. Which they chose over Android and Apple's iOS. But neither of them can build the hardware and neither will customize their OS and Apps for any of them. Dreamliner passengers are clueless about the fact they are using Tizen OS too!!! So what's the problem? I mean Intel has no problem installing Tizen on their routers and other hardware. Neither does Samsung installing Tizen on their Top of the Line HDTV's. Apps??? Just so very freaking laughable, Because Tizen OS is the only mobile OS built on Desktop UX frameworks used in Touchwiz to be the best at Multitasking and Multiscreen, drag n drop and it's capability to operate both front n back cameras simultaneously on phones, Air View, etc concurrently without needing to suspend them like Apple relies on. But the killer is that neither Apple or Google want you to know that ARMv8 instruction sets and even before 64bit.... ARM chips, had HARDWARE VIRTUALIZATION Features. Now it's Samsung making the most of that by enabling Tizen to run Android Apps. When the Hardware Virtualization features available on Exynos Chips finally get exploited for running Open Standards Cloud based apps in real time online or not....... (including Mirage OS Cloud based Apps) these bogus cheap proprietary focused mobile OS competitor will be riding in the back seat!!! lol..... So in the end these proprietary App Stores will be eating their own poo.... and developers will be operating their own App Stores online in the Clouds. While also making all the money, instead of 30% less donated to these two giant suckwads, who don't need it anyway!!!!
  • Nine days, and still no functioning Gear App or Gear Plugin or Samsung Accessory Service app for Marshmallow phones. Since October 12, once S2 loses connection to phone, you have to reset the S2 to get it to connect and then lather, rinse and repeat every time S2 goes out of Bluetooth range.
  • Andrew, today is day 10 of S2 not connecting to Marshmallow phones. Can you confirm Android Central's inability to keep the S2 connected to Marshmallow phones? Perhaps issue a PSA warning your readers of this situation?
  • I just received a Gear S2 for Christmas. The device is paired to a samsung phone. No notifications work. Nothing. I've been through the usual reboots, forums. So a day of my life wasted and but I have a really nice android watch that does everything except what I need it to do. Absolutely do not buy this. Huge disappointment.
  • I used the moto 360 for quite a while and it was a great watch. Although a little clunky in the interface and battery life was pretty poor considering it was mostly just handling notifications.
    I've now used the gear s2 for two weeks and I find it much more useful. You can interact in a more meaningful way to messages and emails. Even on the small screen the included keyboard is actually quite functional for the occasional reply to a text.
    The screen and interface are very attractive and bright. Battery life is much better than the motor 360. I can get through two full days with normal use and easily one full day with heavy use.
    As are lacking compared to android wear but... how many apps do you need on a wrist screen. The main purpose for these devices, as far as I am concerned is quick and easy access to information. A couple of apps to be able to instigate an email or Facebook message and I'd be pretty happy. The fact that you can also connect to a Bluetooth headset really adds a lot of functionality which I'm not seeing many reviewers cover. With some music installed on the watch itself (something else not being pointed out very often) I can use the Nike+ app to track a run and play some music without taking my phone. Obviously I don't get GPS but if I want that I can take the phone along and keep it zipped up in a pocket without having to touch it at all - so much better than trying to deal with my phone in an arm-band. Anyway, after using android wear for the last twelve months (and being more than happy with it), I can honestly say I find the gear s2 a more compelling and useful platform, without the bulk of the original gear watches.