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Home / News / Samsung unveils Gear 2 and Gear 2 Neo one day before MWC 2014 kicks off

Samsung unveils Gear 2 and Gear 2 Neo one day before MWC 2014 kicks off

UPDATED 23/02/14: What’s that? You wanted a new smartwatch from Samsung? Well you’ve got two now

Samsung has revealed not one, but two successors to the Galaxy Gear smartwatch – the Gear 2 and the Gear 2 Neo.

Both pieces of smart wristwear appear to be sleeker and more discreet than the original Galaxy Gear, which was firmly in the bulky gadget camp thanks to its protruding strap camera.

The Gear 2 has managed to trim the fat by shuffling the 2MP camera onto the actual watch face itself, allowing for a less intrusive strap. 720p video recording is on also back on the cards.

And as for the Gear 2 Neo? It’s done away with the camera altogether.

Both the Gear 2 and Gear 2 Neo feature an irLED blaster, sending gadgeteers back to the glory days of the Casio infra-red watch. Pub TVs won’t know what hit them. Again.

There’s also a clearly visible Home button which, we presume, will take you to the customisable home screen and active S Voice with a double-tap or long press.

Samsung unveils Galaxy Gear 2 and Gear 2 Neo one day before MWC 2014 kicks off

Interestingly, both Gear models will be running Samsung’s own Tizen operating system – no Android in sight. With control over both hardware and software, we’re hoping the new Gears will be snappier than the original, which we found to be a bit laggy at times.

Both devices are also fitness fanatic-friendly, offering an integrated heart rate monitor on the rear of the watch face. Users will also be able to track their steps and develop custom fitness routines to help melt away those pesky calories, with a real-time fitness coach.

Sadly there doesn’t appear to a be a micro USB port for charging, which means we’re probably looking at another bulky charging cradle. Boo.

Samsung unveils Galaxy Gear 2 and Gear 2 Neo one day before MWC 2014 kicks off

On the plus side, both models will have 4GB of built-in memory, which means you can use them to listen to music without your smartphone – a very handy feature for listening to tracks while you run, without the hassle of carting your super-sized phablet along with you. You can also use the Gear 2 and Gear 2 Neo as a music controller for your smartphone.

Speaking of which, both Gear 2 models will play nicely with more than a dozen Samsung phones via low-powered Bluetooth 4.0. There’s no word on support for non-Samsung devices, but we’re not counting on that happening anytime soon.

The new models retain the original Gear’s 1.63in 320×320 AMOLED display and 512MB of RAM, though they’ve got a bump in the processor department with a dual-core 1GHz chip as opposed to the original’s 800MHz offering.

Sadly there’s still no in-built GPS, so you’ll need to drag your smartphone along on your runs if you want to track your route. Both models are IP67 water and dust-resistant though, so they’ll happily survive inevitable downpours.

The 300mAh battery is also a smidgen smaller than the one found in the original Gear, which had a 315mAh battery. Here’s hoping that Samsung’s Tizen OS will be efficient enough to squeeze in an extra day of use at least.

Samsung unveils Galaxy Gear 2 and Gear 2 Neo one day before MWC 2014 kicks off

The Gear 2 and Gear Neo 2 will be available in Charcoal Black, Mocha Grey and Wild Orange, while the Gear 2 swaps out the grey for a more sparkly Gold Brown. The Gear 2 also appears to have a more premium full metal watch face.

Both models will be available in April for an undisclosed price, though the Gear 2 will cost more than the Gear 2 Neo, thanks to its camera and more premium build.

Samsung is also all set to launch the Galaxy S5 tomorrow as Mobile World Congress kicks off, so stay tuned for all the news as and when we get it from Stuff’s front row seats in Barcelona.

Updated 23/02/14: Samsung has clarified that the Galaxy moniker has been dropped from the Gear 2 and Gear 2 Neo names.

READ MORE: Mobile World Congress 2014 – the biggest MWC smartphone news so far

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Esat has been a gadget fan ever since his tiny four-year-old brain was captivated by a sound-activated dancing sunflower. From there it was a natural progression to a Sega Mega Drive, a brief obsession with hedgehogs, and a love for all things tech. After 7 years as a writer and deputy editor for Stuff, Esat ventured out into the corporate world, spending three years as Editor of Microsoft's European News Centre. Now a freelance writer, his appetite for shiny gadgets has no bounds. Oh, and like all good human beings, he's very fond of cats.