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Samsung Gear 2 review

Will Samsung's second plunge into the smartwatch sea bring it success? We strap in to find out

Let’s be honest. The original Galaxy Gear was hardly Samsung’s proudest moment. It wasn’t exactly a looker, it was laggy, and the battery life left a lot to be desired.

Couple that with its £300 price tag and it’s no wonder it was immediately overshadowed by the likes of the excellent Pebble and Pebble Steel.

Undeterred by its initial dip into the smartwatch world, Samsung has created the Gear 2. The Galaxy moniker has been ditched, as has Android – a surprising move given the excited buzz around Android Wear.

Running Samsung’s homegrown Tizen-based OS, the Gear 2 has a chance to redeem itself. But is it smart enough? And is it useful enough? Time to strap in.

READ MORE: Samsung Galaxy Gear review

A welcome makeover

It doesn’t matter how clever a wearable device is – if it’s ugly then you won’t want to use it. No one wants to be the subject of amused smirks in a train carriage.

Thankfully Samsung has considerably improved the original Galaxy Gear’s design, and you won’t be ashamed to wear the Gear 2 in public.

There have been a few subtle millimetres shaved off here and there and the overall design is much cleaner than the original. It’s got a thinner clasp and the pimple-like protrusion for the camera has been banished to design hell.

Samsung Gear 2 review

There is still a camera but it’s now embedded into the watch face itself, sitting flush at the top alongside an IR blaster. It’s a massive improvement, as is the removal of the power button on the side.

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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.