Here’s Samsung’s Answer To The Apple Watch

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Last week, Samsung held a big conference in New York. While many anticipated the announcements of the Galaxy Note 5 and the Galaxy S6 Edge+, the company also teased a new upcoming device — the Samsung Gear S2. This new smartwatch looks nothing like the Samsung Gear S. It’s a smaller, more fashionable watch that will go head-to-head against the Apple Watch.

Samsung just released the short teaser video from the conference (embedded above) on its YouTube channel today. Other than that, the company didn’t say much about the smartwatch, except that we should learn more at its IFA press conference at the very beginning of September. So let’s talk a bit about the video.

As you can see, Samsung switched to a round casing and a metal band. We can spot a few watch-optimized apps in the video — a weather app, a time zone app, a stopwatch app and a sports-tracking app. The Gear S2 also seems to come with a heart-rate sensor. This watch face features complications with little snippets of information — in this case, your heart rate and your next meeting:


Overall, this device is a big departure from the Gear S. The 3G radio was one of the most important features of the first iteration — you could make calls from your watch without relying on your phone. You could also text from your wrist with a tiny onscreen QWERTY keyboard. It will be hard to squeeze a keyboard on a rounded smartwatch.

Even the design elements don’t look the same. On the Gear S2, the icons are rounded and more polished. While Apple doesn’t hold a patent on rounded icons, it’s interesting that Samsung switched to rounded icons following the Apple Watch release.

It’s unclear whether the Gear S2 runs Tizen or a heavily customized version of Android Wear with a bunch of Samsung apps built in. Finally, these mockups don’t tell how big the Gear S2 is. I hope that it won’t be as bulky as the Gear S. Because let’s be honest, nobody wanted to wear the monstrous Gear S on their wrist: