Samsung Gear S2 – Unboxing & First Impressions

A Closer Look At the Gear S2 & Its Accessories

Wireless Charging

Unlike the earlier Gear S model, the Samsung Gear S2 smartwatch uses a Qi wireless charging dock. This is so much better than the clip-on battery extender / charging dock used by the Samsung Gear S. It’s smaller and less cumbersome to use.

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All you have to do is slide the Gear S2 over the wireless charging dock and it will magnetically lock on and start charging. The Gear S2 will also change the orientation of the clock face so that it will display properly on the dock, no matter which way you put it on.

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The Samsung Gear S2 comes with a small 3.5 W travel adaptor. This is a low-power adaptor because the Gear S2 is only powered by a small 250 mAh battery. Although it can also be used to charge your other devices, it will take longer than usual because it only has a power output of 3.5 W.

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You can actually power the charging dock using any USB port on any computer or power bank. So if you are travelling with a computer or power bank, you can leave this travel adaptor at home and just pack a USB cable.

 

Extra Straps

The Samsung Gear S2 comes with two pairs of fluoroelastomer straps. The Large straps are attached by default, with a pair of Small straps included in the box.

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The straps are locked using a proprietary clip. They can be frustrating to remove at first, but once you get the hang of it, it’s quite easy to remove and replace the straps.

 

Quick Start Guide

As mentioned before, the Samsung Gear S2 comes with two Quick Start Guides – one in English, and the other in Mandarin. The Quick Start Guide is a must-read for all Gear S2 users. It teaches you the basics of using the Gear S2, including how to remove and attach the straps.

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As the Samsung Gear S2 is quite different from its predecessor, you should go through it even if you own and use the earlier Gear S smartwatch.

 

Our First Impressions

We are so far very impressed with the Samsung Gear S2. It was a massive redesign, switching from the geeky, rectangular Gear S to a more elegant round face. Samsung also made it slimmer and lighter, making it much easier to wear for a whole day.

The addition of a bezel was a very smart move because it allows the Gear S2 to be operated (somewhat) underwater. Samsung actually one-upped Apple by adopting the bezel. The bezel is much easier (and more intuitive) to use than the small crown on the Apple Watch. As a bonus, it doesn’t stick out.

Samsung Gear S2 on wrist

We also noted that the Gear S2 has a much better ability to recognise rain drops and showers, automatically turning off by itself. The earlier Gear S would run amok under a shower. Unfortunately, the Samsung Gear S2 may have problems with water, despite its IP68 rating.

Despite its small battery, we noted that the Samsung Gear S2 is more than capable of lasting one and a half days non-stop. Our preliminary battery life tests recorded a maximum battery life of 38 hours. This is 10 hours less than Samsung’s estimate but this is our real world test with both Bluetooth and WiFi enabled.

The wireless charging dock is a joy to use. Just slide the Gear S2 over it when you go to bed and slide it off when you wake up. Best of all, it comes with the Gear S2 – a similar Apple magnetic charging dock would set you back an additional US$79.

The biggest impediment to mass adoption of the earlier Gear S smartwatch was the fact that it had to be paired with a Samsung Galaxy smartphone. Samsung appeared to have learned their lesson and “opened up” the Gear S2 to support other smartphones, as long as they run on Android 4.4 or better and have at least 1.5 GB of RAM.

Stay tuned for our full review and other articles on the Samsung Gear S2!

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