Tag Archives: Gear S2

Samsung Gear S2 Issues With Water

Samsung Gear S2 Issues With Water Rev. 3.0

The new Samsung Gear S2 is a really impressive smartwatch. Samsung eschewed the rectangular Gear S design for the more elegant round face in the Gear S2. It was also noticeably worked better with water, easily tackling rain drops and showers that would have driven the earlier Gear S crazy.

However, we identified two Gear S2 issues with water exposure. Let’s take a look at what those problems are and how you can solve them.

Updated @ 20-01-2016 : Added a video showing one of the Gear S2 issues we identified – the reboot loop. We also added additional information, includinga new solution for this problem.

Updated @ 30-03-2016 : Added a second video showing our Gear S2 in its dying throes, and our experience sending it for inspection and repair.

 

Improved IP Rating

The IP (Ingress Protection) rating is an international certification of a device’s ability to withstand the ingress of dust or dirt (the first number), and moisture or water (the second number).

[adrotate banner=”4″]The Samsung Gear S2 boasts an improved IP68 rating – one notch above that of its predecessor, the Gear S, when it comes to protection against water ingress. Officially, the IP68 rating means the Gear S2 is able to withstand a water depth of 1.5 meters for up to 30 minutes.

The earlier Gear S smartwatch was only IP67-certified, which means it is only rated to a shallower water depth of 1 meter for up to 30 minutes.

For all intents and purposes though, both the Gear S and the newer Gear S2 are “waterproof” enough for you to wear them when you take a bath, swim or even go snorkelling. Only divers should not take their Gear S or newer Gear S2 on their dives.

Now, let’s take a look at the two Gear S2 issues we identified, and their solutions.

 

Problem #1 : Spontaneous Reboots

On three occasions, the Samsung Gear S2 automatically rebooted itself while being subjected to a shower test. In all three instances, the Gear S2 was not being used, just worn on the wrist. The buttons were not being pressed, or the bezel turned, when it rebooted by itself.

The first and last occasions were particularly severe with the Gear S2 stuck on a reboot loop. Despite our best efforts, it refused to shut down or boot up properly for at least 15 minutes. But we managed to get it to boot up properly.
Possible Cause : We suspect that the Gear S2 has a hermetically-sealed inner compartment, with the physical buttons activating touch sensors on the outside of the sealed compartment. If so, the ingress of water may “short” the contacts for both buttons, essentially behaving as if the user was pressing both buttons together. That would cause the Gear S2 to reboot… and keep rebooting.
Possible Solution #1 : If it only reboots once, just let it boot up and it will continue on its merry way. No harm done. But if you are stuck in a reboot loop, dry off the Samsung Gear S2 and shake it to remove any water that may have seeped under the buttons. [adrotate banner=”4″]Then press the Home / Power button (that’s the lower button) until the Gear S2 shuts down. It may take you 15 minutes or more to do so. After it shuts down properly, you can power it up and it will boot up normally.

Possible Solution #2 : If the reboot loop persists, hold the Gear S2 in one hand and tap the edge with the two buttons firmly against the palm of the other hand.

In the video above, you see me tapping that edge against the table. Do the same, just harder, against the palm. This will shake out whatever water is inside the case, and the Gear S2 will boot up properly.

 

Problem #2 : Stuck Back Button

Out of the shower, we experienced problems with the Back button (that’s the upper button) on the Gear S2. It suddenly refused to work. However, it magically came back to life after a shower test… twice!

Possible Cause : Going back to the hypothesis of a hermetically-sealed inner compartment with contact sensors for the physical buttons, we suspect that soap may have gotten in between the Back button and its sensor contact. The soap could have dried on the contacts, preventing the Back button presses from registering on the Gear S2.
Possible Solution : Run the Gear S2 under the shower, or dunk it into a bowl of water. The “malfunctioning” button will come to life after some time. You can test it by pressing it under water, although we would recommend that you take it out of the water before pressing it. Once it starts working, you can dry off the Gear S2.

 

Our Gear S2 Died & Was Reborn New!

We sent the Gear S2 for a week-long test with Samsung, but they couldn’t find anything wrong with it. After we got it back, we continued testing it, and it would spontaneously reboot now and then. Sometimes, it would get stuck in a reboot loop, which we we managed to resolve using the two methods above.

That ended on February 18, when our Gear S2 suddenly went into a reboot loop that ended in its demise. We left it to recharge overnight, and when we checked it in the morning, it was in a reboot loop. It appeared to be stuck in the reboot loop for several hours because it was very hot, and its battery was almost drained despite the Gear S2 being on its charging cradle.

While we tried to get it out of its reboot loop, its display started to go crazy. Take a look at the video we took :

Eventually, the display would a distorted picture with a cacophony of colours. It was a lost cause, so we sent it to Samsung for another check-up.

Despite their very thorough checks over 2 weeks, they could not determine what caused our Gear S2 to malfunction like that. It was not due to the ingress of water into the unit, although they asked me if the Gear S2 suffered any strong impact (it didn’t).

In the end, Samsung replaced the entire watch unit (sans straps), and we have not experienced any issue whatsoever with the new unit. So we now think that the previous unit was a “lemon”. After all, all of our friends (8 of them) who also use the Gear S2 did not experience any problem.

Samsung tells us that anyone who faces any issues with their Gear S2 smartwatch should send them in for a comprehensive inspection. Don’t wait. That’s what the warranty is for. Thanks, Samsung!

 

Facing Other Gear S2 Issues?

This article was based on our experience with the Gear S2 over the last 5 weeks. If you have any other Gear S2 issues, whether they are related to water exposure or otherwise, please let us know!

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Samsung Wins Awards @ Mobile World Congress 2016

KUALA LUMPUR – February 24, 2016 – Samsung Electronics Co. Ltd. today announced awards for Galaxy S6 edge and Gear S2 from GSMA at the annual Global Mobile Awards at 2016 Mobile World Congress. The leader in mobile innovation, Samsung continues to push the boundaries of hardware, software and services, creating devices that help consumers get more out of life. The company is redefining what is possible, beyond the limits of today’s technology, by introducing a constellation of seamless mobile experiences.

In testament to Samsung’s consistent pursuit of excellence in design and function, Gear S2 was named “Best Connected Consumer Electronic Device” in the Best Mobile Handsets & Devices category. This award recognized Gear S2 for its versatile circular design and intuitive functionality for a more convenient and enjoyable experience.

Samsung Galaxy S6 edge was also awarded “Best Smartphone 2015”, in acknowledgement of its functional design and usability for seamless everyday use.

“We are honored to be recognized for our industry-leading technology,” said DJ Koh, President of Mobile Communications at Samsung Electronics. “At Samsung we remain committed to providing mobile devices that are inspired by consumers and always underpinned by a focus on progress and innovation.”

 

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Samsung Gear S2 – Unboxing & First Impressions

The new Samsung Gear S2 smartwatch was officially launched in the US on the 2nd of October, 2015. However, eager Malaysian fans had to wait until the 27th of November before it hit our shores. Demand was so high that the first batch of 500 Gear S2 smartwatches sold out within 16 hours!

As a result, we had to wait until earlier this month to receive our own Samsung Gear S2. Today, we are proud to share with you our unboxing video and pictures, as well as our first impressions. The forthcoming review will have a slew of additional videos to show you how it all works.

 

The Samsung Gear S2

The Samsung Gear S2 comes in 3 different models – the Gear S2 (Bluetooth), the Gear S2 classic (Bluetooth) and the rare Gear S2 (3G). The model we will be looking at today is the Samsung Gear S2 (Bluetooth), which is also known (unofficially) as the Gear S2 Sport. Let’s take a look at the differences between the 3 models.

SpecificationsSamsung Gear S2
(Bluetooth)
Samsung Gear S2 classic
(Bluetooth)
Samsung Gear S2
(3G)
Dimensions42.3 mm wide
49.8 mm tall
11.4 mm thick
39.9 mm wide
43.6 mm tall
11.4 mm thick
44.0 mm wide
51.8 mm tall
13.4 mm thick
Weight47 g42 g51 g
Display Type1.2" full circular Super AMOLED display
Display Resolution360 x 360 pixels
Display Pixel Density302 ppi
Display ProtectionCorning Gorilla Glass 3
Chassis ProtectionIP68-certified
- dust-proof and water-resistant up to 1.5 m in depth for up to 30 minutes
User Interface Controls- capacitive touch screen
- rotating bezel
- Back and Home buttons
Operating SystemTizen
System ChipSamsung Exynos 3250Qualcomm Snapdragon 400
CPU1 GHz ARM Cortex-A7 (dual-core)1.2 GHz ARM Cortex-A7 (dual-core)
Memory512 MB RAM
Internal Storage4 GB flash memory
Memory Card SlotNo
ConnectivityBluetooth v4.1
WiFi 802.11 b/g/n
3G (electronic SIM only)
Bluetooth v4.1
WiFi 802.11 b/g/n
GPSNoYes, with A-GPS
NFCYes
Sensors9-axis pedometer
PPG heart rate monitor
Dual microphones
Ambient light sensor
SpeakersNoYes, mono
Battery250 mAh, 3.8 V Li-Ion (non-removable)300 mAh, 3.8V Li-Ion (non-removable)
Battery LifeUp to 48 hours (mixed usage)
Battery Charging MethodQi wireless charging dock
Available ColoursDark Gray, SilverBlackDark Gray, Silver
Strap TypeFluoroelastomerLeatherFluoroelastomer

 

Unboxing The Samsung Gear S2

The Samsung Gear S2 comes in a circular box, instead of a rectangular box of the earlier Gear S smartwatch. The model details and key specifications are printed on the lower half of the box. A single seal (broken in the last picture) ensures that the Gear S2 inside has not been tampered with.

When you cut the seal and remove the top half, you will find the Samsung Gear S2 sitting on a white tray. Remove the Gear S2 and you can remove the tray. You will find all of its accessories nicely arranged in the compartments below.

[adrotate banner=”4″]When you take everything out, you should find the following items :
  • One Samsung Gear S2 smartwatch with large straps attached
  • One Samsung Gear S2 charging dock
  • One Samsung 3.5 W travel adaptor
  • One pair of small straps
  • Two Quick Start Guides (in English and Mandarin)
  • One Warranty booklet

 

The Unboxing Video

If you prefer to watch the unboxing process, we have just the video for you. Check it out :

In the next page, we will take a look at the Samsung Gear S2 and its accessories. We will also give you our first impressions of this smartwatch.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

[adrotate banner=”4″]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!

Start Your New Year’s Resolution Early With Samsung Gear S2

Kuala Lumpur, 10 December 2015 – Turn on a new year in full speed with the new Samsung Gear S2 (Lazada, Amazon), as Samsung Malaysia Electronics inspires fans and the public to start early and stay ahead to achieve what they set out to do in 2016 with the latest innovative smart watch!

Featuring their recently launched Gear S2, Samsung proved how easy it is to stay on top of things, keep focused and track goals with a simple turn of a dial. The Samsung Gear S2, which is versatile in manually keeping log of daily movements to accurately track fitness levels, is an impeccable gear to help users realize fitness, work and personal goals and resolutions.

Dato’ Lee Chong Wei, national badminton champion and Samsung brand ambassador; and Mr Lee Jui Siang, Vice President of Mobile, IT and Digital Imaging of Samsung Malaysia Electronics encouraging fans to start their New Year’s resolutions early with the Gear S2.

“We will welcome 2016 in just a matter of weeks and for most of us, a new year means a fresh start and a revival of our resolutions. As the leading innovator that offers the perfect gear to help our users get started and stay ahead, we are confident that the Gear S2 will be a great companion and a source of motivation for them. We want our fans to think of December as a fresh start, and then slide into January ahead of the game!” said Mr Lee Jui Siang, Vice President of Mobile, IT and Digital Imaging of Samsung Malaysia Electronics during the first of two Gear S2 Roadshow held in Sunway Pyramid.

The four-day roadshow kicked off with the lighting of a large Gear S2 watch face, signifying the turn of a new year. During this roadshow which will also be at IOI City Mall Putrajaya from 18th to 20th December, fans and the public will be able to gear up and try out the smart watch’s functions through the mini golf and cycling challenges, as well as get in on exclusive deals.

 

Samsung Gear S2 Deals

In conjunction with the upcoming New Year celebration, Samsung is extending two special promotions for the Gear S2 and Samsung’s popular mobile phone range, much to the delight of its fans.

[adrotate banner=”4″]The promotions, based on first-come-first-served basis at each roadshow are:

The recommended retail price of the Samsung Gear S2 (Amazon) is RM1,399 (~US$329) while the Gear S2 Classic (Amazon) is available for RM1,599. The Gear S2 is offered in Dark Gray and Silver whereas the Gear S2 Classic is offered in Black, both of which also come with additional changeable straps.