Mobile World Congress may not officially get underway until Monday, but Samsung has decided to kick things off a little early by announcing two new pieces of hardware.
Today Samsung introduced the Gear 2 (two units to the right in the image above) and Gear 2 Neo (three left-most devices in the above image), two new smartwatch follow-ups to 2013's Galaxy Gear. The biggest change from last year's model to these new units is is the software: While the Galaxy Gear is powered by Android, both the Gear 2 and Gear 2 Neo are based on the Tizen platform, which Samsung is one of the most prominent backers of.
Another significant change from the OG Gear to the Gear 2 involves the camera. Whereas the original Galaxy Gear sports a 1.9-megapixel sensor on the band of the watch, the new Gear 2 includes a 2-megapixel shooter that's been built into the face of the watch. Meanwhile, the Gear 2 Neo ditches the camera entirely. Both new Gear models also feature a processor upgrade, sporting a 1GHz dual-core chip rather than the 800MHz single-core CPU found inside the Galaxy Gear.
Moving on down the spec list of Samsung's new wearables, we see that they're both packing a 1.63-inch 320x320 Super AMOLED display, which is the same that's found on the first Galaxy Gear. Diving into their 10mm-thick bodies, we're met by 512MB of RAM, 4GB of built-in storage and Bluetooth 4.0 support. The new Gears are powered by a 300mAh battery that Samsung estimates will last for two to three days with typical use or up to six days with light use.
The Gear 2 and Gear 2 Neo also share a number of software features. For example, they can act as heart rate sensors or pedometers, and they can also be used as standalone music players when paired with a Bluetooth headset. Both Gears also feature support for notifications, Bluetooth calling, media controls, S Voice, stopwatch, weather and more. Finally, the Gear 2 and Gear 2 Neo will be compatible with "more than dozens" of Galaxy-branded smartphones.
Samsung says that the Gear 2 and Gear 2 Neo will be available around the globe starting in April, but the company isn't quite ready to divulge how much either unit will cost when they hit shelves. One thing we do know is that, like the original Galaxy Gear, the Gear 2 and Gear 2 Neo will be available in multiple color options. The Gear 2 will sport Charcoal Black, Gold Brown and Wild Orange duds, while the Gear 2 Neo will be available in Charcoal Black, Mocha Grey and Wild Orange. The good news is that the straps on these new models are swappable, so buyers will be able to swap to a new band to better fit their mood.
So now that they're officially official, what do you think of Samsung's new Gear 2 and Gear 2 Neo? Will one of these new smartwatches find a home on your wrist later this year?