UPDATE: T-Mobile and US Cellular have both announced plans to offer the Gear S2 in the US. Both carriers have said that the device will launch this fall.
ORIGINAL: We weren’t expecting to learn more about Samsung’s Gear S2 until IFA kicked off later this week, but apparently Samsung just couldn't wait any longer to tell us all about its round smartwatch.
The round case of the Samsung Gear S2 includes a rotating bezel that Samsung says will enable “quicker, more precise” control of the smartwatch’s user interface. The side of the case also houses Home and Back buttons for added control. Samsung plans to offer the Gear S2 in two versions: a regular Gear S2 that’s got a smooth design and a Gear S2 Classic with ridges all around its case.
The Gear S2’s round Super AMOLED display measures 1.2 inches and offers a resolution of 320x320. Inside of the 11.4mm-thick case is a 1GHz dual-core processor, 512MB of RAM, 4GB of storage, NFC, and a 250mAh battery that can be charged wirelessly. That case is also IP68 certified for resistance to dust and water, so you can take it with you while exercising or adventuring.
Samsung also plans to offer a 3G version of the Gear S2 with a beefier 300mAh battery and a thicker body that measures 13.4mm.
In terms of software, the Gear S2 is running Samsung’s Tizen platform, not Android Wear. Included is an assortment of communication and fitness apps, like Messages, Email, Contacts, Preset Text, Emoticons, Keypads, S Health, Nike+ Running, News, Weather, S Voice, and Voice Memo.
Samsung isn’t saying much about the Gear S2’s pricing or launch date quite yet. Based on what we know of it so far, though, the Gear S2 is an nicely-designed smartwatch, and I’m really interesting in seeing how the rotating bezel feels and if it makes navigating through the UI better than simply touching and flicking.
Samsung’s Gear S2 will be shown at IFA, and our own Marco Hanna will be on the ground at the event, so stay tuned for more coverage of the Gear S2.