February 23rd 2014 8:28 am

71

Much improved, but that doesn't mean you should buy it

71

The good news is that Samsung has addressed some of the major issues that plagued the original Galaxy Gear -- namely, the short battery life. But, the company also deserves credit for squeezing more hardware into a smaller space, and generally polishing the design. The Gear 2 looks better and performs better than the original in every possible way. But here's the rub: Of all the things it does, it doesn't do any of them well enough to justify the price. It still feels like something of an executive toy. Sure, there will be those for whom the Gear 2 is a great fit (no pun intended), but unless you're a loyal early adopter, there isn't a compelling reason to lay down the $300 asking price. And that's not least because of the small app selection. If Samsung can lure enough developers over to Tizen, it might become a more appealing prospect. But, until then, you might want to wait and see what Google's Android Wear platform brings to the table.

Buy It:

$329.00

90-Day Price History

now
high
$299
low
$194

Critic reviews

6.7
16 reviews
  • Features
    6.7
  • Display
    8.1
  • Battery life
    6.8
  • Ease of use
    7.0
  • Storage capacity
    8.0
  • Design and form factor
    8.0
  • Portability (size / weight)
    7.4
  • Durability
    8.0

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User reviews

8.2
6 reviews
7.0
Engadget Apr 16, 2014

The Gear 2 is generally a solid improvement over the original, with a nicer design and longer battery life. Even so, it doesn't perform well enough to fully justify the $300 asking price.

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7.0
Ars Technica Apr 20, 2014

This slick device works as advertised and is no slouch, but it will only whet your appetite for a smartwatch that better integrates into your total smartphone ecosystem.

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7.0
CNET May 7, 2014

Samsung has made strides with the Gear 2, but this smartwatch is on its own island with few apps and Samsung-only device compatibility. At this point, you're better off waiting for Android Wear.

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6.0
PC Mag May 15, 2014

The Samsung Gear 2 smartwatch is a vast improvement over the original, but it's still too expensive and limited to appeal to most users.

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6.0
Laptop Magazine May 19, 2014

The Samsung Gear 2 has a sleeker design than its predecessor and a built-in heart-rate monitor, but it doesn't save you enough time for the price.

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8.0
Wired UK Apr 15, 2014

It's getting there. The Samsung Galaxy Gear 2 improves on its predecessor in almost every significant way -- it's slimmer and lighter, the camera's better and it's faster too. The screen's the same, but it's more than good enough for this size.

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7.0
Pocket-Lint May 6, 2014

We've enjoyed using the Gear 2, but we're left with the impression that it tries to do slightly too much. This is a watch that improves on the previous version, but doesn't quite execute those core functions as well as we'd like.

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7.0
phoneArena Apr 11, 2014

In the end, we found that the type of functionality that we could see ourselves rely on daily is virtually non-existent – the Gear 2 is an extension of your smartphone at the very, very best. At worst, it's nothing more than a watch for techies, and an expensive one at that.

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7.0
Gizmag Apr 15, 2014

The Samsung Gear 2 is still a solid overall product. Despite my beefs with some of Samsung's decisions, I do actually like it – and think it's probably the best full-fledged smartwatch you can buy today. But, in its current state, I also find the Gear 2 hard to wholeheartedly recommend.

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6.0
TechRadar Apr 14, 2014

Overall I'm going to say it's very hard to recommend the Gear 2 to anybody as a) only a certain section of the watch-buying public will have a Samsung phone, and even fewer will have the cash to afford the Gear 2.

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6.0
T3 Apr 8, 2014

It's a far better product than it's predecessor and in our opinion it's the best smart watch yet, but there's still some way to go before it's a must-have.

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5.0
TrustedReviews Apr 15, 2014

Samsung has made numerous improvements, but the Gear 2 remains an unconvincing smartwatch, doubly so considering Android Wear watches are due later this year.

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8.0
Expert Reviews Apr 16, 2014

It's still early days for wearable technology, and Samsung's second attempt is a worthy upgrade over the original, but the concept isn't quite ready for us to part with the cash.

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7.0
The Next Web Apr 16, 2014

Its Gear 2 and Gear 2 Neo smartwatches have a lot of potential, but the tricky bit is making sure all the features are relevant enough for general consumers to want to pick them up.

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7.0
HotHardware Jun 23, 2014

It’s still very much an accessory, albeit a mostly excellent one for all the reasons mentioned above. And then there’s the price tag of $299.99, which is high enough to turn off throngs of on-the-fence users.

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8.0
Stuff Apr 10, 2014

The Gear 2 is an improvement over its predecessor in every single way. It's better built, faster, more useful, and has surprisingly good battery life to boot, which is why it's earned an extra star. There's functionality here that you will get use out of every day.

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First Looks

product preview
Laptop Magazine Feb 24, 2014

Unlike the original Gear, which could do almost nothing without being paired to a phone, the Gear 2 can play music, record your steps with a pedometer, measure your heart rate or remote control your TV, without a handset present.

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product preview
CNET Feb 24, 2014

The move to clock Tizen in and check Android out is the biggest change to come to the Gear 2, though one that may not be as obvious to customers who strap on the watches. The watch still sports the same 1.6-inch screen with a 320x320-pixel resolution.

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product preview
Pocket-Lint Feb 24, 2014

The Samsung Gear 2 is better looking than its predecessor. It's more physically customisable as well as offering more personalisation options. But the apps are still not plentiful enough and the ecosystem is still closed.

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product preview
TechRadar Feb 24, 2014

The Gear 2 is a strong, slick and really rather impressive little package - but the worry is why Samsung is being so cagey on the price.

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product preview
T3 Feb 24, 2014

Definitely an upgrade from the original Gear, the Gear 2 has added a host of functionality (particularly the HR) that raises the bar considerably for the competition.

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product preview
TrustedReviews Feb 25, 2014

The Gear 2 seems a lot better than the Galaxy Gear, but it is an iterative improvement. And until a manufacturer cracks the formula, sport-based watches feel more in-tune with their audience.

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product preview
TechRadar Apr 9, 2014

The rest of the smartwatch abilities are here on the Gear 2, and very much as you'd want. The notifications system is refined and powerful, and while the phone-based Gear Manager is still a little bit of a work in progress, the actual use on the Gear 2 is excellent.

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product preview
Android Community Feb 24, 2014

The new smartwatches run more smoothly thanks to the updated processor, and Samsung has tweaked the interface a little; there's not much in the way of noticeable differences between the Android underpinnings of before to the Tizen OS of now, though developers will presumably see different.

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product preview
Techno Buffalo Feb 26, 2014

The Gear 2 looks and feels nicer than the original, but it’s also very similar. Samsung will need to keep the price well below its old price point if it really wants the device to take off — especially ... in the face of the really solid Pebble and Pebble Steel ...

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8.0
ironslave ironslave

A must buy for anyone holding out. If you are a developer/hacker then this is a friendly device to do it on. With all the extra sensors it can do a ton of stuff for fitness. notifications are great, I can read much more information without pulling out my phone. You can reply to text messages...

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7.0
FlipJumpman FlipJumpman

Not more than a week (7 days to be exact) the screen on my Gear 2 shattered. I was walking into my house, right hand to unlock the dead-bolt and my left hand where the watch was on. As I opened the door, the watch nicked/hit/grazed the door frame and blam... Shattered! I would hardly call it a...

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