For this comparison we have two smartwatches made by Samsung – the more expensive Gear 2 and the cheaper model, the Gear 2 Neo. We thought it would be interesting comparing these two and to see if the Gear 2 is really worth the extra $100. If you scan down through the specifications listed below, you are only going to see THREE items that are different – the Gear 2 has a 2MP camera built into the bezel of the smartwatch – the Gear 2 is made from metal and the Gear 2 Neo is made from plastic – and the fact that the Gear 2 weighs 13 grams more than the Gear 2 Neo! Those are the the only differences between these two devices.
They both use the same display, the same processor, and have the same amount of RAM and internal storage. Both devices have all of the connectivity and features…sans the camera – IP67 certification is there and so is the Heart Rate Monitor, Sleep Tracker, IR Blaster, Music Player and Home button…both devices have them all. The batteries are the same 300mAh size and both are running Samsung’s new Tizen OS. The other huge caveat for a lot of people – both devices require you to pair them with a Samsung smartphone…not a good idea Samsung.
Please take a quick look through the specifications and then we will look at each individual device to determine whether the Samsung Gear 2 or Gear 2 Neo wins the comparison – even devices so evenly matched, has to have a winner.
Samsung Gear 2
The Samsung Gear 2 is the follow up from last fall’s Galaxy Gear. The original had the Android OS – although soon to be updated to Tizen – and the Gear 2 already uses the new Tizen OS. The original Galaxy Gear was sold as a companion device with the Galaxy Note 3, and while it sold fairly well, it was far from the success that Samsung had hoped for, but what did they expect when it only operated with one smartphone when it first came out.
The Gear 2 is made of metal and looks dressier than the Gear 2 Neo…it comes with three configurations – Silver bezel with Black wrist strap, Gold bezel with a Black wrist strap or Silver bezel with Orange wrist strap. The camera in the Galaxy Gear was mounted in the wrist strap and in the Gear 2, Samsung moved it to the watches bezel – a much better location. At 2MP, it actually takes some pretty deceit photos – ones to post on the social networks or in a text message, but certainly not good enough to enlarge. At $299 it seems a bit on the expensive side, but it seems the smartwatch sweet spot is running from $200 – $300 at this point.
Samsung Gear 2 Neo
The Samsung Gear 2 Neo was made by Samsung to ‘catch’ all of those potential customers that were unwilling to spend $300 for the Gear 2. They figured anybody would spend $200 for a smartwatch, right – especially when it is only missing a camera and metal body. Because it is made of plastic, you can have a little fun with the colors – the Gear 2 Neo comes in the traditional Charcoal Black, a Mocha Grey and Wild Orange.
While it has no camera, the Gear 2 Neo is a full-featured smartwatch with all of the other features of the more expensive Gear 2. If you can give up the metal bezel, you may want to take a look at the Gear 2 Neo – just remember that BOTH devices do require a Samsung Galaxy smartphone to enjoy all of its features. At $199, it almost seems like a bargain.
…And the Winner is…
Surprised? I was until I started really comparing these smartwatches – I was always the one to buy the top-of-the-line, so immediately I was thinking I will pick the Gear 2. However, after looking closely at both devices, I really had to give the nod to the Gear 2 Neo. It is $100 cheaper because it lacks a camera and a metal bezel. Sure, it is a cool idea to have a camera on your wrist, much like a secret agent would use, and I thought I would have to have that on my smartwatch – but seriously, I always have my smartphone with me and if I really want to take a picture…a much better picture…then I will continue to use my smartphone. I like metal, I mean who doesn’t (just ask all of the HTC lovers and Samsung haters), but for this type of watch, I think the plastic would be just fine…and much more colorful. This is a ‘fun’ kind of device that you wear to the beach or a casual get together – if I am dressing up or want to impress somebody with my watch, I’ll wear my Luminox Navy Seal Chronograph, not a Gear 2.
So I will happily take my extra $100 and the Gear 2 Neo in this comparison. Please hit us up on on our Google+ Page and let us know what you think about these two smartwatches. Would you be interested in either one of them or are you holding out for the Android Wear variety…as always, we would love to hear from you.