Samsung have revealed two new Galaxy Gear smartwatch models, the Gear 2 and Gear 2 Neo at this year’s Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, which leave Android behind in favor of the Tizen operating system.
The new watches come just six months after the launch of the first Samsung Gear smartwatch, which ran on a version of Android. Tizen is a Linux-based open source operating system and Samsung had been rumored to be working a Tizen device for some time.
With a 320 × 320, 1.63” web-connected touchscreen display, the new Gear watches will be able to run apps through a smartphone connection. The watches are compatible with a dozen or so smartphones said the company but did not say specifically what devices.
The new Gear watches come with a 1.0 GHz Dual Core Processor, 4GB of internal memory, and an independent music player that can connect with headphones via Bluetooth 4.0. Samsung’s specs for each phone promises two to three days standard usage out of the battery. Both watches also come equipped with exercise and fitness features including a pedomoter and a heart rate sensor.
The key difference between the Gear 2 and the Gear 2 Neo is that the latter does not have a camera. The Gear 2 comes with a 2.0 megapixel auto focus camera, which is placed on the strap rather than the main body like the previous watch.
Samsung’s announcement places them ahead in the smartwatch market, now with three watches under their belt, giving them a head start over Apple, which is expected to announce its own smartwatch later this year.
“Samsung achieved a significant improvement as a leading smart wearable provider with Samsung Gear 2 and Gear 2 Neo,” said the company in a statement.
The Gear watches will be released in April. The company has not given any retail price for the watches but word coming out of Barcelona placed them in the region of €300, or roughly $400.
Samsung also revealed the Galaxy Gear Fit, which Samsung claims to be the first wearable device with a curved display. This version of the Galaxy Gear smartwatch line weighs less than the Gear 2 and it has four day battery life.
Although the Gear Fit focuses on fitness tracking and has a built-in heart rate sensor, it still interacts with all Galaxy devices and receives proper notifications.