Galaxy Gear S2 Release Day Impressions

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Today was the official US release date for the Gear S2 from Samsung. Well, actually it was the official release date for the black Gear S2, not the white version of Classic variant. Max and I were both lucky enough to get our hands on the device at Best Buy, and we posted up quick unboxing videos over on our Youtube Channels (more thoughts after the break):

After a few more hours with the device I feel that it is the fastest smartwatch I’ve ever used. Navigating menus with the rotating bezel is very intuitive and snappy thus far. I think Samsung finally nailed the best way to navigate their wearable interface. On the other hand, the screen is also a bit too small for me. I found it incredibly difficult to type in my WiFi password initially, and it is also difficult to read longer notifications that come in from Gmail or messaging apps. Perhaps my bias against the smaller screen comes from my love for the original Gear S and wearing the 46mm Moto 260 2nd gen over the past week.

I think the feature that will decide how much I like this watch will be battery life. The battery life on the Gear S was insane by smartwatch standards, so I’m probably going to keep that device around regardless of my end feelings on the Gear S2. The appearance of the Gear S2 is nice, perfectly suited for fitness applications, and has a wide assortment of apps available. When Samsung Pay capability arrives on the watch next month it will indeed be a worthy entry in the smartwatch category from a specs standpoint. Be sure to stay tuned for my full review where I’ll run down usability, battery life, and some of my favorite apps. Let me know on Twitter if there is a question you’re dying to have addressed in the review, or sooner.

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Jeff Springer

"I am currently a researcher and Adjunct Professor at Arizona State University and Grand Canyon University. I fell in love with Android with the Nexus One release and realized that it was superior to iOS in all the ways I care about. I still use a Mac (and an iPhone for the camera), but my Apple tech products pale in comparison to my number of Android devices (watches, tablets, and phones). When I’m not rooting/modding one of my many Android phones or doing math/programming, you can find me taking in Phoenix Suns/Arizona Diamondbacks games in downtown Phoenix, and drinking good beer!"