As most of you are aware of, the smartwatch market has been drawing a lot of attention lately, and last year, Samsung decided to enter the game with a new product called the “Galaxy Gear.” The smartwatch in question has been subject to a lot of critique and debate, mainly because it lacks certain key features. Battery life proved to be an issue and the lack of support for more Android smartphones has convinced many potential customers that the Gear is not the device they’re looking for. Nevertheless, the situation has improved, and with software updates, Samsung has increased battery life and it also added the ability to read full notifications from Twitter, Facebook, Gmail and Hangouts instead of receiving just an alert icon. More so, the Gear slowly became compatible with more Samsung smartphones throughout the past several months.
Despite the aforementioned issues with the wearable device, Samsung previously reported that sales figures were quite good. Regardless, the Korean manufacturer has decided that a sequel is in order, and lately, the number of Galaxy Gear 2-related reports has been on the rise. The question that’s on everyone’s mind is whether or not Samsung learned from its past mistakes. Will the second Galaxy Gear deal with the issues that have hindered the original model’s success? Let’s take a look at the latest rumors and attempt to find out some answers.
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While the first rumors concerning a second-gen Gear started surfacing several months ago, the original model is still rather fresh. As such, we’re afraid there isn’t a lot to talk about when it comes down to the Gear 2′s exact specifications. However, there have been reports suggesting that the smartwatch will feature a flexible OLED display. Although its diagonal is unknown, a flexible panel might be a clear indicator that the gadget could have a curved, elegant design. This would evidently make the wrist gadget more comfortable and fashionable.
Samsung introduced its first commercial flexible display last year, when it launched the Galaxy Round in South Korea. Gear hasn’t been able to rock the mobile world, and due to this cold response from the market, it’s been speculated that Samsung will rethink its flexible screen strategy. In other words, flexible screens are a pretty huge deal, but not necessarily on smartphones. On a smartwatch, a flexible panel would actually make a lot more sense.
Can we be sure that the Gear 2 will feature a flexible screen? Not until the information becomes official, but what’s certain is that Samsung has been working on improving the design. During CES, Lee Young Hee revealed that the Gear 2 will indeed make a big leap from its predecessor in terms of looks. To cite Samsung’s VP, “the bulky design will also be improved.”
As for what type of features will be offered by the device, the Gear 2 might have the ability to check your heart rate, calorie intake and stress levels. Once again, this has been hinted by Lee Young Hee himself, who said that “health-care related functions will be the most inherently tied functions to future wearables. We see a very big potential from there.”
Expected Unveiling and Launch Date
When eagerly waiting for a new gadget to hit the market, the best news one can get is a clear release time-frame. While there’s no exact launch day in sight, Samsung’s VP was kind enough to reveal that the Gear successor will be launched alongside the Galaxy S5. The Korean media recently cited Samsung insiders, revealing that the Gear sequel will most likely be unveiled in March or April in London.
All these things being said, we can put the two together. The Samsung Galaxy S5 is expected (but not confirmed) to be announced in March, during an “Unpacked” event that should take place in London. The handset would then be set for a market release in April. With that in mind, chances are that the Galaxy Gear 2 will follow the same launch pattern as its companion smartphone.
All in all, the smartwatch market has been gaining a lot of traction lately, and Samsung is not the only one planning to capitalize on this segment. Many more companies have announced their intentions on joining this game, including Acer and Asus. Let’s also not forget that there have been plenty of rumors suggesting that Apple could launch its own smartwatch by the end of the year. Needless to say, Samsung has a lot of work to do if its plans are to stand out from the crowd, and every gadget enthusiast hopes that the Korean manufacturer will not disappoint with the Galaxy Gear 2.
Are there any smartwatch enthusiasts among The Diplomat’s regular readers? If so, what do you think Samsung should improve with Gear 2? We invite you to share your opinions in the comment section below.