MWC 2014: Samsung unveils Gear 2 and Gear 2 Neo smartwatches

Samsung has upgraded its Smartwatch range, surprising everyone with the use of the Tizen OS for the Gear 2 and Gear 2 Neo.

That's right, Samsung has decided against Android and instead opted for its in-house operating system for version 2 of the Smartwatch. It has also gone for two versions and perhaps with one eye on Apple's upcoming offering, has gone down the health route too.

The two versions are the standard Gear 2 and the more affordable (we presume) Gear 2 Neo, both lacking the 'Galaxy' name this time around. The key difference being no 2-megapixel camera on the Neo. Outside of that, both have a 1.63" super AMOLED screen and a 1.0 GHz dual core processor.

As we said, Tizen runs the show, which seems to help the battery life (now two to three days of standard use) and with a surprisingly decent amount of software and apps on-board to work with third party products. In terms of general functionality, both Smartwatches allow you to accept and ignore calls and messages, as well as being able to contol a TV or set-top box via the WatchON Remote application with an embedded IrLED sensor. You can also play music too, with around 4GB of storage in each device, the music hitting your headphones via Bluetooth.

As we said, with rumours of Apple's iWatch going big on health, Samsung has gone down that route too, with personal fitness coaching in real time, so you can develop a 'customised fitness routine' and monitor your heart rate out and about. There's also a sleep monitor, just in case you want to check the quality of your shut eye.

It'll be interesting to see how Tizen works long term in terms of apps, but at launch the likes of Banjo, BMW, CNN, Conde Nast, Expedia, eBay, Evernote, Feedly, Garmin, Glympse, GM, iControl, Line, Path, Paypal, RUNTASTIC, Volkswagen, Weather Channel and Under Armour(Map my fitness) were all flagged up as partners, so plenty to kick things off, that's for sure. Samsung's own apps will be present too, including ChatON, for example.

If all of that has tempted you in, Samsung will be offering Charcoal Black, Gold Brown and Wild Orange for the Gear 2 colours plus Charcoal Black, Mocha Grey and Wild Orange for the Gear 2 Neo from April. No wording on that all-important price, but with an April launch, we should hear soon enough.

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