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Is Samsung Taking A Great Risk With Its New Smartwatch?

While Apple is opening up to Android Wear, Samsung sticks with Tizen.

Roselle Jean Dancel
Is Samsung Taking A Great Risk With Its New Smartwatch?© 2018 Samsung and Apple

During Berlin's IFA 2015, Samsung unveiled their latest wearable: the Samsung Gear S2. Some believe it to be the latest flagship wearable contender against the Apple Watch. Apple recently introduced an Android Wear app in the Apple Store. With this app, iPhone users can pair their devices with wearables powered by Android Wear. While Apple is opening up, Samsung's decision to stick with Tizen seems quite bold. However, the Gear S2 seems to offer newer and improved features that aren't seen in the Apple wearable.

But, that being said, should Apple be threatened? Does the Gear S2 put Apple's watch to shame? To help answer your question, let's see first how both are in the different categories...

Design and Display

The Gear S2 and Apple Watch have one obvious difference: their shapes. Samsung's feature a 1.2-in circular AMOLED display, while Apple's has a rectangular AMOLED face that comes in 2 sizes: 1.34-in and 1.54-in. Click this for an actual size comparison. It would be purely up to the customer whether he'd want something that looks common (like other watches), or something that's more standout-ish. Apple Watch offers a higher resolution and pixel density compared to its rival.Samsung Gear S2 VS Apple Watch.jpg

Both have a navigation dial which makes it easy to maneuver your wearable. However, Apple Watch has force touch technology which allows their users to send secret messages (a nice personal touch on Apple's part... but not that big of a deal).

Both come in 3 versions: Gear S2 with its original model, S2 Classic and S2 3G; while Apple Watch has the original model, Sport and Watch Edition. Samsung and Apple give customers the freedom to choice among three variants since each variant appeals to certain aesthetic preferences. They can choose a sporty design, or one that's more sleek and professional.

Processor and Operating System

In terms of their processors, the Gear S2 has a 1.0 GHz dual core Pega-W processor, while the Apple has its own S1. Apple's wearable at 520 MHz is clearly less powerful than Samsung's. This means that the Gear S2's clock speed is faster than its competition, resulting to better running of apps.

Apple's wearable is backed up with their Watch OS (exclusive for Apple), while the Gear S2 is operated by Tizen, Samsung's in-house operating system specially designed and developed for their wearable. The Tizen offers a faster start-up, smoother scrolling, support multi-tasking, and render better performance with web browsing. The iOS somewhat functions the same, though there are some bugs to tweak.Samsung Gear S2 Apple Watch (1).jpgStorage and Battery Life

Though the Gear S2 may have a lower storage of 4 GB, Apple Watch's 8 GB can't all be used purely for your storage purposes.

I think what's impressive with Gear S2 is that its battery life is way better than the Apple Watch... lasting around 2-3 days before it dies out on you (while Apple's is at a day and a half). Samsung's wearable also supports wireless charging, which is also a neat feature.

Specs and Features

Both watches advocate a healthy lifestyle for their users: having heart rate monitors, accelerometers and a gyroscope. They also have notable functions found in their smartphones, like maps, navigation, weather updates, a music player and notifications. However, the Gear S2's 3G option offers a built-in 3G functionality, which is both rare and desirable in a wearable.

Given all the details, the Gear S2 is a fair competition of the Apple Watch. Do I think Samsung faced a great risk with what they released? Well.... no. It's questionable. Gear S2 has Tizen, and we still have to see how that would be for Samsung's wearable users. Samsung might have the piece of hardware that can beat the world's famous smartwatch!

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