We use cookies on our websites. Information about cookies and how you can object to the use of cookies at any time or end their use can be found in our privacy policy.
Samsung Gear S2 review: brilliant but with one big problem
Samsung Gear S2 IFA Hardware review 17 min read 103 comments

Samsung Gear S2 review: brilliant but with one big problem

Update: New yellow dot notification marker

Samsung wowed us when it unveiled the Gear S2, a fully circular Tizen-powered smartwatch with a nifty rotating bezel. It was impressive at first glance, but how about after a week of use? Our Samsung Gear S2 review will run you through the performance, software and specs of the standard and Classic models, to see if this smartwatch is good enough to make you switch to Tizen.

Rating

Good

  • Extremely well made
  • Intuitive interface
  • Rotating bezel ring for navigation
  • IP68 dust and waterproof rating
  • Excellent display

Bad

  • Connectivity issues
  • Limited Tizen apps

Samsung Gear S2 release date and price

The Samsung Gear S2 release date in the US was October 2, 2015. The Gear S2 price depends on the model: the basic model (Gear S2) costs US$299, the Gear S2 Classic sits at US$349. The 3G-enabled Gear S2 works with Verizon, T-Mobile, AT&T and US Cellular, and prices start at US$359.99.

AndroidPIT Samsung Gear S2 28
Samsung Gear S2 versions: Gear S2 Classic (left) and Gear S2. / © ANDROIDPI

 

Samsung Gear S2 design and build quality

The Samsung Gear S2 actually comes in three different versions: the standard Gear S2, the Gear S2 Classic and the Gear S2 3G. Our Gear S2 review focuses on the regular, sporty-looking Gear S2, and the more traditional-looking Gear S2 Classic. The Gear S2 3G looks the same as the standard Gear S2. On the inside, all three devices are basically identical, except that the Gear S2 3G has an e-SIM and speaker for making calls, GPS, and a 20 percent larger battery than the others (300 mAh vs 250 mAh). 

All variants of the Gear S2 are round, and have two physical buttons – one to go back and one to go to the home screen or launch the app drawer – and a rotating bezel that can be used to navigate the Tizen interface. You can still swipe between screens and menus, but the rotating bezel makes it easier to navigate quickly. It's a really intuitive way to use a smartwatch.

samsung gear s2 16
The Gear S2 has a physical home and back button. / © ANDROIDPIT

Both the Classic and standard Gear S2 are made of metal, but the regular S2 has a two-tone matte finish whereas the Classic is polished. Both watches have Gorilla Glass 3 covering their 1.2-inch AMOLED displays. However, the Gear S2 Classic is designed slightly differently to the standard Gear S2.

The main difference is that the Classic model is slightly lighter and a bit thinner than the regular Gear S2, and has more traditional and less sporty looks. For example, the bezel area around the display is much less pronounced on the Classic; it's slightly elevated on the standard Gear S2, whereas it's almost perfectly flush with the display on the Gear S2 Classic. The S2 Classic also has ridges on the edges of the bezel, while the standard S2's bezel is smooth, but both rotate as smoothly as each other.

AndroidPIT Samsung Gear S2 47
If you look closely you can see the difference in the bezels. / © ANDROIDPIT

The Gear S2 Classic has a leather strap and buckle with a similar pin-eject mechanism to the Huawei Watch. This means that switching bands on the Gear S2 Classic is easy, and you can substitute any 20 mm band for the one it comes with. Speaking of which, there is a spare, shorter strap in the box for those with thinner wrists.

samsung gear s2 6
The regular Gear S2 has a proprietary strap attachment mechanism. / © ANDROIDPIT

The Gear S2 has a rubber band that pops off just as easily, but you can only fit special watch straps to it. The lug areas are another point of difference between the two models. The Gear S2's are a little bit chunkier than the Classic in order to house the strap connection mechanism.

On the back, the Gear S2 has a Gorilla Glass 3 panel with a heart-rate sensor in the middle, and stainless steel case surrounding it. At the very least this means you shouldn't have any concerns about cracking on the back of this watch. Overall, both watches are very well designed and look and feel very accomplished.

AndroidPIT Samsung Gear S2 45
The Gear S2 Classic is compatible with any standard 20 mm watch strap. / © ANDROIDPIT

Both versions are IP68 certified (but you won't want to go putting that leather strap in the water too often) and feature NFC and Wi-Fi. Only the 3G version of the regular Gear S2 has a speaker for making and receiving calls when it is not tethered to a phone. Both the Gear S2 and Gear S2 Classic sync via a Bluetooth connection to your phone and although Wi-Fi works fine on both, there's little reason to use it because it requires more battery power than Bluetooth.

Samsung Gear S2 display

The Gear S2 has a fully circular 1.2-inch Super AMOLED display with 360 x 360 pixel resolution, producing a very high pixel density of 302 pixels per inch, although the Apple Watch nudges ahead at 326 ppi. The pixel density is not that much greater than, say, the Huawei Watch (286 ppi), but nevertheless, the Gear S2 display looks great.

Black watch faces look exceptional on an AMOLED display (which is also more battery-friendly than an LCD screen), even if they tend not to be as bright outdoors. However, I had no issues seeing the Gear S2 watch face in bright sunlight, and it has 10 brightness settings if you do need to give it a bit of a boost. There are 17 pre-loaded watch face designs and some nice customization options, such as the ability to use a picture from your gallery to create your own watch face design.

AndroidPIT Samsung Gear S2 30
The Gear S2 has the best display we've seen on an Android-powered smartwatch. / © ANDROIDPIT

The screen is surrounded by a very thin on-screen bezel, but it is so thin that it's hardly even noticeable. The benefit of the rotating bezel is that it matches the circular interface of the watch. While you still get the sense of swiping left and right, everything on the Gear S2 is on an arc, so the rotating the bezel actually matches the movement on screen. It's a subtle detail but a nice one.

The bezel makes a clicking sound as it rotates, so you're not just spinning it but moving it incrementally. This makes it even easier to navigate long lists or the menus. When you reach the top or bottom of a menu you'll get haptic feedback as well as a glow on the upper or lower edge of the display.

androidpit Samsung Gear S2 7
Thanks to its AMOLED display tech, black screens look great on the Gear S2. / © ANDROIDPIT

Samsung Gear S2 software

The Gear S2 software is Samsung's own Tizen operating system, a fork of Android that Samsung occasionally uses in its wearables. It's a great choice for this device. It simply wouldn't be possible to navigate Android Wear with a rotating bezel simply, because of the up-down, left-right structure of the interface. Samsung's circular interface and nifty navigation are a match made in heaven.

androidpit Samsung Gear S2 5
The Gear S2 has a notifications area, dedicated pages for apps, a settings area and app drawer. / © ANDROIDPIT

There are about a dozen screens on the Gear S2 by default: a notifications area to the left of the watch face and several dedicated app screens to the right (S Health, weather, calendar, heart-rate monitor and so on). There's a swipe-down info screen with a toggle for Do Not Disturb mode and a shortcut to the music player and brightness settings.

androidpit Samsung Gear S2 14
You can swipe through screens or use the rotating bezel. / © ANDROIDPIT

You can scroll between these screens horizontally using your finger or you can twist the bezel to move much more quickly. It's a very intuitive way to navigate and much faster than clumsily pawing at the screen. The Gear S2 also has two physical buttons. The top one takes you back a screen and the bottom bottom either takes you home from a menu or launches the app picker from the home screen.

The Gear S2 has just over two screens of app icons, arranged around the edges of the display. You simply tap the icon you want or rotate the bezel to scroll through them and bring up the app name. You can swipe the screen to jump straight to the next app screen or rotate your way through the apps one-by-one.

samsung gear s2 10
The app drawer on the Gear S2 is pretty awesome. Shame about the apps though. / © ANDROIDPIT

Your current screen in relation to the total number of home screens or app pages is always marked with a small readout at the top of the screen, so you always know where you are in the OS. It takes very little time to get used to and at no point do you feel as though you're lost in menus. Samsung has done a remarkable job of keeping the interface simple and easy to navigate, despite its complexity.

The Gear companion app for Android is pretty decent, offering tweaks to watch faces, app notification controls, Find My Gear, app manager, Gear Apps store, settings, and the ability to simply push media (such as music or photos) to your Gear S2.

AndroidPIT Samsung Gear S2 Android app 1
The Gear companion app for Android is pretty good. / © ANDROIDPIT

Tizen is not for everyone and the list of available Tizen apps on the Gear S2 is quite limited. If you have a Galaxy device and are already happy using a lot of Galaxy apps then you might be fine. But if you're a heavy Google app user, switching from Google Fit to S Health, Google Now to S Voice and so on will be a bit of a pain.

Fortunately, the Gear S2 is perfectly capable of displaying your app notifications, so you can receive WhatsApp messages (but not respond to them), and Google Now cards still show up right on schedule. The problem arises if you want to add your favorite Play Store apps to your Gear S2, because they simply don't exist for the most part. This is something you need to consider if you're contemplating trying out Tizen.

AndroidPIT Samsung Gear S2 Android app 3
Like in Android Wear, you can customize watch faces for the Gear S2. / © ANDROIDPIT

Having said that, the Gear S2 is perfectly usable with the apps it comes with. If you don't have a Galaxy phone, you will have to install a few Samsung apps to get started: the Gear app, the Gear Plugin app and the Gear Accessory Service. If you sign in with your Samsung account you can also use Find My Phone and Find My Gear.

A Samsung account also lets you make use of the reactivation lock, so if your Gear goes missing the thief can't just factory reset it and carry on. If you factory reset the watch yourself – and in my case, I had to frequently – you can use the restore option to get things back to where they were pronto.

AndroidPIT Samsung Gear S2 Android app 4
The Gear app also helps you find your watch if you lose it. / © ANDROIDPIT

Accessing the settings menu brings some standard fare: a display section covering always-on display, watch faces and brightness, vibration strength, wake-up gesture, a customizable double-press action for the home button, connections (Wi-Fi, Bluetooth and NFC), screen lock, keyboard, power-saving settings and info, which includes reset options.

I enjoyed the Tizen interface a lot, but the limited apps was frustrating, because it felt as though I had to largely reorganize my app life. There are more than 1,000 Tizen apps available, but many are location specific, so you can't access them all. This occasionally meant I had to use an alternative to an app I use a lot, or do without it entirely.

An addition was made to the Gear S2 firmware in December 2015. Now, if you miss a notification, a small yellow dot will appear on the watch face's nine o'clock marker. It's a small but helpful addition that means you can just swipe to your notifications area when the dot shows up and see what you missed.

AndroidPIT Samsung Gear S2 Android app 2
There's not that many apps for the Gear S2, but you can receive notifications from any app. / © ANDROIDPIT

One thing I must note is that because one of the Gear S2's main selling points is its compatibility with non-Galaxy devices, that is what I used it with. For the majority of the week I paired the Gear S2 with a Nexus 6 running Android 6.0 Marshmallow but also occasionally switched to Lollipop devices to see if that had any effect on the regular connection dropouts I experienced (more on those below). Using a Galaxy or Tizen device will naturally provide a different experience.

AndroidPIT Samsung Gear S2 44
The Gear S2 is IP68 dust and waterproof. / © ANDROIDPIT

Samsung Gear S2 performance

The Gear S2 will work with any Android device running Android 4.4 KitKat and above, as long as it has 1.5 GB of RAM or more. It is important to note that the Gear S2 works with standard Google APIs for apps such as the dialer and text messaging, so if third-party apps use non-standard APIs they may not work on the Gear S2. Another thing to watch out for.

Naturally, Samsung has put a high priority on S Health on the Gear S2, there are health-oriented watch faces and a number of software features geared towards getting you active. On the hardware side, the Gear S2 has a number of sensors, including a heart-rate monitor. All of these work great.

androidpit Samsung Gear S2 20
S Health is a core feature of the Gear S2. / © ANDROIDPIT

The Gear S2 features 24-hour activity recording, auto-recognition of activity type, 'inactivity alerts' for when you're being lazy, automatic heart-rate tracking that increases in frequency during exercise, and watch faces that change to reflect how active or inactive you've been.

Other sensors include a barometer, accelerometer, gyroscope and ambient light sensor. The Gear S2 specs include a dual-core 1 GHz CPU with 4 GB of internal storage and 512 MB of RAM. The Gear S2 also features Wi-Fi, Bluetooth 4.1, NFC, and GPS (on the 3G version only). As mentioned above, the the Gear S2 3G features an external speaker and e-SIM, which does not require you to be connected to a smartphone to make and receive calls or access the internet.

androidpit Samsung Gear S2 12
Even typing on the tiny T9 keyboard is reasonably easy. / © ANDROIDPIT

Samsung Pay is supported by both Gear S2 variants for touchless smartwatch payments in stores. However, because of the security features of Samsung Pay, you will only be able to use Samsung Pay with your Gear S2 if it's paired with a Samsung smartphone with Samsung Pay set up on it.

The speed and stability of Tizen on the Gear S2 was great, but I had issues with both the Gear S2 and S2 Classic constantly dropping their connection to my phone. During the week I had to factory reset it several times just to get the device to pair with my phone again, because it wouldn't do it on its own. Even trying to force it through the Gear app didn't work. This is a huge problem. Our other Gear S2 also dropped out regularly, but it did at least reconnect with the phone. 

androidpit Samsung Gear S2 9
You'll have to manually connect to Wi-Fi every time. / © ANDROIDPIT

The Gear S2 won't automatically connect to Wi-Fi networks if you have them set up on your phone. Depending on your perspective, this could be a good thing, given that Wi-Fi chews through more battery than a Bluetooth pairing, but having to always manually connect to Wi-Fi is a pain. Setting up Wi-Fi is surprisingly easy though, even with the tiny T9 keyboard that only takes up half the screen.

Overall I was pleased with the performance of the Gear S2 and didn't notice any of the jitters or skipped frames you sometimes get with Android Wear. But at least with Android Wear you get a stable connection with the phone, and if it does drop out, it pairs again easily. As it stands right now, the unreliable connection makes the Gear S2 more hassle than it's worth; you simply can't rely on it to stay paired with your phone.

Samsung Gear S2 battery

The Samsung Gear S2 battery is quite small at just 250 mAh, but Samsung's claims of two-day battery life are well justified. With an occasional Wi-Fi connection, I got 33 hours out of the S2 before it died. With Bluetooth only I could go anywhere from 36-40 hours (with my regular disconnections I even made 48 hours).

Of course, screen brightness and the color of your watch face affect this result. I usually used a black watch face and set the brightness to five (out of 10). If you kept the screen dimmer and didn't check your watch as often as I did, then you might easily make 48 hours even when constantly paired via Bluetooth.

androidpit Samsung Gear S2 24
The battery on the Gear S2 is small but lasts for a long time. / © ANDROIDPIT

The Gear S2 also has a power saving mode which will drop you to a grayscale watch face, kill Wi-Fi, limit performance and only let calls, notifications and messages through. If you need your watch to last for several days rather than the usual 1.5 to two, this is great, but it kills the fun of a smartwatch, just like power saving modes on smartphones do.

The Gear S2 comes with a nice little wireless charging cradle, similar to the one you get with the Moto 360 (2015). Interestingly, the Gear S2 charges on the new Moto 360 charging dock but I couldn't get it to work with any of my regular Qi wireless pads or cradles. Samsung has stated that it doesn't work with Qi but I've heard plenty of reports of it working on specific Qi chargers.

AndroidPIT Samsung Gear S2 46
The Gear S2 comes with a nice wireless charging dock. / © ANDROIDPIT

Samsung Gear S2 technical specifications

Dimensions: 42.3 x 49.8 x 11.4 mm (Gear S2)
39.9 x 43.6 x 11.4 mm (Gear S2 classic)
44 x 51.8 x 13.4 mm (Gear S2 3G)
Weight: 47 g (Gear S2)
42 g (Gear S2 classic)
51 g (Gear S2 3G)
Battery size: 250 mAh (Gear S2, Gear S2 classic)
300 mAh (Gear S2 3G)
Screen size: 1.2 in
Display technology: AMOLED
Screen: 360 x 360 pixels (424 ppi)
RAM: 512 MB
Internal storage: 4 GB
Number of cores: 2
Max. clock speed: 1 GHz
Connectivity: - (Gear S2)
NFC, Bluetooth 4.1 (Gear S2 classic)
HSPA, NFC, Bluetooth 4.1 (Gear S2 3G)

Final verdict

With the Gear S2, Samsung has produced a really compelling alternative to the current crop of Android Wear smartwatches. In many ways the Gear S2 is the most appealing smartwatch we've yet seen but it has a few major issues.

The first is the availability of apps. If the apps you live with aren't available on Tizen, this is not the watch for you. At least not right now. Connection stability is the other, huge issue. Both Gear S2 watches in the AndroidPIT office repeatedly dropped the connection to the paired phone (neither were Galaxy devices though). Mine wouldn't reconnect without a factory reset whereas the other would reconnect itself eventually. We spoke to Samsung and it is aware of the problem but as yet can't offer a solution.

AndroidPIT Samsung Gear S2 32
The Gear S2 is pretty great, but apps and connectivity are problematic. / © ANDROIDPIT

Barring this issue, Samsung has produced a technically outstanding watch. It is stable, responsive and has the best wearable interface I've come across. The combination of two buttons and a rotating bezel to control it works marvelously. Despite technically being the first of its kind for Samsung, the Gear S2 feels surprisingly accomplished.

The Gear S2 has numerous excellent qualities, but deciding whether it's for you will come down to whether you're happy to use Tizen apps rather than the Google apps you may be more familiar with. 

A price of US$300-350 is pretty standard for a smartwatch of this caliber, but Samsung really needs to fix the connection stability problems before I'd consider buying one. It's a great watch, but I'd recommend waiting till a software patch and more apps arrive before pulling the trigger.  

androidpit Samsung Gear S2 6
If you can live with the available Tizen apps the Gear S2 is a compelling device. / © ANDROIDPIT

103 comments

Write new comment:
All changes will be saved. No drafts are saved when editing

  • screen turns off, even when you set the screen always on in the settings. screen goes into power saving mode when you're running, rendering it pretty unresponsive. want to change the next music track while you're on the move? best of luck.

    no built in gps, so pretty useless for tracking runs (the whole point of the watch to me is not having to have your phone on you, so i don't run with my phone).

    The biggest benefit for me of this watch is the built in mp3. I don't think the Garmin watches have this function.

    Ive accepted its limitations and for me, it makes a damn fine mp3 player watch with a passable stopwatch app, nothing more. 2.5 stars


  • Well this review is pretty old obviously but I have never had any issues at all with my S2 Connecting to my LG G4 it rarely drops a connection and when I'm away from the phone and come within about 20ft it always reconnects right away on it's own. The watch is pretty freaking sweet, I Can't really justify spending the money to upgrade to a s3 though, the features are all the same, storage is the same, the only real advantage is the size of the face. I think as long as you have a phone with some balls you'll never have any connection issues with your S2 or S3. IF you have money to buy a s2 or s3 then you better have a phone with a fast processor and a lot of storage space. Also I love my G4 but wouldn't mind having a G6 or S8, LOL.


  • Paul B Dec 27, 2016 Link to comment

    MAJOR FLAW: I used this watch for 3 months before the round ring/bezel fell off. According to Samsung, it is NOT a warranty problem. This watch was not mishandled – I am a mild mannered office worker, not a jack hammer operator. So, if you wear the watch when you reach into a drawer, a refrigerator, a shelf, a car window, walk through a door, reach into any enclosed space, or allow your wrist to get close to ANY surface, you are in danger of destroying it and Samsung will NOT fix the issue with their product. The bezel CANNOT stand up to real world use.

    Samsung tech support, as expected, is based in a non-English speaking country. One of the times I called, the tech support agent did not understand the word “Broken.” I’ve wasted at least fruitless 2 hours on the phone with them. Good grief! I would not recommend this watch at all. Stay away and save yourself.


  • I was using a gear s2 classic with my note 7, i exchanged my note for an iPhone and subsequently cancelled the line with the watch. I am now wanting to sell the watch and I cant get a straight answer from anyone Samsung or AT&T as to whether or not it can be reactivated on the network.... any help?


  • I bought the Samsung Gear S2 Classic and have had it for about 2 weeks now. I think it is fantastic. I have the Samsung Note 7 and I have no connectivity issues at all. The battery lasts 2 to 3 days. I think it is so great that you can design your own watch face or download tons of free ones to customize your watch. I love the watch.


  • I'm from Argentina and a friend in Germany gifted me a gear s2 (standard version). I've had it now for about 9 month now, 2 of which it was at the local customer support service. It had a minor black spot on the display and the bands tore apart (awful quality). The local official service for Samsung was not able to get the spare parts for repairing the unit (ridiculous).

    First, the watch casing... even under controlled careful use, the glass started to have scratches on it... supposedly it's a sports watch... It doesn't feel like it....

    Second, the bands as I said are of an awful quality! The large band just got unglued the band part from the mechanism which locks it to the watch body... A micro mini screws jumped off... again, not a "sports" ready unit... I did not force it by accident or anything... not even wore it tight, just normal watch use.... the small version of the band was too fit to mi wrist, after only 2 days using it, it tore apart completely, even the lock got caught to the body of the watch so it was really difficult to take it off... The service team had to do it...

    For the functional side, the watch was amazing, but the material's quality, specially for the wrist bands, was a disgrace...


  • I don't know how you can give it a 4 out of 5 star review if the connectivity issues are so bad? Also, I would really love to know if these issues persist with the latest Samsung S7 or Note 7.


    • Yes... connectivity is VERY bad on my S7 edge ... only stays connected for like 15mins max .. then disconnect...
      Tizen app store is a crippled dwarf..
      Battery life hardly stands from morning till 10pm


  • Samsung watches are now on sale only at SmartwatchOffers:com


  • I just returned my gear s2 sport to Best Buy. After owning it 8 days the watch totally froze on me. Up to that point it was okay, but as noted very weak on apps. I was starting to like it, but not love it.

    The factory installed weather app started to lose its mind this morning. Several restarts later the watch froze completely and would not respond to pressing any buttons or swipes or bezel rotation. I tried for 30 minutes to do something but all to no avail. I packed it back in its little round box and with receipt in hand returned it. When I arrived at the store of course it had now apparently returned to normal status. The rep reset it to factory settings but I had already decided it was too unreliable to get another one.

    I had applied a screen protector which apparently fell off (unknown to me). So they would not refund me the $12 I paid for it. That was enough to make me walk out of the store and not even look at other brands.


  • Too bad. If you own 2 different smartphones (i.e. work + personnal) you can't connect the Gear S2 on both. If you want to, you need to reset it, Grrr...

    And... nevertheless, this watch is just awesome ! elegant, pratcical, and cool.


  • My Gear S2 watch band broke, apparently glued? Best Buy has none in stock, the Samsung store (!) has none in stock, says you have to leave your watch for service and then wait 2-3 weeks. unacceptable.


  • Been working on a watch face for the Gear S2. Largely based on the gorgeous Complication Poétique Midnight Planétarium, with a few of my own slight changes. The "planets" orbit the Sun at their realistic speed (i.e 88 days for Mercury, 365 for Earth, etc.). What I've also done is to make each orbit section of the background also rotate at the applicable speed...so each day the background will be different (for 92 years at least). All shadows move realistically for whatever is rotating, as well as the small reflections on each planet. I still have no idea what I want to do with the white star, nor am I certain of where I want to put a date indicator...suggestions?

    unfortunately I cant post the link to it


  • After what seemed like countless hours with tech support(6 hours to be exact), visiting best buy, and sitting on hold for another hour with ECR Samsung support it was determined my Samsung Gear S2 was not covered under warranty for water damage. The watch is water resistant up to 1 meter for 30 min. Samsung is saying I submerged the watch for that long and somehow it failed. The watch was never wet for that long and never exceeded that spec. Been a Samsung customer for a long time(Note 3, Note 4, currently Note 5). I doubt I would be having this experience with an Apple watch. I'm done with Samsung. Done. Good Luck with that warranty requests on your S7.


  • Samsung has badly disappointed me this time. It is due to cheap exterior of Samsung S2 Gear, which I bought just two months back. I've no complains about OS, battery etc. but there is even a bigger flaw in the watch. It is the cheap coating of the watch. The black coating on my watch has started wearing away in just 2 months. Wearing and scratches on the watch coating has revealed the inner metal of the watch, which looks ugly and worn-out. Never expected Samsung to fool its customers like this.


  • Purchased a Samsung Gear S2 watch last week as a present for a family member only to discover that it was incompatible with every phone we had available. Purchased a Samsung Galaxy J1 2016 (SM-J120F) phone today, based on the limited information I was able to find that indicated that it was compatible with the watch, only to find that this phone is also not compatible with this watch. The entire experience has been incredibly frustrating, a complete waste of money and the complete opposite of my iPhone/iWatch experience. My suggestion, avoid Samsung at all costs.


  • To remind everyone with a negative and or disgruntled comment, please read below.
    Did any of you actually read the full review? Or just the bad parts? "Despite technically being the first of its kind for Samsung, the Gear S2 feels surprisingly accomplished." That is directly from the review above. And honestly, they did a pretty awesome job. I've had mine for months now, and no problems. Wanna know why?! Simply because I'm smarter than the device and KNOW not to expect miracles. The expectation of perfection with an innovative product is just down right dumb.
    Crying that they won't replace a band under warranty? Really?! You have 1,000's of selections, all under $10. If you can't afford the 10 bucks to replace the band, you shouldn't have bought a $200+ smartwatch. You whom complain about insignificant issues like these, YOU ARE WHAT IS WRONG WITH AMERICAN SOCIETY.
    Please leave comments, I am VERY interested in rebutles.


    • Rebuttals :)

      I really like my Gear S2 3G as well. Once I got used to the quirks, nothing but smooth sailing.

      Quirk 1: One thing they don't tell you openly is that even though you CAN use it with other phones, Samsung or not, you will NOT have access to the same apps (like Uber) as you would if you used a Samsung phone.

      Quirk 2: Reactivation lock - if you lock it to a particular phone and then that phone dies, there is nothing you can do at that point to reset the watch (in order to pair it to another phone) except send it to Samsung for service. Fortunately, my carrier sent me a new replacement watch instead so I didn't have to do that.


    • I LOVE the brutal honesty. Bravo! This is a watch people. Granted, a watch with a few bells and whistles, but still just a watch. Just use some common sense...smh.


    • I agree with you Brandon. People are so quick to dispel frustrations and nasty comments when all they needed do was to simply UNDERSTAND. I recently switched to Samsung S6 edge+ (Planning on upgrading to the S7 edge) from Nexus and I really have been impressed. To those condemning Samsung its really sad because Samsung has grown to become a respectable brand in the tech world. No product is perfect! Like you said "If you can't afford the 10 bucks to replace the band, you shouldn't have bought a $200+ smartwatch"................ #wordoftheday


    • I'll gladly reply. Your comment misses the point entirely. What does how much other bands cost have to do with buying something from a reputable company like Samsung and expecting it to work have to do with each other...? Nothing.. I buy something from a well established company, whether I pay $10 for it or $500 for it, it should work.. Period.. If it doesn't, make it right. Don't tell me that the $10 band is "just $10. Go buy a different one." It was my $10 to spend how I see fit. Samsung has no business selling a faulty product and then turning around and blaming it on a customer when they don't get what they should have out of it. Your comment reminds me of an Apple fan (that many android fan would tear apart on a comment section) that would justify ANYTHING they do bc they just like Apple that much... Like when Apple released the iP 4 and there was MAJOR network issues bc the hand covered the band. At least Apple acknowledged the mistake and gave everyone that wanted one a free bumper case. Does Samsung have you by the sack or something?


      • DCT Jun 5, 2016 Link to comment

        I have of this watches and it came with 2 belts, went not change it and them along them to replace the belt only? I don't think you should spend more than what you already paid, because you paid for a usable product, not an unusable one.


  • I received this watch for xmas. I am on my 3 watch and don't know if I will take it back again. I have the silver gears2. The battery lasts only 8 maybe nine hours. That's with no notifications. My carrier is att and they couldn't be nicer about it. I have tried everything. I am starting to think it's just the silver because the manager in the store has the dark gray on and his lasts 2 days, with use. I am starting to think there are two separate batches of watches out there. I tried uninstalling apps, gear reset, soft reset, gray scale, cut back lighting and sound. The att manager said you shouldn't have to do that. Is anyone else having a problem like this?


    • I bought a gear s and thank god i sold it after one mounth of using,,, gear s battery is 300mah and it stands at least 15 hours,,,,so it's realy normal that gear s 2 with 250 mah batterie stands 8 hours.
      samsung is selling his shit to us


    • Kim P Jun 18, 2016 Link to comment

      My friend is also experiencing the same issue with his battery life, but it seems to get worse every day. He charges it to full and in a few hours now, not even 8 hours later it is dead. Does anyone have some advice i could pass along? Also it seems the charging dock may not be functioning correctly as it gets extremely hot during charges.


  • Gear S2 non-classic version (the cheaper one) has a very serious strap problem. The strap glue is weak and it comes off easily from its latching mechanism hinge. Samsung doesn't acknowledge it and will not replace your band under warranty. There are many users with the same problem. Someone has to launch a class action suit against them.


  • I've had my S2 two for only a few days now. I've noticed no Bluetooth connection sustainability issues. My roommate takes my watch and goes for long walks twice a day while my smartphone, to which the watch is linked, remains at home with me. Of course the connection breaks (and the watch goes into auto-forwarding mode) whenwhenq she walks away.

    When she returns, the Bluetooth connection reestablishes itself automatically and promptly; and watch and phone remain connected as long as both my phone and watch are turned on and within reasonable range of each other.

    Yes, I guess there is a scarcity of apps but there are enough to do everything I need and I must assume that the stable is gradually increasing.

    BTW, there's a free Samsung app available that the reviewer didn't mention that somewhat mitigates the dearth of apps. It's a free, well I guess I'd call it a widget transfer agent, that lets you display on your watch face almost any widget that you have on your smartphone. The widgets on the watch are interactive but they don't interact with the watch. When you touch a hot spot on the watch-side copy of the widget, the watch display remains unchanged but the phone-side widget responds appropriately.


  • Seriously someone tell me where to find the darn watch face!!!


    • Choose a face in the gear app on your phone and in the bottom corner it says Stylize, go there.


    • Press the upper watch button repeatedly and eventually a watch face will appear. NOTE: for this to work the watch must be right-side-up. You'll know it is if the buttons are on the right.


    • The Back to the Future I and II watch faces are now available in the Gear app as if 2/1/16. Go to Gear app on your phone > watch faces > more > search 'future'. Ba-da-bing. Done. Awesomeness.


  • Foxy Jan 19, 2016 Link to comment

    If you like wearing a watch that you can change the face it's great. If you want a heart rate monitor and step tracker(I've compared it to my fit bit and it's short by 1000 steps every 3000 steps) it's ok. If you dont want to not drag your phone out to see notifications it's cool.
    Otherwise it's a tiny brick. You can't use the Verizon Message+ to respond through the watch. Typing is a joke, it's old school 3 or four numbers per letter that would work if wouldn't try to predict what I was typing on the first letter. Can't use Gmail app to look at entire mailbox, only notifications, have to set up the "email" app to see everything. It does have talk to text but if the mic picks up any noise whatsoever it never writes the text.
    And, since it has no speaker you still have to carry around your Bluetooth headset. It's a long way off from being really useful.


  • I don't know if I'm just OCDing about it, but while I love the watch, I hate that the rotating menu goes opposite the rotation of the bezel. I don't own the watch, just fiddled with it in a shop to get a feel for it, and this is the only detail that made me cringe, otherwise it's a great little device that doesn't brake your arm while wearing it.


    • Foxy Jan 19, 2016 Link to comment

      I'm not sure what was up with the one you looked at but on mine the rotation of the bezel matches the icons


    • You make a good point.

      The thing is this. Imagine you are at a pyramid in Egypt 5000 years ago, reading a long parchment scroll laid on the floor, with lines of writing on it. If you want to read the parchment, you just move down the lines, and your direction of movement matches the direction of reading. Simples! But now, in our modern PC/phone/wearable world, we put a window frame over the top of the parchment, then move that frame down, reading section by section, because we can't fit the entire parchment into our little glass screen.

      But wait! Just look at what's happening in that window frame. Although we are moving down the parchment reading the lines in the frame, the lines of text are actually moving UPWARDS through the window! It's because of this fascinating little property that mouse drivers allow you to reverse the direction of movement of the scroll wheel, depending on what you feel is most natural. So you are not a freak Stefan! You have merely been denied the option to customise what the action of window scrolling means. That is, when you press DOWN, does the window frame move down, or do the text lines move down?

      One way to try resolve this disconnect is to focus on the selector dot on the rim of the watch face. So when you scroll RIGHT/DOWN with the bezel, think to yourself: "I am moving my dot selector in this direction" and try ignore what the icons are doing.

      Hope that helps :-)


  • I tot the Classic looks great. I am surprised some people are complaining about dropped connections, I never experienced that since last week I started using it. It's amazing and fun using this. Just cool 😎 and awesome piece of gadget. Perhaps, more apps will be nice but as long as you can get notifications from any of the apps , it suits me fine and I believe with time, updates will fixed some of our concerns. Samsung has done a great job with this device really! It's sweet and fun! Can't stop loving it!


  • When i use whatsapp, the "reply" icon is disappear. and i can't retrieve it even reset the gear s2. I can't reply the msg in WhatsApp by the gear s2. How can retore it pls.


  • Many big problems the least of which is battery life once you actually download the Instagram app and you actually begin to use your Smartwatch the battery life which they always say is 30 hours or 48 hours of battery life is total bs the truth of the matter is you're going to get 5 to 7 hours battery life just as if its a Smartphone the average Smartphone you're getting 5 to 7 hours of usage sometimes a little more if you don't use it alot and that the Smartwatch is absolutely no different once you start using it, for example, I typically receive one or two text messages and might make 1 or 2 SHORT phone calls (about 3-5 minutes each), but for the most part I browse the Instagram app and the news app which is quite limited, and occasionally I use the clairvoyant app because it has interesting random quotes to read like "try first to understand, then to be understood". That's pretty much a typical days usage for me (no video streaming, no music playing) and if I leave my house at noon with a fully charged battery it will be dead before 6 and that's a guaranteed fact so don't trust these articles that tell you it's going to last for 2-3 days these guys either in the pocket of Samsung to give a good review or really have not utilized this watch in any meaningful way otherwise they would have found this out by now. Honestly you CAN get a good 25+ hours from the battery, but ONLY if you use the watch solely for telling time (ie no text, no phone and no apps whatsoever, no NOTHING.


    • The manager at att says his lasts and he has never tampered with it since he got it. That's why he keeps returning mine. This is my 3rd.


    • Wow you managed to jam 7 sentences together without any periods. 3 periods total used in that entire 15 lines of text, impressive!


  • I love my gear s2. The only complaints I have are the bands, are cheap. I broke 2 already doing simple mundane tasks. The first time i just took something out of my pocket and the band broke. The second time i woke up one a.m. and the band was broke.
    Also, and i believe it's the watch itself, not the watchface. But it won't allow certain watch faces ( i'm referring specifically to the one pip boy watch face) to remain on when you select "display always on" in the settings. It changes to a blank black background with white hands, thats it. Very dissapointing, thats my favorite watch face and I want to show it off, I dont care if I have to charge it every 4 hours.


  • I love my s2 classic the only problem I have is one of the buttons came off at some point in time and I lost my charger in the same weekend . It was given to me as a gift from my grandma who has since passed so I have no receipt no box as she didn't want to give it away as far as what it was when wrapped so she put it along with the charger in a gift box . Is there anyone that can tell me where I can get this fixed or if it is possible at all . It has sentimental value as it was a gift from you grandma but I just don't see how I can get it fixed with no proof of purchase or receipt box none of it . Any ideas would be greatly appreciated.


  • What frustrates me is the Gear classic has a gallery app to look at your personal pictures but, when I go to send data to my classic, it states "waiting to send to Gear" but, never does. I called support and they told me that displaying personal pics is not a function of the watch. So why do they have a gallery app installed as a core app and the choice to send pictures to your gear in the Gear app on my phone? Has anyone been able to view personal pics on their watch? I noticed face watch apps have been created where you can use your own pics as watch gave backgrounds for the S2. Signed, Confused.


    • I hate to say it but if that's what tech support told you they lied. I transferred and can view all my pics on my watch. It won't play the videos in their original format but my guardian news app has videos (maybe just gifs) that also play on my gear s2.


    • Hey i was able to transfer my pics without any problem.


    • I was able to transfer pictures to the watch without any problems. So I would say call back and get a different tech.


  • Will Jan 3, 2016 Link to comment

    Use the Mr. Time maker app and website for those custom watch faces, create your own or just use the other member created ones.


  • I have a Samsung A3 have tried everything i can possibly think of and i can pair my S2 smartwatch but it wont set - up. I can only pair via the phones blue tooth function but its l;like it paired to something it has no interface with. from galaxy apps i downloaded the gear software and that wont connect with the gear s 2 at all it only shows gear not found. does anyone know if i am am an idiot? or is there a software i need? ..Via settings on A3 it pairs but watch will just say setting up but it never sets up. HELP


  • I have a Note 4. No connection problems at all.

    However, the HR monitor has serious issues when it is used to track running.

    I went for my first long run (1 hour 15 minutes) with my new Gear S2 Classic. It was reporting my heartrate at over 150 bpm the whole time and max heart rate at 288 bpm. I may be a robot and unaware of it but I don't think so.

    At normal rest it reports it accurately. within 1 or 2 bpm of the Note 4 and a Polar chest monitor.

    IMHO, the worst thing about this watch is compatibility. S Health is nearly useless compared to Runkeeper or any of several sports tracker. If the HRM wasn't programmed in Tizen (TIZEN?! - why?) the HRM could be used with the best apps on Android. Runkeeper has made it plain that they are not supporting Tizen/Gear. Map My Fitness has ceased support for Samsung.

    Frankly, I wish I had known this before my 15 days were up to return this gift.


  • Firstly, I own the S2 Classic and the new Huawei Watch. Both are excellent. My S2 Classic does not have any connection issues with my Note 5. The screen shown on the S2 in this review - what is it - ?! I find the watch faces very boring and limited. This is actually the main reason I kept the Huawei watch too.


    • Do you play video games? Fallout? I love my pip boy watch face, but if you dont play that game its not going to appeal to you...probably


  • Hi, could you please let us know where to get that awesome Back to the Future watch face?
    At least the name :) I'm looking everywhere but I cannot find it. I'd really buy it on the stop if only I could find it.

    Thanks :)


  • JanVan Dec 29, 2015 Link to comment

    tell us where or when is Back to the Future watch face :)


  • Finally, somebody with the same point of view as mine. Still, I think that Tizen is great for the Gear S2, as stated in my own review: wearablearena.blogspot.com/2015/12/samsung-gear-s2-review.html Yes, Android Wear might offer a wide selection of apps, but Samsung's own OS for wearables works just great with the rotating bezel.


  • Can anyone tell me where to get the Back to the Future watch face featured on the headline of this article? I can't find it anywhere after 2 days of searching online. The face is available for all sorts of Android watches but nothing for the Samsung sg2. Please help!


  • One big problem? I dont think this writer has been using the same watch or works for apple.
    Had a play with all the smart watches and they are all more or less the same.
    The high end watches like Samsung GS2 and apple watch are obviously faster with more apps and features.

    One painfully obvious thing is if you fill this gear 2 with rubbish buggy after market apps (other then Samsung made or approved) it will kill this watch just like you will with any device that lets you install apps.

    Whilst having a look the Samsung i found it slightly more responsive and features across the bord (fitness, navigation etc) worked easier and faster then apple.
    With the bezel on the Samsung a brilliant feature,
    the one key thing the Samsung battery last 3x longer too.
    Both do the same but like the phones apple have been a bit half-hearted across the board.
    Once samsung really develop and invest in their gear's like browsers and software update it really has the potential to pull away from "more or less the same"
    Also the 3G watches i think will be a waste of time and money and work perfectly hand in hand with the Samsung phone


    • I will buy the 3G, that is the only one that you can call and listen to music and even you don't have to have your cell phone with you to use it. To me the classic and gs is waste of money. In case you didn't know, if you forget your phone at home
      you can use the 3G version only to call.


  • can someone tell me where I can purchase the Gear S2 G3 smartwatch other than my cell phone provider??? I want to be able to make and receive calls from my watch. I also would like to listen to music from the watch itself. I recently upgraded from my Gear S, to a Gear S2 classic. I love the look, but I am unable to make or receive actual calls from my wrist which was very beneficial during driving. I am thinking of just going back to the original Gear S I had in the first place. I do not want to go through my cell phone provider to get the 3G watch. I do not really even want to stay with my cell phone provider because I think they are horrible. Any suggestions would be gladly appreciated. Thank you.


    • I am just answer my own question on this forum. I found the watch I was looking for. It's the Gear S 2 (thru AT&T) even though I have T Mobile (crappy) service. I was able to buy the 3G compatible watches from a Best Buy location the next town up from me. Apparently they only had two left in stock. I bought the watch for $249.00 (plus tax) as compared to the "Classic" version with less features. The Classic is a better looking watch, but It does not have all the features of the 3G compatible version. The 3g/4g compatible version has a slightly bigger watch face and comes with a plastic watch band (thumbs Down) Good news is, is that I can change out the watch band and Amazon and Samsung have so many to choose from. Overall the worse part of my experience was the fact that since I didn't hook the watch through a service provider such as AT&T or TMOBILE (which wanted $369 for the same watch) I was unable to get a protection plan from Best Buy which really really really sucks. I can although g through Samsung with and issues.

      So there it is I stayed awake until 4am and did massive research to find what I wanted. I am very happy I can make and receive calls from my watch. I am also very glad I saved a ton of money, but like I previously staed to only problem was the fact that I could not add a protection plan towards the watches ):


      • Hi Mylee thanks for the post. This is super informative! I owned a Samsung Gear 2 Neo (older model smartwatch) and am used to receiving phone calls and occasionally listening to music through my watch. Knowing that the basic Gear S2 doesn't have a speaker or not able to receive calls was one main reason why I hesitated on getting the newer watch. After reading your post, I went to Best Buy and bought one of the last two AT&T Gear S2 3G-enabled version. I was also able to price match their online price (only in black) for 249.99! Luckily the at&t black version was also on sale so they were able to honor the price match without activation. Normally through my verizon carrier, they would charge me ($349-50 discount) $300 for the watch and also a $5 per month fee for the extra 3G connectivity on the watch. Your suggested route saves me a lot of money! I am waiting for it to charge up to 100%, other than that I am one happy and excited Gear S2 owner!!! Thanks again for sharing that info!


      • Hey! So I am in the same situation you were in and I really want the 3g version so I can have the speaker. However, I do not want to purchase a plan to go with my watch. Is this what you were able to do? And if so how?
        I’m not sure if you were able to purchase the watch from best buy for the $250 it is advertised for without purchasing a plan.


  • NumberSync and Mobile Networks suck the battery dry. Turn them off, until you need them. I went from 8 hour battery life to 3 days. Also, the selection of watch bands is a real negative for the S2, unless you like buckles.


  • I purchased the s2 gear (3g)..3 days ago.. someone please tell me what to set the watch to so the battery last more than 12-14 hours. . Today I put on at 6 am by 5 pm I had 9% battery. . I love the watch..but if I keep it I power save mode...I can't keep the fitness part active.. Please help I do not want to return this watch but I have to make it function longer than 14 hrs a,day. .


  • not true regarding WhatsApp - voice-to-text responses are possible


  • Colm Dec 20, 2015 Link to comment

    I purchased the gear s2 classic. I think its fantastic. I have only had to charge twice in 7 days . I've been waiting for a decent smart watch for a while and decided to purchase via eGlobal received it with uk plug too huge savings on uk prices, love high quality look and feel of the watch and the fact that i can receive viber msgs too.


  • So can you get your messages from your phone through Bluetooth? What is the point of having the Bluetooth only watch?


    • Your phone can stay in your pocket.


    • Robert Dec 25, 2015 Link to comment

      To expand on Bill's comment, if you have a bluetooth headset in, you can see who is calling and decide to answer or not without pulling your phone out (my bluetooth headset lets me answer, but doesn't say who is calling so...) and you can quickly send text replies to people without the social issues around pulling out your phone in places where it would be considered rude (meeting, date, etc). I like it because in my line of work I get text messages when client's arrive so I know when my next client is in the office without having to check my phone which would be very rude in my line of work. I also like the novelty of having a watch with dozens of different watch faces as opposed to a co-worker who just owns dozens of different watches. However, I think I'm digressing from your original question.


  • KR S Dec 16, 2015 Link to comment

    I bought the sports watch in Singapore airport end October and the watch works well. But the strap tore off in less than two months on just regular use. Quality of the strap at the hinges is quite bad. Samsung is refusing to give me a replacement. Please be careful in buying the sports watch. And the sports watch strap is not easily available and costs almost 60 dollars.


    • I have the same issue with the watch. I've had mine about 6 weeks and the plastic strap your of from the magnetic hinge. Just normal wear, office job and indoor settings. Didn't catch it on anything. Samsung says they won't replace the strap.


  • Great Review. Do you know if the S2 3g(verizon) watch has to be enabled on the same verizon account as the phone number you want to receive calls and notifications from? One rep said NO, another does not KNOW. My phone is on a corporate account so I cannot activate watch on that account. Thanks


  • avi Nov 29, 2015 Link to comment

    hi, i need the chip model of the wlan in the gear s2. who knows ?


  • I have read a lot of reviews today on this watch and by far this one is the best... Cnet wareables pcadvisor etc... well done guys! am gonna get one in the uk but will have to wait for the 3g one to be released.. will be visiting the Samsung store tomorrow to try and find out a release date. great review :)


  • I have the Gear S2 and have been, generally, happy with it BUT.... the watch band has proven to be a failure point. While changing the bands is easy just trying to purchase this type of band, for the standard S2, has proven to be next to impossible. (The "classic" watch uses standard watch bands and may be easier to find a replacement band.) My wrist is very large and even the largest supplied band is very tight on my wrist which caused the band to rip in two next to the connection point of the watch when I bent my wrist to pick up a granddaughter. When I contacted Samsung to see if my watch was still under warranty I received zero support other than a very terse comment to contact the business where I bought the watch, which is over and hour drive away from where I live... while the watch is a decent product, in my experience, the service support is non existent. If I had known that the service support for the product was this bad I would not have purchased the watch.


    • Today, Samsung has rolled out a new firmware update for the Gear S2 in South Korea. check new amazing features here h ttp:// www.smartphonestutorials. co m/gear-s2-receives-firmware-update/ . the update comes with the build number R732XXU2BOKF.


    • Agreed! I have normal female sized wrist and mine tore as well. I had the same unhelpful response from Samsung.


  • Carter Nov 16, 2015 Link to comment

    Decent article, however I'd like to point out two things: one; Tizen OS isn't a fork of Android, and two; the Gear S2 doesn't have the "best display we've seen on an Android-powered smartwatch", because it isn't powered by Android. Nit-picks, to be sure, but it's certainly one of the reasons Tizen OS is faster on lower-end hardware. It's Linux kernel-based, like Android, but Android =/= Linux kernel systems, naturally.


  • The watch face on the Gear S2 looks like the time circuit from Back to The Future. Where can I get it?


  • No camera and no speaker on the s2 gear😢


  • Connectivity is the bane of all smartwatches I have used to date. The best luck I have had so far is with a pebble time steel and Samsung galaxy s6 (lollipop). Even so, occasionally if I am out of range the watch and phone will not reconnect unless I do the old Bluetooth off/on repair dance. Android wear is abysmal (Gwatch R) with my Samsung and a previous Sony xperia z3c. The WiFi update only made things worse, as the watch would show the disconnected symbol but the phone says its connected....what a load of BS! I had high hopes that Samsung would get this right but it sounds like it is still crap which undermines the whole point of a smartwatch. I wonder if low energy Bluetooth is the culprit. Still hoping the 3g model might somehow circumvent this issue....


  • Bruce Oct 30, 2015 Link to comment

    I like the S2. Has anyone seen the new Microsoft band? $249, a Fitbit on steroids.


  • ok this is looking good (dont need android wear , just basic notifications is fine)

    the question now is...

    price and battery life... if samsung get these right then it may be onto a winner here...


    • lucky for you it claims and have been tested to last 2-3 days (check this review on Unbox Therapy on Youtube)