TESTED: Samsung Gear S2

Date:14 October 2016 Tags:, ,

You wake up at five, out the door for 30 minutes of hard play with your energetic puppy. Out the shower at just before six, get the kid to school, skipping music on your wrist. Now you’re fielding speakerphone calls in traffic with your phone plugged into the car radio via 3,5 mm audio cable. You blink and you’re at the office, but your flight is soon and you keep checking the time. It’s a digital display, so this is done with a hand raise gesture. It works well. Your watch buzzes with a calendar reminder.

Your wife sent you a Whatsapp to check if you made your flight and you reply with a blowing kiss emoji – the list of pre-recorded responses is sparse. As the plane taxis to the terminal building, you check tomorrow’s schedule and initiate a phone call which you execute via your earphones. The wife is okay and misses you already. There’s time for a quick 5 km run on the hotel treadmill before supper.

You don’t like sleeping with a watch on your arm, but tomorrow starts early and you may be tempted to sleep in. Your contingent wants to know what time everyone will be down for breakfast; you dictate your response from the shower. The event is over and there’s a long layover until your flight; you get some work done and catch a movie with the rest of the group. Your wife wants to know what time you’ll be home. You type “10 PM” on the awkward, but usable T9 text input. You launch Here maps to get a distance estimate before hailing an Uber. As you request the ride, you realise it’s the first time you’ve handled your phone since before the movie.

You get home just after 10 and finally put the not-yet-flat Samsung Galaxy Gear S2 on its charging pedestal. You’ve recorded 20 000 steps over the last 40 hours so there’s a free Vida coffee in your future. You plug your HTC smartphone in and set it down next to the paired watch.

Just the facts:
Screen: 1,2-inch super AMOLED
Memory: 4 GB internal, 512 MB RAM
Connectivity: Bluetooth, WiFi, NFC
R4 300, samsung.com

Test notes:
Great battery power and device agnosticism aren’t the only arrows in the Gear S2’s quiver. The rotating bezel clicks through quite magnificently and is a very intuitive way to interact with a smartwatch menu system.

This article was originally published in the April 2016 issue of Popular Mechanics magazine.

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