Samsung Announces Gear 2

Only six months after announcing one of the only true competitors to the Pebble, Samsung is back at it again, launching the Gear 2 and the Gear 2 Neo at this year’s Mobile World Congress. The new models maintain the original’s look, but under the hood there are some substantial changes. Primarily, the Android operating system has been replaced by Tizen – thus it is unclear whether backwards compatibility between first and second gen platforms will function. The new watch offers a heart-rate monitor for increasingly popular fitness tracking apps that will now, ideally, be native to the watch. The camera now moves to the watch-face itself, allowing for interchangeable bands for the first time – an important consideration given that watches are still inherently a fashion item – and the Gear 2 Neo eschews the camera entirely. It’s further evidence that companies are buying into the wearables trend wholeheartedly, and that smartwatches are here for the foreseeable future.