Samsung Gear 2 vs Gear 2 Neo vs Galaxy Gear

The key features and differences between the two

Fitness

From that list above you'll see that the fitness apps are missing – well, don't worry, as Samsung is making a big play into the fitness space (and there should be a couple on the way from third parties too.

The move is likely triggered by the impending iWatch, but the new Gear 2 range comes with some huge new hardware: an optical heart rate monitor, like that seen in the Adidas SmartRun MiCoach watch.

Galaxy Gear 2 vs Gear 2 Neo

This is a really killer feature as it will allow for more of a controlled fitness program, one that can really help you improve as you monitor via the heart rate. On top of that Samsung has allowed for running and walking and as a cycling and hiking companion.

Although hiking does sound a lot like walking.

There's sadly no GPS on board as rumoured, which makes the running apps a little redundant, but being able to fill the 4GB of storage on the Gear 2 and Gear 2 Neo will help a lot as the device can function as a standalone music player on your runs.

There's even a sleep and stress sensor package to download – although it begs the question of when you're going to charge it.

Battery life

This is an odd one: while Samsung has shrunk the Gear 2 and Gear 2 Neo over the original and in doing so dropped the battery capacity from 315mAh to 300mAh, it now reckons you'll get 2-3 days of power from a single charge – six if you use it in 'low usage' mode.

Galaxy Gear 2 vs Gear 2 Neo

Compare that to the 25 hours quoted for the original, and you can see that Tizen must be kinder to the power pack – with that extra heart rate sensing too the Gear 2 must be pretty efficient.

Verdict

We sadly don't know the price of the Gear 2 range as yet, but we'd wager that the Neo will be around 15% - 20% cheaper than the main Gear 2.

Both need to cost a lot less than the original, which was one of the main problems that consumers had with a largely pointless device.

The new range is definitely a step forward, and brings a new flavour in the shape of fitness abilities that put it head and shoulders above the other smartwatches on the market – although that's still not enough to entice most people.

The price is key here – if it's the same as before, Samsung is going to have a really hard sell. At least there's a degree of autonomy on offer, allowing you to wander away from a phone from time to time.

In terms of recommendation, the Gear 2 Neo seems like a much better option out of the two new devices. Shorn of the pointless camera and being a little lighter, there's a lot more to love if you're after a new watch.

They're still not perfect, but the Gear 2 brothers are a big step forward over the original, and could be just enough to keep Samsung relevant in the impending war with Apple.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Phones and Tablets Editor

Gareth (Twitter, Google+) has been part of the mobile phone industry from the era of the brick to the tiny device in the pocket... and now watching them grow back up to behemothic proportions once more. He's spent five years dissecting all the top phones in the world as TechRadar's Phones and Tablets Editor, and still can't resist answering the dreaded question - "which new phone should I get?" - with 15 choices.