Samsung Gear 2: release date, news and features

The apps already developed for the Gear on Android should be pretty easy to move over to Tizen, given the OS is set up to allow this to happen without too much fuss – and it seems to be kinder on the battery too, offering 2-3 days' use in normal situations (up to six with 'low usage') which is a big jump from the 25 hours thrown out for the original Gear.

Pricey as before?

The new Gear needs to be cheaper than the original, coming as it did for £299 or $299 (around AU$333) off the shelf.

We sadly don't know the official price just yet, but Samsung was rumoured to have chopped the cost to make sure the Gear 2 is competitive in the face of the iWatch.

We can imagine a situation where the Gear 2 will cost the same as the first version (which makes sense given the amount of extra technology shoved in there) and the Neo option being about 15% cheaper.

Samsung knows that it wouldn't fare well if it pitted its watch against the premium quality of Apple's (just look at some of the high end tablets Samsung offers for the same cost as the iPad Air) and should look to offer a lower cost as well as the enhanced feature set.

With that in mind, the Gear 2 is a crucial device for the South Korean brand – it's already had one bite with the first option, and if the next iteration fails to ignite then it could be handing the keys to the wearable kingdom to Apple before it's even brought anything out.

Gear 2 release date

The Samsung Gear 2 launch date s now upon us, and as expected it's at MWC 2014 (well, the day before if you're being picky).

But it will be a while before it actually reaches the shop shelves, as the release date is set for April, and will begin worldwide.

We'll be betting that the Galaxy S5 and the Gear 2 will be launched onto shop shelves as a joint deal in a number of retailers, so its probable the two will have the same release date, if not very close together.

Fitness tracking

One of the big changes with the Gear 2 set is the added fitness ability – the pedometer from the first model remains, but now comes with a lot more nous when it comes to making you fitter.

One of the biggest changes is hidden away: there's now an optical sensor on the back of the device to monitor your heart rate as you run or walk around. Those are the two inbuilt exercises from the start, although it can function as 'companion' to cycling and hiking. It'll even track your sleeping patterns.

There are a number of apps from launch that can help with the fitness too, such as Map My Fitness, so you'll be able to use the Gear 2 freely as a general exercise tool.

Bluetooth streaming of music stored on the Gear 2's inbuilt 4GB is a welcome addition too, making the device more autonomous and something genuinely useful to have on a run when you don't want to carry your phone.