Apps

Apps are accessed through the Gear S2's smartphone companion app. It allows you to search the store, and organises them into best picks, categories, or the most popular.

This is where Tizen has a negative impact on the watch. Whereas Android Wear and Watch OS 4 are relatively well established operating systems with a flourishing user and developer base, Tizen is comparatively barren.

Read more: Honor Band 4

Tizen has suffered from a lack of big name apps. Launch apps like Nike+, Yelp, ESPN, Flipboard, Here Maps, Line and Lifesum are all present. They've been joined by Uber, Spotify and eBay, but overall the list is still much more 'independent' than watchOS and Android Wear. And generally lacking in quality.

Samsung Gear S2 Apps Page

Some of the apps are really useful, Here Maps is great for navigation, and the Nike+ app is very competent at fitness tracking, but it's a shame there isn't a wealth of choice when it comes to apps.

There's also a disappointing list of third party watch faces, with very few customisation options available.

Compatibility

In the past Tizen has only been compatible with Samsung smartphones, greatly limiting its potential user base. Thankfully, the Gear S2 is compatible with any Android phone running 4.4 and higher with over 1.5GB RAM. I tested it using a Moto X Style and HTC One M8, neither of which caused any problems.

Samsung has also added iOS compatibility for any phone running at least iOS 9. In our experience, it's not much different than using the Gear S2 on an Android phone, and that's a good thing.

Battery life

Samsung has equipped the Gear S2 with a 250mAh battery, which is actually quite small for a modern smartwatch (most have 300mAh or higher).

Samsung claims this is good for around two or three days use with always on display turned off, and around 1.5 days with it turned on. I found this to be absolutely spot on, with the watch lasting around three days with mixed use at a push.

When the battery life gets to around five percent, the Gear S2 will prompt you to activate battery saving mode, which reduces a majority of features to stretch out battery life a little longer. This is a very effective feature, though it does leave the S2 severely underpowered until you get to a plug socket.

Samsung Gear S2 on Wireless Charger

In short, the battery life is good, even if it's certainly not a stand out performer. I'd love to see a five-day battery life, but realistically that's not going to happen.

Charging the battery to full takes around an hour, which isn't bad. The charging connector is a combination of the Moto 360 charger and the Apple Watch dock. The Gear S2 features wireless charging, and sits in its cradle with magnets, stopping the wearable from falling out.

It's a really neat little dock, and features an LED on the front which turns from red to green when the watch has finished charging.

The watch supports the QI wireless charging standard, which means you can place it on any compatible QI dock and it'll start drawing power.