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What Samsung Brings To Its New Gear S2 Smart Watches

S2 and S2 Classic add circular display, rotating bezel to control apps

Samsung is dropping the curved rectangular display of its Gear S smart watch for a circular display and an app-controlling rotating bezel on the successor Gear S2.

A variety of apps optimized for the Gear S2’s circular user interface will be available at launch, the company announced.

The Gear S2 and S2 Classic also add home and back button for quicker access to notifications and applications, plus NFC-based Samsung Mobile Pay payment technology.

Like before, the S2 will come in a Bluetooth/Wi-Fi version, which connects via Bluetooth to a smartphone to make and receive calls. Also like before, Samsung will offer a version with embedded 3G cellular voice, enabling users to receive 2G and 3G cellular calls and texts forwarded from a smartphone outside of Bluetooth range. The new model also continues to use Samsung’s Tizen OS.

Pricing wasn’t announced, but AT&T, T-Mobile and U.S. Cellular said they plan to offer the 3G models, with T-Mobile announcing fall availability. Pricing wasn’t revealed by the carriers or by Samsung, which also didn’t reveal availability dates for the Bluetooth/Wi-Fi version.

The Gear S2 will be available with a dark-gray case and dark-gray band and with silver case and white band. The S2 classic will be available in a black case with leather band. The Classic features “a more timeless watch design,” while the Gear S2 is targeted to people favoring a minimalist modern design, the company said.

Also like before, the smart watch lets users display notifications of calendar items, email and news when connected to a smartphone. It also lets users send texts from the device. The Gear S2 also continues to double as a music player and fitness tracker, download apps, and connect to Samsung phones to display navigation data.

The new model is 11.4mm thick, features a 1.2- inch circular screen with 360 by 360 and 302 PPI resolution, and comes with battery that lasts up to two to three days.

Like the Gear S, the S2 features 1GHz dual-core processor, 512MB RAM, 4GB storage, GPS, accelerometer, gyroscope, compass, hear-rate monitor, ambient light sensor and barometer. Dust- and water-resistance is upped to IP68 from IP67.