The Samsung Gear S2 is now as official as it gets, and the clock is counting down to its 2 October release date - that date has been confirmed by Samsung over in the US.
Check the early review: We've got our hands on the Samsung Gear S2 so head over there for our thoughts on the next generation smartwatch.
It comes in two flavours: the Samsung Gear S2 and Gear S2 Classic are essentially the same device, albeit with different finishes – much like the different editions of the Apple Watch. However, each comes with and without 4G telephony capabilities, meaning that unlike the Apple Watch, you'll be able to pipe calls and data to your smartwatch. Both Samsung models have Wi-Fi, Bluetooth and NFC, and the 4G models also pack GPS as well.
However, there's even better news for Gear S2 fans. Unlike previous Samsung Gear smartwatches, the company has cut ties to its own hardware. Yes, you can use the Samsung Gear S2 with most Android handsets and the company has even started talking about iOS compatibility too. Something must be in the water over in Korea.
Essential reading: The best smartwatches in the world
Samsung Gear S2: Specs
It packs a 1.2-inch Super AMOLED display, with an impressive 302 ppi count from the 360 x 360 resolution. It's 11.4mm thick, so not quite as dainty as the forthcoming Huawei Watch, but a touch more slight than most of its rivals.
The Tizen smartwatch features a rotating bezel that adds physical controls to the touchscreen setup. It can be used for a number of navigation actions including scrolling, zooming and adjusting levels such as volumes and brightness.
The Gear S2 Classic is the black one - it comes with a leather strap - and the regular Gear S2 has either a silver finish / white strap or is an all dark grey affair. Samsung says it is also working with fashion brands to offer up additional faces, bands and bezels.
Both versions are IP68 dust and water resistant and both pack 4GB of storage and 512MB of RAM. They are powered by a dual-core 1GHz Exynos processor. Samsung is promising 2-3 days of battery life from the 300mAh power pack, but we'll reserve judgement on that until we've published our full Gear S2 review. Charing is via a wireless dock.
In terms of sensors, there's an accelerometer, a gyroscope, a heart rate monitor, an ambient light reader and a barometer. Samsung is keen to stress the sporty fitness tracking credentials of its latest wearable - both S Health and Nike+ Running will be baked into the device.
Samsung Gear S2: Apps
With Tizen at the helm it means that Samsung has to create its own app store – and it seems like it's done a good job. There was already a Tizen store for the original Gear S – and it says that there are 1,000 designed for the S2's circular screen. Good news.
Samsung is also rolling out Samsung Pay with the Gear S, which means like Apple users, you'll be able to pay for things by the wrist. It works using NFC, so there's none of the magnetic strip payments which makes Samsung Pay so powerful, but it means you should be able to hand over contactless dollars at most places you can use your card.
Samsung Gear S2: Price and release date
The Samsung Gear S2 will be on sale from 2 October in the US, from Amazon, Best Buy and Macy's, as well as direct through Samsung.
The Classic is $350, the regular one is $300. We'll update UK prices as and when we get them.
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