Smartwatch segment

Samsung Gear S2 Classic: Wins on looks but let down by its OS

The highlight of the watch is its rotating ceramic bezel. By turning it, you can scroll through the watch options offered by Samsung's Tizen OS.
The highlight of the watch is its rotating ceramic bezel. By turning it, you can scroll through the watch options offered by Samsung's Tizen OS.PHOTO: SAMSUNG

The Samsung Gear S2 Classic is a more formal-looking variant of its sporty Gear S2 ($448) cousin. But both watches feature a 1.2-inch (360 x 360 pixels) touchscreen display and stainless steel case that will appeal to watch lovers who prefer classic designs.

The highlight of the Gear S2 Classic is its rotating ceramic bezel. By turning the bezel, you can scroll through the watch options offered by Samsung's Tizen OS.

Within the display, apps are arranged in a circular sequence, so you can go to the app you want quickly. You can also rotate the bezel to scroll through e-mails or messages. The good thing about this mode of operation is that the display will not be blocked by your fingers. Two buttons located at the two o'clock and five o'clock positions serve as back and home buttons.

  • TECH SPECS

    PRICE: $548

    CASE MATERIAL: Stainless steel

    COMPATIBILITY: Android 4.4 or higher

    WEIGHT: 55g (with leather strap)

  • RATING

    FEATURES: 4/5

    DESIGN: 5/5

    PERFORMANCE: 3/5

    BATTERY LIFE: 4/5

    VALUE FOR MONEY: 4/5

    OVERALL: 4/5

While the Gear S2 Classic wins on looks, it is let down by its OS. For example, Tizen uses Here Maps, which lacks the accuracy in direction and location information compared to Google Maps and Apple Maps. You also cannot answer phone calls by speaking into the watch.

It does come with a heart-rate sensor that measures your heart rate and prompts you to stand and walk if you have been sitting for too long.

Battery life is better than most smartwatches - at around three days before you need to charge it.

Trevor Tan

  • Verdict: The Samsung Gear S2 Classic is a smartwatch with great looks, but hampered by the very software needed to support its innovative bezel.

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A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on December 23, 2015, with the headline 'Wins on looks but let down by its OS'. Print Edition | Subscribe