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Samsung Galaxy Gear vs. Gear 2, Neo, and Gear Fit

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March 6, 2014

Gizmag lines up Samsung's four Gear devices to compare their features and specs

Gizmag lines up Samsung's four Gear devices to compare their features and specs

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After launching its first smartwatch back in September, Samsung's line of wearables is about to get a lot bigger. Starting next month, two new smartwatches and one new fitness tracker are about to join the Samsung Gear family. Let's try to cut through the confusion and compare the features and specs of Samsung's original Galaxy Gear to the new Gear 2, Gear 2 Neo, and Gear Fit (whew!).

Update: We have now published our updated version of this comparison, featuring two newer watches.

Notifications

Pedometers all around

It's no surprise that the three full-fledged smartwatches deliver notifications, but you can also get them on the Gear Fit. That looks like the biggest feature that separates it from rival trackers from Fitbit and Jawbone.

Non-Samsung phone compatibility

If you don't own a Samsung phone, there's no point in buying any of these

Don't own a Samsung Galaxy phone? Well, then you're probably out of luck, as you'll need one to enjoy the full features of any of these wrist-based devices. The Gear Fit will still track your activity without a compatible phone, but to get those notifications we mentioned, you'll need a Galaxy.

Phone calls

The three smartwatches all let you make phone calls from your wrist

All three of the full-fledged smartwatches let you take and make calls on the watch (it's technically happening on your phone, but it should feel like you're doing it all on the watch). Samsung says you'll get notifications for calls on the Gear Fit, but without a microphone, you'll have to grab your phone to answer it.

Display

The Gear Fit, with its narrow screen, is less smartwatch and more fitness band

The Gear 2 and Gear 2 Neo both rock the same AMOLED display found in the OG Galaxy Gear. The Gear Fit's screen is much narrower – and curved.

Heart rate sensor

Though the Gear Fit is the only one marketed as a fitness tracker, all three of the new wr...

The Gear Fit may be the only dedicated fitness tracker in this bunch, but it doesn't appear to track anything that the two new smartwatches won't. That includes the heart rate sensor built-in to all three of the new gizmos.

Sleep-tracking

The three new models feature some sleep-tracking software

Ditto for sleep tracking, though Samsung lists this feature as "downloadable" for the Gear 2 watches.

Pedometer

All of the devices will send smartphone notifications to your wrist

Oh look, even the original Gear had a pedometer built-in.

Water and dust resistance

The water resistance is much better in the new models

All three of the new models got some extra water and dust protection.

Size

One of these things is not like the others

If you've ever used a Galaxy Gear, then you already have a pretty good idea of how big the Gear 2 series will be. The Gear Fit, meanwhile, is a much narrower device: more band than watch.

Weight

The Gear Fit should feel very light on your wrist

The Gear Fit is much lighter than the other three, but even the two new watches shed a few grams from the Galaxy Gear.

Colors

Color options for the four devices

Several colors to choose from no matter which wrist-computer tickles your fancy.

Camera

The Gear 2's camera is now located in its main body

Two of the watches have cameras (this is the biggest difference between the Gear 2 and Gear 2 Neo), but Samsung switched things around for the Gear 2. The Galaxy Gear's camera was integrated into its band, but now it lives on the Gear 2's main body. This opens the door to our next category ...

Swappable band

The three new models all let you swap their bands

All three of the new Gears let you swap bands. For the Gear 2 and Neo, any standard 22 mm strap will do the trick. It looks like the Fit will require a custom band.

Voice control

Samsung's S Voice lets you dictate text messages from your wrist

A voice assistant can be a very cool feature to have on your wrist. Unfortunately, Samsung is using a pared-down version of its own S Voice app for the three smartwatches. They let you do things like dictate text messages (very handy) or check the weather (kinda handy). For just about anything else, though, S Voice won't be able to help you.

Infrared

The two new watches have infrared built-in

One cool addition to the Gear 2 and Gear 2 Neo is an IR blaster. If that sounds like a gun Han Solo would use, you're (unfortunately) wrong. It hooks up to Samsung's WatchOn app to let you change channels on your TV. This is a pretty nifty feature to have on a phone, but I can see myself using it a lot more on a watch.

Home button

The two new watches have infrared built-in

Both the Gear 2 and Neo have home buttons sitting below their screens. The Galaxy Gear only lets you navigate backwards by swiping down on the screen. The Gear Fit, with its simpler fitness focus, doesn't have a home button either.

Battery

Battery life should be improved in all of the new Gears

Samsung is talking a better game with its battery life estimates in the new models. We can probably chalk most of that up to this next category ...

Software

Call the tabloids: Samsung is ditching Android for Tizen

Yep, Samsung is ditching Android for its own battery-friendly Tizen OS on the two new Gear watches. This probably explains why the app development for the Galaxy Gear has been so abysmal. Samsung was likely plotting this shift for some time, and didn't want to bother stocking up on Android-friendly apps for the OG Gear.

The original Gear, however, is supposedly going to eventually receive an update to Tizen as well. I can't think of any time when a device has received an update that changed its entire operating system. With similar UIs, though, you probably won't notice a huge difference on the surface.

The Gear Fit doesn't run much of anything, with most of what you see on your screen coming from your paired phone.

Processor

At this point, smartwatches don't need a lot on the processor front, but the new models sh...

It looks like the two new smartwatches might get a little speed boost, as their processors jump into the land of dual-core.

RAM

RAM in each device

RAM, however, hasn't changed from the late 2013 model.

Storage

Internal storage for each watch

Looks like storage is the same as well, though the scant amount of available Gear apps don't appear to be putting that 4 GB cap in danger of filling up anytime soon.

Release date

Release dates ...

The Gear is dead ... long live the Gear. Just over six months after the Galaxy Gear hit store shelves, its three successors will be elbowing their way past it.

Pricing

The Gear 2 Neo and Gear Fit both retail for $200

We expected the Gear 2 to run for the same US$300 that the Galaxy Gear launched for, and now that part is official. What's a little more surprising is that the Neo and Fit both have the same $200 price tag. It looks like the Neo has all of the Fit's fitness capabilities on board, so the Neo ends up giving you more features for the same price. So the Fit's slimmer, band-like form factor is what you're paying for.

While the original Galaxy Gear still technically goes for $300, we'd expect it to see some healthy price cuts as retailers offload their stock.

You can now read our full reviews of the Gear 2 and Gear Fit. And if you're looking for a new Gear-friendly phone, our Galaxy S5 review is also live.

About the Author
Will Shanklin Will Shanklin is Gizmag's Mobile Tech Editor, and has been part of the team since 2012. Will has a Master's degree from U.C. Irvine and a Bachelor's from West Virginia University. He currently lives in New Mexico with his wife, Jessica.
  All articles by Will Shanklin
4 Comments

Wait for Apple to come out with the iWatch. It'll be designed better and you can pair it with a decent phone...

Neil
7th March, 2014 @ 03:20 pm PST

Really liking the FIT. Hope version 2 comes with everything the GEAR 2 and GEAR Neo can do but with a slightly wider screen. Even a tight fitting bangle version where there would be a screen on the top and the bottom of the wrist.

Mark Keller
7th March, 2014 @ 03:55 pm PST

The Gear 2 and Gear 2 neo seem pretty similar minus the camera but I saw rumored pricing somewhere at $300 (gear 2), $200 (neo), and $200 (fit).

My suspicion is that the they are probably not accurate. It would make the Neo a pretty decent deal but products like the fit comes in higher than some other similar products.

The fit bit flex ($90) doesn't display the time but it works with Android, iOS, PC, Mac and a bunch of apps like LoseIt, MyFitnessPal, Runkeeper etc. The Fitbit force is $130, tells time, and is rumored to be a lot better than Flex but they had to pull it from shelves over a nickel allergy or something. Nike Fuelband is $150.

Gear fit would be the most expensive activity tracker on the market at $200, it only works with Samsung phones, and both Fitbit and Fuelband have 7+ day battery life. My guess is gear fit will be closer to $150.

Daishi
9th March, 2014 @ 05:03 am PDT

Thanks Will Shanklin, this article was very helpful and cool to read. :-)

Yolanda Washington
28th March, 2014 @ 11:36 am PDT
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