Samsung Releases Gear S2 Smartwatch: Is It An Apple Watch Killer?

Best Buy and Macy’s have began selling the highly anticipated Gear S2 smartwatch from Samsung. Android Authority has the news.

“As expected, the Samsung Gear S2 has now arrived to the US market, with the standard model priced at $299 and the more premium Gear S2 Classic set at $349. While the Gear S2 isn’t an Android Wear-powered device, it is pretty feature packed and marks the first time that Samsung has offered a smartwatch with a circular display.”

Android Authority adds that the watch is available at Best Buy, Macy’s, and even Samsung’s site. The classic version will run you $349.99 while the regular sport version will cost $299.99. A quick check at the Best Buy locations in Sherman Oaks, Glendale, and Burbank, CA, shows that the regular black version is in stock, but none of these stores have the classic version yet.

So far, the Gear S2 smartwatch has received great reviews. [Photo by Bloomberg for Getty Images] So far, the Gear S2 smartwatch has received great reviews. [Photo by Bloomberg for Getty Images]The Gear S2 smartwatch has received good review so far. Gizmag’s early impressions are positive.

“After Samsung blasted out five smartwatches in the span of a year, the company took more time with its latest watch, the Gear S2. Out of the box, it’s already clear that the extra TLC paid off: this is easily Samsung’s best watch to date.”

Gizmag really likes the the rotating bezel, which makes things easy to pick and select. They also like the 1.2-inch, 302 pixels-per-inch display. Forbes also thinks that the Gear S2 watch is fascinating as the reviewer, Ian Morris, claims the Gear S2 is the best looking and most functional smartwatch he has seen yet. Wired is equally impressed, claiming it may be the first great smartwatch.

“At long last, a company may have figured out exactly how a smartwatch should act, how it should look, how it should feel, and ultimately what it should be. That company is Samsung, and that smartwatch is the Gear S2 Classic.”

There are some critics who are saying that Samsung's new smartwatch is better than the Apple Watch. [Photo by Bloomberg for Getty Images] There are some critics who are saying that Samsung’s new smartwatch is better than the Apple Watch. [Photo by Bloomberg for Getty Images]Clearly, Samsung is trying to take away customers from another field Apple is dominating, though the smartwatch market really hasn’t taken off yet. Apple Watch sales haven’t been impressive and the first generation of the Apple Watch didn’t get unanimously good reviews, which Apple products usually get.

Susie Ochs from Macworld, a site that usually gives everything from Apple four stars or more, gave the watch three-and-a-half stars, citing one of the most frustrating problems with Apple’s new product.

“Since the lion’s share of the data it presents comes from your iPhone, be prepared for lags. Even scrolling around its face, the refresh rate seems a little laggy compared to what I’m used to (and spoiled with) on the iPhone and iPad,” Ochs claimed.

Ochs goes on to note that location-based apps, like Maps and Weather, are the slowest. She says third party apps are even worse. Ochs isn’t the only reviewer who believes the Apple Watch has too much lag. In addition to the lag, Gizmodo says the watch is just too hard to use, especially since the screen is too small. The reviewer added that he launched the wrong app way too many times.

The Apple Watch recently had a software upgrade, watchOS 2, which increases the usefulness of Apple’s new watch. However, many are claiming that the Gear S2, even in its first version, is more useful than Apple’s watch with the latest update. Which smartwatch would you rather have — the Apple Watch or the Samsung Gear S2? Let us know in the comments section.

[Feature photo by Bloomberg for Getty Images]