The Samsung Gear S2 Smartwatch Is A Disappointment And Definitely No Apple Watch Competitor

The Samsung Gear S2 smartwatch was released on Friday, October 2. The watch disappointed consumers, as early reports called it an Apple Watch Killer. Gizmag’s early impressions were very 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.”

Unfortunately, Gizmag’s critic didn’t spend enough time with the Gear S2 in order to see its faults. First of all, it’s important to note that Samsung’s new watch looks stunning. The circular frame with the AMOLED screen certainly looks gorgeous. But, once you turn the watch on and pair it with your device, that’s where things go wrong.

The Samsung Gear S2 comes in some really nice packaging. It's a shame the same thing can't be said about the actual watch. [Photo by Daryl Deino]
The Samsung Gear S2 comes in some really nice packaging. It’s a shame the same thing can’t be said about the actual watch. [Photo by Daryl Deino]
The Gear S2 used for this review paired easily with the Galaxy Note 5. Notifications were instant. The turn-style bezel on the face of the watch was easy to use in order to sway through all the apps. At first sight, Samsung’s new watch operating system, Tizen, appears to work fluidly. However, the Gear S2 soon shows its faults and its major downfall is S-Voice.

S-Voice works slightly better on the watch than it does on Samsung’s smartphones. However, that’s not saying much. When speaking to the watch and texting, “I live on Sepulveda in Sherman Oaks,” S-Voice translated the words as “Olive Cepulvida in Sherman Oaks.” When using the same exact voice on the Apple Watch, it translated the text perfectly.

Responding to an email didn’t help much, either. When simply trying to respond to an email by saying, “I’ll be there tomorrow,” S-Voice translated the words as “All be there tomorrow.” Unlike the Apple Watch, the Samsung Gear S2 simply cannot be used consistently to answer emails or text messages with just your voice and this is one of the most important aspects of a smartwatch. When you are driving with the Apple Watch, you can accurately answer text messages without taking your attention off the road. Don’t even try it with the Samsung Gear S2.

The exercise tracker on the Gear S2 is mediocre. [Photo by Bloomberg for Getty Images]
The new Gear S2 smartwatch provides a mediocre user experience. [Photo by Bloomberg for Getty Images]
On the Apple Watch, you can say “Drive to the Sherman Oaks Galleria” on any screen. It takes a little too long to pull a map up and start getting driving directions, but you can do it. And, the Apple Watch will tap your wrist (literally!) when it comes time to make a turn. The same thing can’t be said about the Gear S2. As a matter of fact, you have to start the Maps app on the Gear S2 in order to be able to dictate the place where you want to go. And don’t be surprised if the Maps app doesn’t read your voice accurately. Instead of taking you to the Sherman Oaks Galleria, you could end up riding to the house of Mr. Sherman Okes. It’s really that bad!

Even though S-Voice represents the downfall of the Gear S2, it isn’t its only problem. If you are using your Gear S2 as an exercise tracker, don’t expect to be able to view the total calories you have burned per day. You can view the calories you’ve burned per each activity segment of the day, but not the total. Of course, one can always add all the segments together with the calculator app, but why should they have to?

The failure of the Gear S2 is good news for the Apple Watch, since it shows how much better than the competition the Apple Watch really is. Do you own the Gear S2? Tell us what you think about it in the comments section.

[Feature photo by Daryl Deino]