I can’t believe I’m going to say this, but I’m actually a very tiny, tiny little bit ‘excited’ about Samsung’s (…eh) new smartwatch, the Gear S2. It looks pretty decent, seems to have a better input method than laggy touch (Wear) or a finicky jog dial nobody uses (Apple Watch), and the software – that’s Tizen, so an alternative operating system! Right? Right? – looks nice, and seems to work well too.
The impressive things with the Gear S2 don’t end with its new design: Samsung’s actually figured out a really smart interaction model for smartwatches that I’m shocked no one else has done yet. There’s the touchscreen, yes, just like most other smartwatches, and the Gear S2 has a couple buttons on its side for home and back. But its real trick is in the rotating bezel, which lets you quickly and easily scroll through lists, apps, watch faces, and whatever else you might be looking at on the screen. It’s more predictable and intuitive than the Apple Watch’s Digital Crown and is a joy to use.
I can’t believe that upon first inspection, this Gear S2 actually seems like a really well-designed and well-thought out product, considering we’re dealing with Samsung here. This thing still isn’t watch enough for my personal taste, but there’s no denying that Samsung seems to have done a decent job here.
I hope I get to play with one soon.
The rotating bezel looks like a good idea. I just hope there is some prior art, so Samsung can’t “patent” the concept.