Samsung Gear 2 Neo - Battery Life and Verdict

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Samsung Gear Neo 2: Battery Life

The Gear Neo 2 runs on a 300mAh capacity battery, which is in fact smaller than the one inside the original Gear (315mAh). Samsung claims you should get 2-3 days in heavy use and up to 6 days in low usage. That’s a vast improvement on the first Samsung Galaxy Gear, which struggled to make it through a day. It certainly does a much better job than the Gear Fit as well.

After four days of moderate use just before the Gear 2 switches itself off completely, all of the features apart from the watch face are off limits, prompting you to reach for the small charging cradle. If you are planning to borrow one from a Gear 2-wearing friend, the dock is only compatible with the Gear Neo 2, which is pretty ridiculous.

It takes roughly two hours to charge back up to full capacity, so it’s not long before you can strap it back around the wrist. If you consider the original Pebble smartwatch manages closer to 5-7 days battery that should really be the benchmark for smartwatches if you don’t want to be charging it as regularly as you do your smartphone.

Should I buy the Samsung Gear Neo 2?

The Gear Neo 2 is definitely an improvement on the original Galaxy Gear smartwatch, but it’s still a deeply average product. Yes, it does have a better battery life, a more intuitive interface and some interesting fitness-based features, but it’s let down in so many other areas.

The app support is a bit laughable at the moment. There needs to be less of a focus on the ridiculous nature of making calls on a watch and a greater emphasis on running apps and offering the kind of bite-size information that will be at the heart of Android Wear smartwatches.

While the battery life is better, it’s still not close enough to a week that we feel ought to be the minimum for any smartwatch.

It doesn’t have the metal design of the Gear 2, but the plastic look it’s not terribly cheap or as unattractive as we thought it might be. Omitting the camera is not such a big deal when you read what we had to say about its performance on the Samsung Gear 2 as well.

There’s not a great deal of alternatives to consider but the Pebble smartwatch provides the most compelling argument for a wrist-worn device at the moment. It’s cheaper at £129 and while it only has an e-ink display, it works with the iPhone and Android phones and has greater app support.

Verdict

Cheaper and slightly better value than the Gear 2, the Gear 2 Neo is a better proposition than the more expensive Samsung smartwatch. But that’s faint praise, so we’re still waiting for the smartwatch that convinces us it’s worth owning.

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