Samsung Electronics’ Gear smart-watches seem to be rather promising solutions for those who want to have an additional mobile companion device that monitors things like heart-rate. Unfortunately, they only work with Samsung’s own Galaxy smartphones at present. However, that might change in the future.
The Samsung Gear 2 and Gear 2 Neo are companion devices that allow users to accept or ignore incoming calls and messages as well as provide instant notification options based on a user’s activity and habits. The smart-watches feature heart-rate sensor, pedometer, accelerometer, gyroscope as well as Bluetooth v4.0 LE and IrLED connectivity to connect to other mobile devices and control TVs.
At present all Samsung Gear and Gear 2 smart-watches can only work with select Galaxy smartphones powered by Google Android operating system. However, given the fact that Gear-series devices have their own Tizen OS, they can work independently from smartphones or tablets and therefore communicate with various handsets, whether they come from Apple, Sony or LG Electronics. At least, a representative of Samsung claims so.
“I do not know how our roadmap looks like, but I am convinced that this is indeed the case,” said Luke Mansfield, head of innovation at Samsung Electronics in the UK, in an interview with Android Planet web-site.
Technically, it should not be that hard to make Samsung Gear 2 compatible with other Android- or even iOS-based devices. But since Gear 2 are exclusively available from Samsung, the company may be reluctant to offer this advantage to competing smartphones. Moreover, Apple may also not support Geae 2 by its upcoming Healthbook application suite, which is a part of the iOS 8.
KitGuru Says: It will clearly be nice to use Samsung Gear smart-watches with handsets made by other companies. However, to actually gain market share, Samsung needs to lower the price of such gadgets as well. At $299 the original Galaxy Gear has not become popular.