The good news is that the Gear S2 is a useful smartwatch regardless. If you want a timepiece that handles notifications, communication, fitness, and some handy widgets for music and weather, the Gear S2 works well enough out of the box.
Certainly, some people enjoyed Samsung’s previous smartwatches—just read the many angry comments on my Gear S review for proof—and they may be disappointed by the Gear S, which can’t make phone calls and lacks built-in GPS. While Samsung is bringing those features to a thicker, larger, 3G version of the Gear S2, even that won’t have the same app selection or full-blown web browser. In other words, it won’t feel quite like strapping a smartphone to your wrist.
But for most people, I’m guessing Samsung’s newfound restraint will prove to be a good thing. Instead of continuing down the path of piling on more features, Samsung backtracked to make sure it got the basics right. Although the Gear S2 hasn’t reached smartwatch perfection yet, at least it’s on the right course to get there.
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