Samsung Gear S2 Classic long-term review

We get hands on with the best android smartwatch in the market right now.

Meryl D'Souza April 18, 2016

Scroll to the bottom to read this long-term review chronologically.

April 25, 2016: It’s been a long day without you my friend

It’s precisely eight minutes since I handed over the Gear S2 Classic. And the withdrawal symptoms are stomping me to the floor.

As a rule, I tend to keep my phone on silent for every minute of the day. At work, it’s because I don’t want to bring down productivity. When writers are in their zone, something as simple as a text beep can throw them off. It’s a pain. At home, I don’t like the folks knowing how many texts I get.

Most can relate to those first world problems. The S2 would vibrate every time I got a text, making it’s importance twofold. Firstly, not alerting or disturbing anyone else and more importantly, making sure I don’t miss out on any notifications.

If it wasn’t for my stubby fingers, I could have used the watch keyboard to reply to texts and not bother with my phone. Sadly, there’s no workaround at this moment. Samsung will have you believe that its voice assistant is capable of taking over, but it’s nowhere near ready.

But I’ll tell you all about when I see you again

Needless to say, I’ll be buying this one. It’s quite easily the best smartwatch in the market right now. The battery took me by surprise. I had forgotten to take the magnetic charger with me one weekend. To my surprise the watch lasted untill Saturday night - almost 48 hours without charging!

Besides the watch itself, what sold me was the ability for customisation. With the Gear Watch Designer users can design a watch face of their choice. The app itself is user-friendly and doesn’t have a steep learning curve. Users can even set background timers to the point where they can have a watch face with a sun from 6:00 to 18:00 and then throw in a moon watch face for the remainder of the day. Yes, it even supports animation.

April 18, 2016: Love at first swipe

I’ve had the Gear 2 classic for a week and I’m hooked. I couldn’t believe this was a Samsung product.

I had seen stellar pictures and other glowing reviews of the smartwatch, but I tend to let the euphoria settle before I have a crack at a gadget. People these days sway with the first opinion to hit the Internet after something new comes up. Few think for themselves or dare to stray from the herd mentality. Just look at the case with Batman versus Superman – not a great flick, but certainly not as bad as some initially suggested.

For the longest time Samsung has been the Batman versus Superman of the gadget world. Receiving a little too much flak for minor misdemeanours. 2015 was the year the Korean manufacturers came good. It started with the Samsung Galaxy S6 and segued into the Gear series.

I’m not a fan of the standard edition Gear 2. I was all set to trash it even before the unit hit my desk. But then I was introduced to the Gear 2 Classic – the better-looking fraternal twin that is quite possibly the best smartwatch I’ve seen yet. 

Samsung swapped the boxy design from the first Gear smartwatch for a circular design that actually makes it look like a watch and not a mini-laptop. The glossy steel body paired with the leather strap was a compliment magnet. Everyone at the EDGAR team, friends and even family members who couldn’t care less about a person’s sense of style loved the look of the Classic.

The rotating bezel is genius and makes navigating easy and fun. I say fun because of that click sound every time I turn the bezel. I could be a little biased here because the rotating bezel plays on my nostalgia goggles. My first ever watch had a rotating bezel. So getting my first smartwatch with one gives me that circle of life feeling.

S Health problems 

The software is crisp and elegant. My problems lie with the apps. For some reason, the S Health app didn’t seamlessly integrate with my smartwatch. In fact, pairing the Gear S2 with my phone negated my step count for the day and even wiped out my previous step records. Of course this isn’t a big deal for most people, but I’m s stickler for the badges I get. And with my history now clean of all the badges I received over the last month, I had to start again with this watch.

A watch of many faces

The Gear S2 is like the Jaqen H’ghar (from Game Of Throes) of the gadget world. In that it has many faces. The faces are obviously customizable and while the ability to use pictures from your gallery as a watch face may be tacky to me, I’m sure it’s appealing to newlyweds, new parents and the like.

Personally I prefer the chronograph watch face. The Classic’s good looks are versatile enough pull of digital and analogue faces. That’s a plus because it makes you feel like you’re using a different watch all the time.

The Samsung Gear S2 Classic retails from AED 1,199.