REVIEWED: Samsung Gear 2 Neo smart watch

REVIEWED: Samsung Gear 2 Neo smart watch

The watch controls the air conditioning unit

First published in News
Last updated
News Shopper: Photograph of the Author by , leisure editor

Had Desmond Llewelyn still been alive, I strongly suspect that he would have delivered the Samsung Galaxy Gear Neo 2 (£159) to me personally.

The smart watch is the kind of gadget that makes the wearer feel like they’re James Bond, albeit more Pierce Brosnan-era than Daniel Craig.

Starting with its looks, the Gear 2 Neo – a slimmed down camera-less update on the Gear 2 – is quite the looker.

It has a large rectangular face (handy for its range of functions), an otherwise classic watch-like appearance and pleasing proportions.

Even in bright orange, it didn’t look completely ridiculous on my wrist. But you should definitely choose black or grey.

News Shopper:

The pedometer reminds you how lazy you are

Generally the screen remained off, but with a tilt of the wrist, it knew I was looking at it and came alive.

As a watch, it’s great, but that’s not really why anyone will buy the Gear 2 Neo.

The watch is packed with features which are very fun.

My favourite Bondesque feature is the WatchON remote, which allows you to take over control of every electrical item in the vicinity.

Ok, not every electric item, the air con and the TV.

Fiddling with the fan above my bosses’ head caused minutes of sheer japery. It worked well with my telly at home too.

Both were a cinch to set up.

News Shopper:

Taking control of the office's air conditioning

The other feature reminiscent of 007 is the heart rate monitor. You simply slip it around to the underside of your wrist and it can read your pulse. It’s quirky, and handy when combined with the activity tracking software.

I like to think it could be adapted if I were in MI6 to encompass lie detecting and maybe an In Like Flint defibrillating function.

If my heart rate of 49 is to be trusted (and I’m not sure) then I may need reviving soon.

There are a few apps you can add to the watch too; games like PacMan and snake as well as fitness apps.

The fitness apps are good but I was let down on a run that came up half a mile shorter than that of my buddies using GPS watches, like the Garmins.

Like Nike’s Fuelband and the FitBit, the activity tracking functions may lack GPS accuracy but they did definitely inspire me to get off my backside.

News Shopper:

The pedometer on the home screen was a constant reminder that I was a lazy bloater and needed to get out more.

Also impressive on the Gear 2 Neo was the ability to make and take phone calls on the watch and get notifications about missed calls and texts as well as from apps like Facebook, Twitter.

But – and this is a big but – most of the worthwhile features depended on my phone being within range of the watch’s Bluetooth signal. That said, it did link up really well (and works with 17 types of Samsung).

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