It’s finally happening. The smartwatch market is growing up. Manufacturers are learning from their own mistakes and those of others. They’re listening to customers and paying attention to fashion and watch history. And with the arrival of Samsung’s wholly refashioned Gear S2 smartwatch, we now have two or more solid contenders for the best wearables on the market.
Over the last two years, virtually every smartwatch manufacturer has gone back to the drawing board at least once. Some, like Motorola and LG have made welcome, if incremental, improvements to their designs. However, when Apple introduced the Apple Watch earlier this year, it appeared as if the company had ingested every lesson in the history of wearables and then leap-frogged the competition. Quite honestly most of what I’ve seen since then has been companies playing catch-up. No one appeared to have the courage to start over.
Samsung calls its new wearable the Gear S2 to remind people that it’s part of the Galaxy Gear line of wearable products it started introducing in 2013. The first batch of large and not particularly well-designed devices all ran Android Wear, Google’s powerful wearable OS that’s also a notorious battery-life hog.