When Samsung unveiled the Gear S2, it looked lot like Samsung’s answer to the Apple Watch. And the company announced another move in this direction today byunveiling a new 18-karat rose gold and platinum Gear S2. Like the Apple Watch, it’s made of real gold and it’s not just gold-colored.
The new variants with matching leather bands will be available in February for an undisclosed price. It might be cheaper than the gold Apple Watch as Samsung doesn’t traditionally target the fashion market.
Also new today, the Samsung Gear S2 only worked with selected Samsung phones. Later this year, the company is going to add iOS support, making it a direct Apple Watch competitor.
The Gear S2 runs Tizen, and the company has been actively reaching out to partners to build apps for the device. You can find CNN, Bloomberg, eBay, ESPN, Uber and Voxer are some of the apps currently available on the Gear S2.
The company is also adding Samsung Pay support “later this year.” Samsung Pay is available in the U.S., the U.K., Spain, China and soon Australia, Singapore and Brazil.
When our own John Biggs tried the Gear S2, it had a surprisingly good looking interface. In particular, the spinning bezel works quite well.
Existing Gear S2 users will be able to buy new bands and install new watch faces featuring artwork from Keith Haring, Jean-Michael Basquiat and others.
So Samsung is slowly but surely making the Samsung Gear S2 more compelling. But the main question remains: are smart watches here to stay?