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Smart Watches are all the rage right now. While I had some disappointments with the OG Galaxy Gear I new I had to give the Gear 2 Neo a try. Did Samsung fix their wrongs an make a great smart watch or is this just a minimal update to make some money.

One of the first things I didn’t like about the OG Gear was the fact that the camera and microphone were mounted in the watch band. This kept you from being able to change watch bands. I myself prefer a wide watch band made of leather. The Gear 2 Neo has everything contained in the main body of the watch. The watch band pins are very easy to remove as they have a tab sticking out for quick changing of bands.

One of the big differences between the Gear 2 Neo and the OG Gear is the fact that the 2 Neo is now running on Samsungs Tizen OS as opposed to the OG running Android. With making this switch, you can now use your Gear 2 Neo with multiple Samsung Phone. During testing we used it with both the Galaxy S5 and the Note 3. It worked flawlessly with both phones. Another difference is the Gear 2 Neo does not have a camera in it. This it’s a big issue for me as I rarely used the camera in the OG anyway.

With the notifications manager, you can choose which apps will send notifications to your phone. You can change

The design of the Neo 2 is very similar to the OG Gear with the big exception of the Neo 2 not having screws on the front face like the OG had. This gives the Neo 2 a more redesigned look. As you can see from the pictures, the front has an opening where the camera would be, the 1.6 inch Super AMOLED Touch Screen face, and the Power/Sleep button. On the back you see the Pulse Sensor and the charging pins. The back is also where they have moved the screws to also.

To charge the device you have to attach a charging base to the back of the phone. You plug that into the provided microUSB charger and after about an hour you are good to go. With notifications coming to my phone, i could usually get 2 days out of a single charge. This also included sleep monitoring at night.

Lets get into some of the included app’s. First you have your Contact Listings, Volume and Backlighting controls,  On Screen Dialer, Email, Exercise Tracker, Find My Device, Photo Gallery, Heart Rate Monitor, Phone Logs, Media Controller, Messages, Music Player, Notifications, Pedometer, S Voice, Schedule, Sleep Tracker, Stop Watch, Timer, Voice memo, Weather,  and WatchON Remote. Lets run down some of these app’s.

On Screen Dialer: This allows you to dial your phone directly from the screen of the watch. You have a full numeric keypad to dial all the numbers you want.

Exercise Tracker: With this app you can keep track of your exercise routine whether you Bike, Run, Walk, or Jog. The app will also track your heart rate during your workout.

Find My Device: When you activate this, your phone will ring so you can locate it. (must be in range of Bluetooth though)

Heart Rate Monitor: On the rear of the Gear 2 Neo is a heart rate monitor that will check your pulse on your wrist. Testing showed it was fairly accurate most of the time.

Media Controller: Control the media on your phone from the screen of your Gear 2 Neo

Music Player: Play and control and even listen to the music on your phone directly from your Neo 2. You can also store your music in the Gear 2 Neo 4GB of internal memory.

Pedometer: Track your daily walking with this easy to use app.

S Voice: Same S Voice as is on your phone. Make Voice activated calls or write a memo all with your own voice.

Sleep Tracker: With the Sleep Tracker you can see how restful of a sleep you get. This app will track your movement during sleep and show you how much of  a percentage of your sleep you were motionless. When the app is running it will also stop any notifications from going to your phone.

WatchOn Remote: You can control your TV from your Watch

My biggest issue with the Gear 2 Neo is still the inability to work with phones other than Samsung. Aside from that, I am very impressed. Samsung took a solid device in the OG Galaxy Gear and improved on it greatly. With the ability to not only track your sleep but also track your heart rate but also your activity patterns, the Gear 2 Neo is functional as well as stylish.

You can pick up your own Samsung Galaxy Gear 2 Neo from Verizon Wireless for only $199.99 in Grey, Orange, or Black.