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Samsung Gear S2 has one flaw: Tizen

by Mark JudgeOctober 8, 2015

Samsung launched the Gear S2 and Gear S2 Classic recently, with global availability already spreading. The Gear S2 sold out fast during the pre-order period, as people seemed to enjoy the company’s best looking smartwatch yet. But the Gear S2 has one flaw that impacts the user experience negatively: Tizen.

The Gear S2 runs on Samsung’s own operating system called Tizen, and while the OS has been optimized to work seamlessly with the Gear S2 and its rotating bezel, the software is not exactly perfect for a smartwatch. While Samsung did add neat features to Tizen such as an improved on-screen keyboard, support for actionable Android notifications, Google Now reminder deliveries and S Health makes for a wonderful fitness app.

But how come a smartwatch is lacking one of the most important features for a wearable: reminders? Indeed, the Gear S2 doesn’t get along with reminders, and as Gizmag points out, it is unclear whether the inability to register reminders is a bug or that’s just how Tizen works. Fact of the matter is, you can’t set reminders on the Gear S2, with or without voice control and that’s pretty stupid. While you do get reminders from Google Now, those have to be created on your phone.

The Gear S2 also lacks support for third party apps, or rather there are few third-party apps available for Tizen. The core apps that one would use on a smartwatch are missing, so there’s no way you can get your hands on a compatible note-taking application for the Gear S2, unfortunately. While more developers are getting on board with Tizen, support is still nowhere near Android Wear or Apple WatchOS.

Although the Gear S2 is a great smartwatch with excellent design, performance, good battery life and an intuitive user interface, Samsung forgot about a few things that make a smartwatch actually useful. Smartwatches are not a necessity, and even though the Gear S2 3G can more or less replace your phone, it never will. Samsung needs to update Tizen on the Gear S2 fast, otherwise people might get frustrated with the lack of core functions.

A Gear S2 update is not yet confirmed, but our hunch is that once more people get their units from Samsung, they’ll be asking for fixes and new features. As the Tizen store grows larger, users still have to settle for Samsung’s Milk Music for listening to music and do without reminders for a while. Those who haven’t pre-ordered the Gear S2 (price starts at $300), should wait a bit to see if Samsung is going to mend these small, but significant issues.

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About The Author
Mark Judge
Tech Editor with lots of experience with PC hardware components, iOS and Windows-based mobile devices, and love keeping myself up-to-date with any developments in the industry, which I make my job in sharing with you, our readers.
  • tiger

    These are the facts:

    1. S-Voice sucks…so, respond to messages or emails is useless.

    2. Heart rate sensor is useless…so, there goes fitness. But, good news is that this is consistent among Android crapware.

    3. You canNOT create reminders from watch.

    4. No speaker…so, no audible alarm.

    5. Cannot use Samsung Pay.

    6. Cannot even see total calories you have burned per day. So, you have to pull out your calculator and add the calories from various activities together!! LOL

    7. Band change mechanism is just asking to be broken after a few changes.

    9. Plastic back? Let’s see…plastic lens on heart rate sensor…good idea? (HINT: no)

    10. No 3rd party app support.

    Oh yeah, engineering excellence here!! LOL

    Wanna bet that this S2 will be a TOTAL FAILURE in sales?

    • ConceptVBS

      It’s obvious from your prior comments that you are pro Apple with a blind hatrad towards Samsung. BE GONE!

    • StitchTech

      Sounds like what you want is a phone, not a watch.

      • paid Apple marketer

        tiger is a known paid Apple marketer. He has gone around every Gear S2 article and posted the exact same lies and slander.

        • tiger

          Lies? How?

    • R Kappa

      It does work with Samsung Pay using NFC

      • tiger

        Not at this time. Maybe in future…and if so, it REQUIRES you to have a Samsung phone.

        Samsung Pay and Android Pay are two different things.

        • R Kappa

          I’m aware of the difference between Android Pay and Samsung Pay. Samsung Pay will be available on Gear S2, if it’s not today.

          Why wouldn’t it require a Samsung Phone? That’s where the card info is entered and kept secure by Samsung specific security measures..

          • tiger

            So, you’re going to get the update today? As of today, Samsung Pay does NOT work…thus, my original statement.
            Knowing Samsung, I would not hold your breath….

          • Jack Hanson

            Sounds like every one would be much happier with the 3G

    • Naila Smith

      Do you have apple or Android. If you have apple then you obviously don’t read. I have the very first Gear S, no problem whatsoever. The heart rate monitor worked perfectly while using it to run, I used it with the Nike running app it works perfectly. I have a tattoo on my wrist and it still worked. Now if you knew anything you would know there is different versions the Bluetooth version of the Gear S2 is just like android wear, Motto 360 and other Android wear devices. You cannot talk on the actual watch, the 3G version you can and it has a speaker as well. 2nd Samsung Pay works, just like android pay work with certain banks. Right now both companies are establishing themselves just like Apple had to do when they came out with apple pay. Technically Google wallet was the first Tap and Pay, I’ve been using it 3 or 4 years now. Tizen on the Gear S2 and S2 3G works fine. Tell your pipe story to the many of customers who could not wait to come buy this device.

      • tiger

        Want to bet that it won’t sell?

        The heart rate monitor is horrible…as is also Android Wear crap.

        Samsung Pay currently does NOT work on S2. Samsung promises an update in future.

        And remind us all how successful is Google Wallet? Hell, even Verizon banned it!

        • Christopher Wright

          Meanwhile Apple is paying millions in lawsuit money for using patented technology in everything since the iPhone 5

          • tiger

            Wow…has the case concluded?
            Oh yeah, why don’t you wait for the actual trial dumbass!

          • Chris Vizzini

            You’re a freaking weirdo. Please, if you are able to, go get a girlfriend, a hobby or maybe a job…something. Knowing people like you exist is seriously freaking me out.

      • tiger

        Here is more tidbits about S2:

        The bezel can be spun as fast as you want, but the ACTUAL SCROLLING on screen is much slower!! So, good luck getting to the end of a long text or email quickly!

        When reading a long text, how many times do you have to lift your fingers to keep turning that bezel??!!

  • Jack

    While I get what this article is trying to say, it’s not really a big deal.

    One of the single most standout reason people have universally praised the Gear S2 as the best smartwatch aside from the beautiful hardware is how Tizen looks and operates. It’s more pleasurable to use than AW or the Apple Watch.

    The number of apps available for smartwatches is not as important as it is for smartphones. Most people are going to have only a few core apps that they’re going to stick to. They don’t want to dig through dozens and dozens of apps on a watch like
    they would on a smartphone.

    So whether there’s 500, 1000, or 10000 apps, it doesn’t matter as long as you have 50 or 100 well functioning core apps available in the store, and Tizen has way more than that already. Most of the apps in google’s store is junk that inflates total numbers.

    At the end of the day, as long as your smartwatch is a pleasure to use and its core functionalities work well, people will be happy. That’s where the Gear S2 gets it right
    because it already has almost everything you need in a well thought out software. You get it, you set it up to your liking, and then you can forget about it.

    There are some missing features in Tizen at the moment, but that will probably be introduced in updates as you mentioned.