Samsung may have put out some creepy ads for its original Galaxy Gear smartwatch, but there really aren't any scary surprises hidden inside its newest wearable device.
The teardown artists at iFixit got their hands on Samsung's Gear 2, the second-generation smartwatch from the South Korean consumer electronics giant, and pried open the device to see what makes it tick.
Like so many devices these days, the Gear 2 wasn't designed to be upgraded or really tinkered with in any way beyond swapping out the watch band. But it turns out that Samsung's new smartwatch is actually pretty easy to take apart and put back together, scoring an impressive 8 out of 10 on iFixit's repairability scoring chart.
As to be expected with a smartwatch, the Gear 2's watch band is "super easy to remove, speeding replacements and upgrades," iFixit reported. Surprisingly, popping open the rear case was also "a snap," literally, the teardown team. What's more, Samsung's use of easy-to-work-with screws, clips, spring contacts, and a battery that can simply be peeled out with no tools also added to the Gear 2's repairability score.
One tricky bit of design iFixit encountered was a "fused display assembly, glued into the front of the device," which "makes replacement a little difficult and costly."
So what's inside the Gear 2? The smartwatch has a 1.63in Super AMOLED display with 320 x 320-pixel resolution, a dual-core processor, 4GB of internal memory, a 2 megapixel camera with 720p video capture at 30 frames per second, a 300 mAh battery offering two to three days of battery life, and Bluetooth 4.0 LE support.
The placement of the camera is different in Samsung's second Gear, with the unit now "nicely nested into the brushed metal surface" of the watch rather than located in the watch band as with the original Galaxy Gear, iFixit noted.
The teardown team also reported that the little camera popped out of Gear 2's case easily and has the term "RINATO" emblazoned on its flexible circuit tab.
The iFixit team also weighed the smartwatch after removing the band and found it to weigh considerably less than many bulky mechanical watches at just 41 grams.
In addition, iFixit found that the Gear 2's very tiny touch screen is powered by a touch sensor chip from Melfas. A single cable connects the smartwatch's LCD and digitizer to its motherboard and "a few non-modular components are soldered" to it as well, including an IR LED for TV remote functionality, a heart-rate monitor, and a vibrator motor, iFixit said.