A day ahead of the Mobile World Conference in Barcelona, Spain, tech giant Samsung
pulled back the virtual curtain on the next generation Gear
smartwatches. Yes, smartwatches
. Plural. They are called the Gear 2 and the Gear 2 Neo.
Perhaps the biggest difference between the first and second generations of Samsung's smartwatch is that the Gear 2 and Gear 2 Neo will run Tizen, an open source, Linux-based operating system. Their predesessor runs Google's Android OS.
Tizen is a collaborative project between Samsung and Intel that is designed to give users a uniform experience across devices, the companies say. As noted last week, Samsung plans to present an updated HTML5 version of Tizen at the Mobile World Conference.
There are a few visually noticeable differences in the new iteration of Gear. First, Gear 2 and Gear 2 Neo have a more lightweight design. In Gear 2, the camera has been relocated from the wristband -- where it's situated on the first Gear -- to the watch's main body. Gear 2 Neo doesn't have a camera.
The new smartwatches will feature a standalone music player, so users can listen to music on the watches without being connected to a smartphone. They will also come with a heart rate sensor and a pedometer.
Gear 2 will be available in Charcoal Black, Gold Brown and Wild Orange. Gear 2 Neo will come in Charcoal Black, Mocha Grey and Wild Orange.
Otherwise, the Gear 2 and Gear 2 Neo seem much like the first generation Gear. The two new Gear watches will be available to customers starting in April, Samsung says.