The Gear S2 is one of the most popular smartwatches at the moment, and we can't blame you if you've at least looked at it a time or two in retail stores. For some, though, Samsung's homegrown OS isn't necessarily as app-packed as say, Google's own Android Wear. And yet, Samsung has been faithful to keep Tizen updated while bringing WiFi connectivity, battery, and other improvements and enhancements that make a great smartwatch even better.
The update from Verizon, announced by the carrier yesterday, brings the software version to R730VVRU1BPC1 and only weighs 68.6MB in size. Though small, there are some significant changes to the Gear S2 as a result. First on the list is flight mode, which Samsung promised to deliver (and it has). Flight mode works on smartwatches like airplane mode works on smartphones, as we told you some time ago. In the case of Verizon, though, it's likely you'll see it marked as "airplane mode," as we did on our own Verizon Gear S2 unit. Flight Mode or Airplane Mode can be accessed from the drop-down menu with which you've become familiar.
Next on the list is a world clock widget that lets you now view the time in different time zones and cities across the US and the world. The ESPN watch face is a neat one indeed, letting you see sports scores from your favorite teams. Remember that to get the ESPN clock to work on your Gear S2, you must download the ESPN app for Android first. If you don't, you'll get an error message like the one in the screenshots below.
Apart from this, you get some small touchups to the Gear S2 experience. For example, after walking or exercising, you'll view your step counter with a small time "since X" beside your steps now -- letting you know the last time in the day that you exercised. You can also see the "get more watch faces" prompt when viewing the current watch faces you already own, which helps make the transition smooth and easy. The shortcut app feature has been removed, primarily because Samsung has now brought app shortcuts with each app. You can view "in app" now once you press the feature in words under each app on your watch screens, allowing you to use app shortcuts more than you did in the past.
The usual WiFi and battery improvements are under the hood, too, though we can't verify the exact nature of them until we've had some hands-on time with them over the next few days. And yet, this should be a great update for what is already a great smartwatch.
Have you gotten the update yet? If so, let us know. For those who are still waiting on the update, you can view our Gear S2 update photos below to see what you can anticipate.