Samsung Gear Sport 2: what we want to see

We’re not sure whether we’ll get a Gear Sport 2 or a Gear S4 next from Samsung, but one of them is probably in the works, and we’re starting to hear about what it might feature.

You’ll find all that below, along with thoughts on the likely release date and price, and we’ll keep this article updated as we hear more.

But while we wait for the leaks and rumors to properly start rolling in we’ve also come up with a wish list of what we want from the Samsung Gear Sport 2, as the previous Gear Sport is a capable but overly familiar wearable, so we’re hoping for some big changes for the next model.

Cut to the chase

  • What is it? Samsung’s next smartwatch
  • When is it out? Probably sometime in 2018
  • What will it cost? Likely upwards of $299 / £299 / AU$499

Samsung Gear Sport 2 release date and price

There aren’t any release date rumors yet, but with the Samsung Gear Sportbeing announced in August 2017 (before hitting stores in October) there’s a fair chance we’ll see the Samsung Gear Sport 2 in or around August 2018.

Samsung also launched the Gear S3 and Gear S2 in August of previous years, so it’s very likely we’ll get some kind of smartwatch this August, though whether it will be called the Gear Sport 2, Gear S4 or something else entirely is currently unknown.

As for the price, that will probably be at least as high as the Gear Sport, which launched for $299 / £299 / AU$499.

Samsung Gear Sport 2 news and leaks

While we haven’t seen any news or rumors that mention the Gear Sport 2 by name, we have seen a handful of Samsung smartwatch patents, so it’s possible that some of their features will be included in the Gear Sport 2.

One of them talks about having a battery built into the strap, which could provide extra life to the watch or could simply replace the battery that would otherwise be built into the watch body, leaving extra room there for new features.

Another details a blood pressure monitor, which could use a light source and a light receiver to monitor your bloodstream, somewhat similarly to how heart rate monitors work.

The Gear Sport 2 might make better use of its bezel. Credit: Patently Mobile

Patently Mobile has also shared a patent (pictured above) which talks about a screen built into the bezel of the watch, which could potentially tell you things like the date and the weather, leaving the main display free for other functions.

And another patent, this time spotted by 3Dnews, shows a watch that strangely has a camera built into the middle of the screen.

The camera sports optical zoom and while it leaves you with less screen, that could be made up for by the strap, which also has a screen on it, shown in the patent as offering shortcuts to apps and functions.

Could the Gear Sport 2 have a camera in the screen? Credit: 3DNews

We wouldn’t count on any of these features making their way to the Gear Sport 2, especially as many seem ambitious or impractical, but anything’s possible.

What we want to see

We don’t know much about the Samsung Gear Sport 2 yet, but we have plenty of ideas for what we want from it.

1. Better exercise tracking

Although the Gear Sport can track some things well, we found in our review that it had real issues tracking certain exercises, such as star jumps and lunges.

Not only that, but it doesn’t provide training plans, so for example you have to manually set how many of each exercise you want to do each day, rather than the wearable gradually increasing the number over time on its own.

We want to see some serious improvements for the Gear Sport 2. At the very least we want it to accurately track all the exercises that it claims to be able to, but ideally we also want it to push us to do more.

2. More accurate heart rate monitoring

Hopefully the Gear Sport 2’s heart rate monitor will be more accurate

Although the Gear Sport has a heart rate monitor it’s really not a very good one and it gets even less accurate in cold weather, so we’d like to see some major improvements here. Given that the Gear S3 also has a poor heart rate monitor though we’re not optimistic that the Gear Sport 2’s will be much better.

3. Improved GPS

Although not as bad as the heart rate monitor, the GPS performance of the Gear Sport also isn’t always great, proving slightly erratic in our review.

Given that GPS is likely to be a key feature for many buyers it really needs to perform well. Hopefully it will do for the next model.

4. Better battery life

The Gear Sport is actually a downgrade from the Gear S3 when it comes to battery life, offering around two and a half days where its predecessor offered up to four.

That’s still not awful, but it’s disappointing, especially when the watch looks to track your sleep as well – something you won’t be able to do so much if you’re regularly having to plug it in at night, so for the Gear Sport 2 we want to at least see a return to the life of the Gear S3.

5. A slicker strap

Putting a watch on should be easier than it is with the Gear Sport

Not a big deal, perhaps, but the Gear Sport’s strap can be awkward to get through the holding loops, and what with the regular charges needed it is a watch you’ll be taking on and off quite a lot, so we hope that for the Gear Sport 2 Samsung gives the strap some thought, and makes it faster and less fiddly to put on.

6. More apps

While the Gear Sport has some apps, including notable ones like Spotify and Swim.com, there isn’t a huge selection overall, even compared to other smartwatch platforms like Android Wear and watchOS.

This is likely a side-effect of the Gear Sport using Samsung’s Tizen – an operating system which is less popular than rivals. We doubt Samsung will ditch Tizen for the Gear Sport 2, but hopefully it will convince some more big names to support the platform.

7. A bigger screen

The Samsung Gear Sport has a decent quality Super AMOLED screen, but at 1.2 inches it’s quite small, and a reduction in size from the 1.3-inch display on the Gear S3.

We don’t want a massive screen on our wrists, but a return to the 1.3-inch displays of old could be desirable, as that small difference makes it slightly easier to interact with and means you can see more on your wrist at once.

  • These are the best smartwatches available right now

Related product: Samsung Gear Sport

Our Verdict:

Samsung’s Gear Sport does seem like a limited upgrade, but new features including support for Spotify offline and swim tracking means this could be a great new watch for very particular sport lovers.

 FOR

  • Offline Spotify support
  • Great design
 AGAINST

  • Limited upgrade
  • Some strange straps

[“Source-techradar”]

Gear that improves on what was and changes what might be

Gear that improves on what was and changes what might be

Consider these new products for savvy travelers. (Handout)

hape-shifting innovations put a twist on the familiar in this gear roundup.

Picture perfect

The quality of photos from a smartphone is so good that many travelers leave their clunky camera gear at home. To give you even more photographic flexibility, Pixter has introduced a pack of four compact specialty lenses that clip onto any smartphone.

The Pixter Pro Pack includes a wide-angle lens; a 238-degree super fisheye lens; a 10X macro lens; and a telephoto lens. The lenses come in a padded travel case and have front and back lens caps.

Cost, info: Pixter Pro Pack lists for $154.90 (lenses are about $55 apiece a la carte).

Twofer toy

Pillow Pets

Taking a buddy along can make children happier and when that pal is a plush companion that morphs from a toy into a pillow, you’ll please and placate your child.

Pillow Pets are chenille-stuffed animals (also some cute cars) that widen and flatten into a pillow with the release of a cinch strap. Sizes average 12- to 16-inches-square when fully open. All are machine washable.

Pillow Pets also come as zippered sweatshirts. Bunch up the garment for a nice, fat cushion or use just the padded hood part as a pillow and wrap the rest around your child for an extra-warm hug with pockets.

Cost, info: Pillow Pets run $20 to $25; animal-head hoodies cost about $20. www.mypillowpets.com

This bag does tricks

Eagle Creek

Pulling a rabbit out of a hat is just a trick; pulling a backpack out of a wheel-aboard bag? That’s magic.

That’s what the wizards at Eagle Creek Luggage have conjured with the new Morphus International Wheeled Carry-On. With a quick unzip, what had been a single 20½-by-13¾-by-9-inch roller bag separates into a backpack and a wheeled bag, offering about double the space you started with.

Both are made with polyurethane-coated polyester and have top- and side-padded grab handles, double lockable zippers and reinforced seams.

The wheeled bag has thick, treaded wheels; a hinged kickstand keeps the bag upright. The soft backpack has zip-away padded interior sleeves that can accommodate a 15-inch laptop and a tablet, as a well as a nifty built-in cord winder, a key fob and padded pouches for fragile electronics.

The backpack’s two trolley straps can slide over the wheeled bag’s telescoping pull handle. Zipped back together, the bag can be wheeled, or carried using the pack’s back straps.

All this abracadabra isn’t cheap, but it’s a class act, even without the wand.

Cost, info: Morphus International Wheeled Carry-On costs $329.

A bag that suits

Selk’Bag

Is anything as yummy as curling up in your tent inside a toasty sleeping bag on a chilly night camping? Is anything as awful as having to get out of that warm sleeping bag to go out into the elements?

No problem if you have the new SelkBag Wearable Sleeping Bag, designed to keep you comfy in and out of the tent.

It looks like a giant snowsuit, but lets you be much more mobile. It has zip-off booties, big kangaroo-style pockets and flaps at the wrists that let you quickly free your hands.

It’s made of ripstop nylon and polyester with hollow fiber polyester insulation, and its insulated adjustable hood extends from a high thermal collar.

The zip-off booties let you substitute your own shoes when you are active, and the booties’ reinforced nylon soles and lateral grips for traction make them tough enough for a stroll.

The bag comes in a range of colors and patterns, including Star Wars-themed designs, in adult and children’s sizes.

One quibble: The SelkBag is not equipped with a drop seat so you must wriggle out of the bottoms when nature calls. A fix is in the works.

Cost, info: SelkBag Wearable Sleeping Bag in adult sizes costs about $170 for the Original (warmest) model; a lighter, less-insulated model costs $99. Children’s SelkBags cost $69 to $89. www.selkbagusa.com

[“Source-latimes”]

What Not To Say During A Salary Negotiation

If you want things to go your way, don’t say any of this

Get the best offer possible during your salary negotiation

Preparation pays off, literally, when it comes to salary negotiations. Research about the market and company standards can only take you so far – you need to be able to pitch yourself too. There are some phrases people tend to use in these discussions that don’t really end up working in their favour – despite what they (or you) believe. Here are a few of them. Remember not to say any of this during your next salary negotiation.

1. ‘I’m getting married/moving house/etc’

Let us try to say this as politely as possible – no one cares. Your personal matters are just that – personal. And you can not expect them to influence any professional decisions made at that meeting. The best thing to do is avoid talking about your personal dilemmas, no matter how much they’re affecting you, and focus on the work you’re doing and it’s worth.

2. ‘I’m sorry but…’

Don’t apologise. We all tend to use the word quite liberally, especially when talking to superiors. But there is nothing to apologise for here – you’re talking about your remuneration, which is your right. Don’t feel embarrassed or uncomfortable about it. You’ve worked hard for it.

3. ‘I need/want… ‘

But do you really ‘need’ it? And if you want it, so what? We’re sure every person wants a higher salary. But what’s more important is – do they deserve it? Sometimes the answer to that is no. During your salary negotiations, instead of telling them what you want, tell them what you deserve – and why.

4. ‘I have another offer that is much higher’

Take it then? You don’t want your prospective employer to think you’re in it just for the money. If the other company is offering you more money, and that’s all that matters, you would have taken it anyway. So don’t play that card and try to keep the focus of the conversation on the offer you’re discussing.

5. ‘I haven’t had a raise in so long’

You need to put your point across, without sounding like you’re whining and saying this doesn’t help your case. Bringing their attention to the fact that you have not gotten a raise only makes them think that there has been no reason for you to get a raise.

6. ‘But others are getting paid more to do less work’

Again, trying to compare yourself to others won’t work, nor it is your place to do so. Talk about how much time and effort you have been putting in, irrespective of others – but as soon as you make it seem like a competition, you’re going to lose favour in the discussion. Also, it makes you sound like a gossip-monger.

7. ‘I want more…’

‘More’ is too vague for you to use in this discussion. ‘More’ can be 2% more than the original offer was. There is no room for ‘more’ in this negotiation. Talk about how much more you would like the offer to be and they might take you seriously.

[“Source-ndtv”]

What I’m Reading: ‘Shared Leadership in Higher Education’

As a political scientist and academic administrator, I’ve long been interested in shared governance. But a new report on the value of shared leadership in higher education, prepared for the American Council on Education by Adrianna J. Kezar and Elizabeth M. Holcombe, has challenged my thinking. I see now how models of shared governance can focus more on distributing power than on collaborating meaningfully.

The authors differentiate shared leadership — the empowerment of multiple people and cross-functional teams — from the delegating of responsibilities to the faculty (versus administrative bodies) under shared governance.

As appealing as shared leadership is because of its emphasis on flexible, inclusive networks, the concept is less convincing when we make the leap from theory to implementation. How do we share leadership effectively when in reality people have different degrees of power? And how do we hold each other accountable, so that sharing leadership doesn’t devolve into inaction or chaos?

The report is a stark reminder to not let jargon, semantics, or the latest model get in the way. The issue is not about leadership versus governance, which as a political scientist I know isn’t a tenable choice.

It’s the shared part of both leadership and governance that matters. What are the purposes and principles we share, and how can we best collaborate around concrete issues? Figuring that out will always be difficult, but it also seems more authentically liberating and potentially a more effective way of fostering change.

[“Source-chronicle”]