Amongst a bunch of superfluous stuff, Samsung has a smartwatch concept that actually works. And in many ways, the Gear S2 is a strong challenger to Google in its own wearable ecosystem.

Every year is supposed to be the year of the smartwatch. Yet with each generation of products it becomes clearer that we’re only just working out what a wrist computer is supposed to do. One approach to wearables has been to start from smartphone principles and work back — the strategy of Samsung and Apple. The other has been to start smaller, with an experience built around interacting with your phone more than running apps on your watch — the Android Wear approach.

As both sides have progressed, they’re starting to meet in the middle. The latest versions of Android Wear put more emphasis on watch-based apps, whereas Samsung’s newest Tizen watch makes it easier to bypass the clutter and view widgets and notifications.

Aside from a brief stint with an original Pebble, I’ve mostly been using Android Wear smartwatches over the past year or so. A little over a month ago I switched to a Samsung Gear S2, which I’ve been using since then on a bunch of different phones — both Samsung and non-Samsung models.

After clocking up a serious number of hours with the Gear S2 on my wrist, it’s become pretty clear that Samsung has finally landed on a smartwatch concept that works. It’s a watch that wants to do a lot — perhaps more than you’ll want it to do. But none of that is shoved in your face. And even if you’re not a smartwatch power user — if there is such a thing — there’s a lot to like.

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