Sorry, needed more time to give some feedback. I also have not had a G1.
I have a Neo and it feels great on my wrist. Build quality is good and doesn't feel cheapy and looks good. I love that it integrates with music from my phone like Google Music, so I can change tracks or see what track is playing, adjust volume, etc.it works great and syncs very well with my phone. Battery life is great. I used it pretty heavily and dropped about 30% in a day. Answered a call on my Gear2 and talked to my wife while I was sitting on the couch and it sounded so good she thought I was on the phone - not the gear2. Very loud and clear! My biggest use is for email viewing. I get a ton of emails cause of my work and its really nice to be able to check them on my watch without always bringing my phone out of my pocket all of them time.
-As mentioned, no keyboard for it yet, so it just has template responses or s voice or emoji.
-Pedometer syncs with phone, but doesn't combine with phone - it keeps a separate counter for each device. I was hoping it would just stay in sync with my phone for a total number, but it appears to keep them separate, so I will just use my phone and not the Gear2 pedometer, oh well.
I am excited to see what apps get made for it, but really the device itself is really great for the money IMO. Anything more to it and it's just icing on the cake.