Excerpt: The best compliment I can give Sony’s SmartWatch 2 is that it works. I still believe that wearable devices are in their infancy, and the SmartWatch 2 is proof of this. While it’s filled with great ideas, a readable screen and actually looks like a fairly cool watch, the SmartWatch 2 is still more a novelty than an essential gadget buy. Here’s the question you’ll be asking yourself: “Why do I need a smartwatch when everything I need is right on my smartphone?
Conclusion: As a notification center on your wrist, the Sony SmartWatch 2 is a perfect companion. However, I have to comment that it doesn’t always behave nicely with non-Sony smartphones. There are a number of times where the SmartWatch 2 didn’t play nicely with my HTC One, including disconnecting randomly, not display proper updates, or waiting up to 45 seconds to notify me of a new email. These issues seem to disappear when paired with an Xperia Z1, funnily enough.
Conclusion: If you're looking for a bit of fun in the immediate future and don't want the bulk of the Samsung Galaxy Gear (or don't have a Samsung smartphone), look to the Sony SmartWatch 2. If you've just heard of the Qualcomm Toq in this review for the first time ever, go with the Sony SmartWatch 2. If you like the idea of the physical buttons on Pebble, but would rather have a touchscreen and full color too, go with the Sony SmartWatch 2.
Conclusion: Sony gets closer to the smartwatch ideal with the SmartWatch 2, its second-iteration wearable smartphone companion. But bugs and other limitations make it a product that's unlikely to appeal to the masses.
Pros: Sleek, comfortable design. Several hundred apps already available. Water-resistant. Readable in sunlight.
Cons: Bulkier than the first model. Buggy software. Many apps lack utility. Doesn't make or receive calls. No camera. Only works with Android.
Summary: A successful smartwatch needs to have three things done right: a set of functions that people want; have those functions actually work; and have a compelling design that doesn’t scream “I’m wearing a computer on my wrist.” The SmartWatch 2 hits on the design part, but it misses on the other two.
Pros: Always on display, Attractive fit and finish, Multiple day battery life, Micro USB charging
Cons: Low resolution display, Clumsy interface and setup, Lots of lag, Android only
Conclusion: Sony’s Smartwatch 2 is a solid effort, and a bit better than Samsung’s Galaxy Gear – especially given it costs $100 less. Sure, you don’t get the camera or the mic, but you do get a decent selection of apps to play around with, which makes Sony’s offering feel more versatile, despite the extra hardware on Samsung’s device. Messaging is also better on Sony’s watch than Samsung’s, but both devices fall down on the job here.
Pros: Works with any Android 4.0+ phone, Battery lasts 3 days, A decent selection of apps, okay to wear in the rain or in the shower, Micro USB charging port
Cons: Power button stiff and uncomfortable, No mic for voice commands/dictation, Notifications better than Galaxy Gear, but still flawed, Many third-party apps aren’t great, App searching and install process is tedious