messages using voice dictation, but the transcriptions are slow and error-prone.
Where the SmartWatch 2 outperforms the Gear is in delivering messages.
The Gear gives you full texts, but that's about it. Get a Facebook or Gmail notification? You have to return to the phone to read the message. The watch is supposed to reduce the need to pull out your phone, but not if you keep getting notifications urging you to check.
And while I got about 2.5 days on the SmartWatch 2 on a single charge, the Gear dies in a day. You can charge Sony's watch with a standard micro-USB charger, while the Gear needs its own. The Gear's watch face also goes dark so it could last just a day. With Sony's watch, you can see the time even in a low-power mode.
Sony's SmartWatch 2 also has many more apps to choose from - more than three times as many.
DO YOU NEED IT?
Maybe one day, smartwatches will truly be smart. They need to be better at filtering the important notifications from the noise, and they need to do more than tell you to go back to the phone to complete a task.
For now, we're in an era of experimentation. Sony's SmartWatch 2 advances the field with a just-the-basics smartwatch, but I'll wait at least a year or two for even more advances before buying one myself.
- Anick Jesdanun