There have been a number of smartwatch releases over the past few months, but very few of them have hit mainstream media like the Samsung Galaxy Gear, and to a lesser extent the Sony Smartwatch 2. Both of these watches have had a lot of hype surrounding them and they both offer a number of great features. Before too many other smartwatches come out it is important to find out which watch is the best for you so that it’s easier to make a decision when the time comes for you to buy a smartwatch. But which of these watches is the best? Or are they simply different? Read on to find out!
The first thing to consider about the watches is their physical dimensions. Bigger is not always better, especially when we’re talking about something that you are going to be wearing. Still, a decent sized screen is important in a smart device of any kind, whether it be a smartphone, tablet, or a smartwatch.
Comparing dimensions of a smartwatch is a little different to comparing smartphones or tablets because of the fact that smartwatches have wristbands and are wearable devices. Despite this, no one wants to wear a watch that’s too bulky. They want something that is stylish and sleek, and that fits well. The Samsung Galaxy Gear is 57mm tall, 37mm wide, and 11.1mm thick, while the Sony Smartwatch 2 is 41mm tall, 42mm wide, and 9mm thick. It seems that the Samsung Galaxy Gear is a little bulkier than the Smartwatch 2, giving the Sony Smartwatch 2 an edge in pure size and bulk. 1 point to Sony!
Despite the fact that the Samsung Galaxy Gear is a little bigger and bulkier than its Sony rival, both devices have a 41mm display. While the diagonal display size of the devices is the same, the Galaxy Gear screen is 29mm x 29mm with an aspect ratio of 1:1, and the Sony Smartwatch 2 has a screen of 25mm x 32mm, with an aspect ratio of 5:4. This doesn’t really say much about the display itself, but when we take a closer look at the displays on the devices, we can see that the Galaxy Gear is a sure winner, with a resolution of 278 pixels per inch, compared to Sony’s 176ppi. The Galaxy Gear is sure to have a much clearer, crisper, and overall better display. 1 point to Samsung!
For some people it might be important that their watch has a built in camera. If that’s the case then the Samsung Galaxy Gear is going to be the way to go, as it’s the only device out of the two that has a camera. The camera is a very interesting addition too, as it’s located in the wristband of the device.
Other physical properties about the devices include weight and build. The Galaxy Gear is 74g and is made of stainless steel, while the Sony Smartwatch 2 is made out of aluminum, and is 48g with its silicon strap and 123g with its metal strap. Which brings us to another factor – the Sony Smartwatch 2 has a strap which can be swapped out, while the Galaxy Gear only has one permanent strap. Water resistance is also a feature that some people find important. Both watches feature water resistance of some type, but the Sony Smartwatch 2 is what you’re going to need if you intend to swim with your watch. The Galaxy Gear will not get ruined if it happens to rain, but you should do your best to keep it out of water when possible, and certainly do not wear the device swimming.
While the physical properties of the device are important, for many people it’s what’s under the hood that counts.
At the center of the power of a device is the processor. The Samsung Galaxy Gear is a clear winner here, with a processor that boasts speeds up to 800MHz, while the Sony Smartwatch 2 only has a processor of speeds up to 200MHz.
Connectivity is also a big factor to take into consideration when shopping for a new smartwatches, especially because of the fact that most smartwatches are not yet standalone devices and instead work with smartphones via Bluetooth to deliver notifications straight to your wrist. While both devices work with Bluetooth, the Galaxy Gear works via Bluetooth 4.0 LE (Low Energy), and the Sony Smartwatch 2 works with Bluetooth 3.0. The Galaxy Gear is a clear winner here. Another function of connectivity is what devices the smartwatch can connect to. The Galaxy Gear currently can only connect to the Samsung Galaxy Note 3, though Samsung has said that they are going to add more devices to that list in the near future. As for the Sony Smartwatch 2, it can connect to any Android device running Android 4.0 or later. This is great for people who expect to upgrade their phones in the future, and who don’t necessarily own a Sony smartphone or tablet. The last thing on the connectivity front is Near Field Communication, or NFC. This will not be an important feature for most people, but many would use it. The Sony Smartwatch 2 includes the use of NFC, while the Galaxy Gear does not.
The Samsung Galaxy Gear has a couple features that the Sony Smartwatch 2 simply does not have. For example, the Galaxy Gear can make and receive phone calls, and it even includes vice control, while the Sony Smartwatch 2. It seems that the higher level of water resistance comes at a price, namely the fact that it is a lot harder to include a microphone in a device when you cannot make holes in it for audio. Voice control is a big factor, especially when the screen on a smartwatch is so small. It means that the user does not have to sit there and try and control the device through a small screen, but can instead tell the device what to do.
We’re still at the start of the smartwatch revolution, but the Galaxy Gear is quite obviously a more advanced device. The only problem is that it connects to a very limited number of devices. If you own any device that is not Samsung, you will likely not be able to ever connect it to your smartwatch. If you intend to go swimming with your smartwatch, then the Sony Smartwatch 2 is also the better option. If however, you own a Samsung Galaxy Note 3, and do not need NFC or water resistance, then the Galaxy Gear is surely the better option.