We have a good one for you today as we take a look at the Sony SmartWatch 2 (SW2) and compare it to the Sony SmartWatch 3 (SW3). Just how much has the next generation SmartWatch improved, or did it take a step backwards? Possibly in the looks category, one could really argue that the SmartWatch 2 is a better looking wearable - it looks more like a real watch and a finer piece of jewelry...but looks is always so subjective.
When it comes to specifications, about the only thing that stayed the same is the 1.60-inch TFT LCD display size. Neither one has room for internal storage expansion nor does either one have a camera. The price has gone up quite a bit, but so have the specifications, but do they justify the increase?
Please take a look over the detailed specifications listed below and you can see how much each category has changed for the better. After that we will take a quick look at each individual SmartWatch and determine the winner of this comparison.
Sony SmartWatch 2
The Sony SmartWatch 2 has a steel casing with a standard 24mm band so you can put on pretty much any style that you want. The design feels study and with its IP57 rating you can take a quick shower without any fear, but do not venture into the pool. It certainly looks nice on your wrist and you would not be out of place wearing it at a dinner party.
As I mentioned earlier, the displays are both 1.60-inches in size and use the TFT LCD display technology - but the SW2 has a display resolution of only 220 x 176 or 144 pixels-per-inch (PPI) versus about the 320 x 320 pixel resolution and 278 PPI on the SW3. The processor on the SW2 is an ARM-Cortex M4 single core clocked at only 180MHz...it simply does not compare to the Quad ARM 7 clocked at 1.2GHz. The SW2 only has 64MB of RAM and 256MB of storage versus 512MB of RAM and 4GB of internal storage found on the SW3.
Connectivity and features have all improved on the SW3 - from the Bluetooth 3.0 to the newer 4.0 and the SW3 is even Wi-Fi ready. The software before was a Sony proprietary Linux-Based that had very few apps and was a little less user friendly. The non-removable battery in the SW2 is only 225mAh and it jumps all the way to 420mAh in the SW3 - although the days to recharge drop from 3-4 to about 2 days on the SW3.
The SW2 could be purchased at Amazon, Best Buy, Newegg, etc. and would cost somewhere between $150 - $200, although discounts are galore now that the SW3 has been released.
Sony SmartWatch 3
When Sony set out to make their new SmartWatch 3 (SW3), it looks like they started from scratch and worked from the ground up. They kept the squared off shape and built a detachable 'core' that can snap into interchangeable straps - from a conservative black to a festive white to a wild yellow, with more to come. Built this way, you could even wear it as a pocket watch or necklace.
The SW3 has an upgraded display - from 141 PPI all the way to 278 PPI - almost double the resolution. The processor jump from the stone ages to a Quad ARM 7 clocked at 1.2GHz, the RAM jumped from only 64MB to 512MB and the internal storage went from 256MB to 4GB.
The connectivity on the Bluetooth jumped to the 4.0 to use less energy and it is also Wi-Fi ready. GPS was also added so you can leave your smartphone at home and the SW3 will still be able to track your course. The Waterproofing jumped way up and a microphone was added for the Google Now software found in the new Android Wear O/S. The battery is a respectable 420mAh to power this device and should give you almost 2 days of usage before it needs a charge.
Both SmartWatches have the same array of sensors - accelerometer, ambient light sensor and gyro. One thing Sony is really pushing with the SW3 is called their 'Lifelogger' app that collects fitness and lifestyle information from various linked devices to provide you with an overall 'picture of your life,' including major activities, goals and milestones. That replaces separate SW2 apps like Walkmate and Runtastic - the Lifelogger rolls all of those apps into one app that can pair with your phone and computer for a more comprehensive look. The Sony SmartWatch 3 can be purchased in the Google Play Store for $249.99.
...And The Winner Is...
I don't think it was a surprise after reading the title of the article - the Sony SmartWatch 3 has just been improved in all areas, except maybe the looks...that SmartWatch 2 was pretty sweet looking and more 'jewelry-like' than the SmartWatch 3. While looks is a subjective thing, the upgrades made on the SmartWatch 3 are not. The display is better, it has gone from water resistant (IP57) to waterproof (IP68), much more RAM and storage, the processor is better, as is the jump to Android Wear and the rest of its software. If you are afraid to take the first step and pay $250 for the SW3, you might find a great deal on the SW2 for $100 - $150 less than the SW3.
Please hook up with us on our Google+ Page and let us know what you think of these two smartwatches - do you have either one, and what do you like or dislike about the device...as always, we would love to hear from you.