Sony and Pebble SmartWatches are popping up on wrists everywhere and you’re ready to ditch your not-so-smart watch. This big name brand and upstarter are competing hard to deliver apps, notifications and more to your wrist. But which should you choose? Read on for tips and details that will help you pick the best model for you.
Introducing the Sony SmartWatch 2
The Sony SmartWatch 2 promises to deliver the convenience of your android phone directly to your wrist. Think of it as a remote for your phone. With a wide variety of apps available, you won’t have to dig your android out of your pocket or your bag to stay on top of your email, calendar, and favorite social media.
The watch mirrors your android and delivers messages and notifications to your wrist. App icons show the number of messages and notifications you have received and you simply touch the app icon to read them. When you are using a wireless Bluetooth headset, you can also use the watch to place, receive, and screen phone calls.
Introducing the Pebble Smartwatch
Pebble’s first smartwatch is still a popular watch. It promises to deliver notifications from your android or iPhone to your wrist for your email, texts, calls, and favorite apps. For iPhone users, it is the only alternative to the Apple Watch and it is still the only smartwatch that is compatible with both iOS and Android.
The watch delivers notifications from your phone to your wrist so you can see who’s calling, texting, or emailing by discretely looking at your watch instead of pulling out your phone. The Pebble AppStore has thousands of watch faces and apps for you to choose from so you can access all your favorite social media and give it a fun, custom look.
Head to Head Comparison: Pebble vs Sony Smartwatch 2
Style and Design
The Sony SmartWatch has a plain and simple design. The watch’s overall look is techy but less so than the Pebble. It has a square black face trimmed in metal with a silver button on the side and a comfortable silicone strap.
The silver accents give it the look of a classic casual digital watch and you can replace the standard black band with stainless steel, bright-colored silicon, or leather band. Set the face to display a watch dial and it will fit in stylishly with your casual t-shirts, jeans, and button-ups.
Out of the box, the Pebble watch has understated look, but you can customize it with any fun combination of colors and watch faces comparable to the pop culture beloved Swatches. The standard model looks like a typical digital watch with a silicone rubber band and aluminum case but you can personalize it to suit your own style.
The watch comes in jet black, orange, cherry red, grey, or white. Add some personality to it by simply changing the watch display to a fun graphic. If you want a more classy look, set the display to a digital or dial watch face.
Comfort counts when it comes to smartwatches and you don’t want your watch to be too big. Neither watch is thick or bulky but the Sony SmartWatch2 is shorter and slightly thinner than the Pebble while the Pebble is significantly lighter than the Sony.
The Sony SmartWatch2 has a square face 1.6 inches (42 millimeters) wide by 1.6 inches (41 millimeters) tall. At 0.35 inches (9 millimeters) thick, it is about two millimeters thinner than the Pebble, which is 0.45 inches (11.5mm) thick. The Pebble’s face is slightly taller than the SmartWatch2 measuring 2.05 inches (52 millimeters) tall by 1.42 inches (36 millimeters) wide.
The standard Sony SmartWatch2 model weighs in at a hefty 3.4 ounces (122.5 grams), more than three times the weight of the Pebble.
Both watches are backlit making them readable in daylight and have similar display resolutions but the SmartWatch 2 display has a few things going for it that the Pebble doesn’t. The Sony watch has an LCD color screen touch screen while the Pebble’s display is black and white and doesn’t respond to touch.
Much like a traditional digital watch, you scroll through apps and open menus on the Pebble using buttons on the side. You can navigate the SmartWatch 2 apps in the same way as your phone, by tapping the icons on the screen.
The Pebble is much more durable than Sony’s SmartWatch 2 and favored by outdoor enthusiasts. You can snorkel, surf, hike, and even scuba dive without worrying about damaging your Pebble, while the Sony SmartWatch 2 is only able to handle basic urbanite challenges such as a light shower or a few scratches.
The Pebble works in temperatures ranging from 14 degrees Fahrenheit (-10C) to 140 degrees Fahrenheit (60C) and its operating range extends up to 10,000 feet (3,000m). It can withstand 5% to 95% relative humidity (noncondensing) and has a hard-coated scratch and water-resistant screen. It is submersible and water-resistant in up to 50 meters of water.
The Sony has a dust and water-resistant screen. If the cover on the USB port is firmly closed, the whole device is water-resistant in up to 3 feet of water for up to 30 minutes. You can shower and swim in it but if the cover is not firmly closed, water will leak in and damage the device.
Apps and Accessories
Both watches have an ever-expanding list of apps, but there are many more fun accessories for the Pebble watch. Sony offers additional watchbands in several covers and finishes and a wide range of apps from Google Play.
You can also swap out Sony’s default band for any standard 22mm watch strap. Pebble also offers additional watchbands and covers or you can use any standard 22mm band.
Numerous companies offer designer skins for the Pebble giving you endless customization options beyond just what the manufacturer offers. The Pebble app store offers a wide range of apps. You can store up to 8 apps on your Pebble and keep the rest in the Pebble app locker.
Both watches have lithium-ion polymer batteries with comparable battery life and will easily go the entire day without charging. However, the Pebble doesn’t have a battery level icon so you will probably want to charge it regularly. They can each last up to 7 days of light use but will need to be changed sooner if you are using them heavily.
Sony estimates that the typical user will get three or four days of use on a single charge and Pebble recons you will get between five and seven days on a single charge. The SmartWatch2 has a battery level icon so you always know the amount of charge that remains on your watch.
With the Pebble, there is no battery level icon so you are in the dark and you will want to charge it regularly if you are prone to worrying about the battery level.
Pebble vs SmartWatch 2: Head to Head Comparison Chart
|Key Features||Sony SmartWatch 2||Pebble (Standard)|
|Display||1.6 inch, 220 x 176 pixels (176 pixels-per-inch)
Color LCD Display, 262K (16 bits)
|1.26-inch, 144 × 168 pixels (176 pixels-per-inch)
Black and white E-paper display
|Compatibility and Bluetooth||Android release 4.0 and laterBluetooth® 3.0 NFC One-touch easy pairing (uses normal Bluetooth if phone is not NFC enabled)
|iOS and AndroidBluetooth 4.0|
|Power and Battery Life||Lithium-ion polymer batteryLow usage, up to 7 days; Typical usage, up to 3-4 days.
|Lithium-ion polymer batteryEstimated 5-7 days between charges, depending on usage
|Size and Weight||1.6 x 1.6 x 0.35 inches(42mm x 41mm x 9mm)
Band: 24mm wide
4.3 ounces (122.5 g) (including standard band)
|2.05 x 1.42 x 0.45 inches (52mm × 36mm × 11.5mm)Band: 22mm wide
1.34 ounces (38g)
(including standard band)
Ambient Light sensor
|Materials||Watch case: AluminumBand: silicone, leather, or stainless steel.||Watch case: PolycarbonateBand: TPU rubber or silicone (white Pebble only)
|Accessories||Micro USB charging cable
Bright color silicon bands and brown and black bands available.
|USB charging cable with magnetic connector right color faceplates and black and white bands available from the manufacturer.
Numerous companies sell skins you can add
|Durability||Dust and Water Resistant (IP57)Up to 3 feet for up to 30 min. Requires that cover on the USB port to be firmly closed.
|Optical hard coating for scratch resistance (display) 50-meter water resistance
Relative humidity: 5% to 95% noncondensing
Maximum operating altitude: 10,000 feet (3,000m)
|Cost||$139 (see here)||$99 (see here)|