Time and again we’ve heard the same story: wearables are the next big thing in personal technology. Everyone will have wearables attached to their bodies in the next few years. And so on and so forth. But despite all of these predictions and the intense interest in wearable technology, we still don’t have a great smartwatch. The Pebble is too nerdy and toylike for most people; the Galaxy Gear is far too expensive and limited; and the litany of crowdfunded no-name manufacturers have yet to actually produce a compelling option.

Despite its flaws, I’m a big fan of my Pebble. It’s far from perfect, but it manages to keep me notified of incoming messages, emails, Twitter alerts, and more without forcing me to dig my phone out of my pocket. So when Sony announced the SmartWatch 2, an update to last year’s SmartWatch that brings a refined design and the promise of advanced capabilities, I was quite excited.

Last year’s SmartWatch was a disappointment. Clumsy, unintuitive, and just plain not good-looking, you had to be a real dyed-in-the-wool wearable connoisseur to even consider dropping the $149.99 Sony charged. This year’s SmartWatch 2 is even more expensive — it starts at $199.99 with a rubber band ($50 more than the Pebble) — but Sony claims that it’s learned a lot in the 18 months or so since the first iteration launched. The SmartWatch 2 has a larger display, improved design, updated interface, and other enhancements that Sony claims make it the smartwatch to beat.


The Pebble is nerdy because it’s the Pebble. But Sony is the mainstream, everyone knows the Sony brand. Can Sony make a smartwatch for the mainstream?