the call, with or without a canned text reply. If you have a Sony phone, you can answer calls from the watch as well. With any phone running at least Android 4.0, you can initiate calls from the watch using its dialpad or your Android contacts list. But again, the calls go through your phone. You can control volume, but it took me a while to figure out how.
There are nearly 250 other apps you can add, many coming from outside app developers.
I particularly like a 99-cent app called Fake Call. Tap on the watch to make your phone ring with a phantom call. Use that to get you out of whatever sketchy situation you might find yourself in.
A free app called GPS Maps sends a map to your watch with surrounding blocks. The map moves as you move, though I don't get directions.
HOW IT COMPARES WITH SAMSUNG'S DEVICE:
Samsung's Galaxy Gear wins on style: The watch has a metal frame and straps in six colors. It can work as a fashion accessory, at least for men. It's on the larger side, with a 1.6-inch screen matching Sony's. The SmartWatch 2 from Sony feels cheap, by comparison, though the straps are replaceable with other 24-millimeter watch straps if you're really buying this for fashion.
The Gear also wins on features: Sony's watch doesn't have a speaker or a microphone. It doesn't have a camera. The Gear has all that, which means you can make phone calls through the watch itself, without a Bluetooth headset. The camera produces low-resolution images, but it beats missing the shot because your phone is in the pocket.
But I don't believe these features are worth an extra $100. The speakerphone doesn't offer much privacy or work well in noisy environments. The speaker allows you to reply to text 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