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Smartwatch Face-Off: Pebble vs. Sony SmartWatch 2 vs. Galaxy Gear

The Pebble uses a gray-scale, low-power e-ink display with a relatively low 144 x 160-pixel resolution and a small 1.26-inch size. Like the Kindle and Nook e-readers, which also use e-ink screens, the Pebble is easy to view in sunlight and lasts a very long time on a charge. Unlike some other smartwatches, the Pebble's screen never goes to sleep. However, it does not support touch and instead forces you to use the watch's physical buttons to navigate the interface.

The Sony SmartWatch 2 has a full-color, 220 x 176-pixel, 1.6-inch touch screen that's capable of displaying 262,000 colors. In our tests, the watch's screen looked gorgeous, even when we viewed it in sunlight. To save power, the transflective display goes into a gray-scale mode in which it only shows the watch face after 15 seconds of inactivity.

When it's powered on, the Samsung Galaxy Gear's 320 x 320-pixel, 1.6-inch Super AMOLED display offers the most vibrant images of the three watches. However, when not in use, the screen goes completely dark to save power and only wakes up to show you the time after you've lifted the watch up to your face or hit its power button.

Winner: Sony SmartWatch 2. While the Galaxy Gear's screen offers better image quality, the SmartWatch 2's gray-scale mode allows you to see the time even when it's asleep.

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