The Gear 2 Neo is now the cheapest way to get a Samsung smartwatch on your wrist.

It’s the ‘budget’ plastic version of Samsung’s Gear 2, does 99% of what the more expensive device can do and trims in all the right places while knocking the price down by about 6000.

It sounds like a recipe for success and in some ways it is - the Neo still isn't perfect, but it is the Gear we'd be most likely to buy.

It looks cheaper because it is

The Gear 2 looks stylish if you squint, but our Mocha Grey Neo has all the charm of an army watch. Sure, the Charcoal Black looks smarter than the grey. But the all plastic build and textured strap still feel cheap against wrists that are accustomed to finer materials.

It is durable, comfortable and light - 55g compared to the Gear 2’s 64g. And it’s waterproof to IP67 standards, too, so showers aren’t kryptonite to the Neo.

So it all boils down to how much you care about looks. When it comes to smartwatches, we care. The Pebble’s a bit of a retro throwback, the Gear 2’s a bit nerdily blinging, but both are a bit nicer than the halfway house Neo - at least to our eyes. We’d say the world is still waiting for that first unequivocally sexy smartwatch. Perhaps it’ll be the iWatch?

Samsung Gear 2 Neo Verdict

Having said all that about the looks, we’d still take the Neo over the Gear 2. Losing the camera really isn’t a loss at all, and while the Neo is less premium, the Gear 2 isn’t that gorgeous to begin with.

15,450 is still a load to spend on an accessory for a Galaxy phone, though, and next to the more open, more apptastic Pebble it looks like pretty poor value.

Perhaps the bigger problem, though, is Android Wear: Google Now-powered smartwatches are coming from LG, Motorola and more, and they certainly look and sound to be a step-up from the current smartwatch crowd. If you must geek out right now, the Neo is the Gear we’d get. But we’ll be waiting for Wear.

Stuff says... 

Samsung Gear 2 Neo review

Better value than the Gear 2, the Neo is a truly geeky accessory for Samsung users - but it’s also far from essential
Good Stuff 
Lightweight but durable
Bright, sharp, colourful screen
Excellent battery life
On-board music playback
Bad Stuff 
Disappointing app store
Only works with Samsung phones
Cheaper than Gear 2 but still pricey