Samsung's trio of smartwatches for 2014 ranges from high-end to fitness models, with the Gear Neo sitting squarely in the middle as a mid-tier device with the design and feel of the Tizen-powered Gear 2, taking away a few features while introducing a lower price. It's a perfectly capable smartwatch if you've been pining for something more simple, but you'll still need to have a compatible Samsung handset to get any use from it.
The display on the Neo is one of its "highlights," according to Trusted Reviews, with CNET calling it "brilliantly bright" and Pocket-Lint finding it "quite wonderful." While some elements needed to be stripped out in the transition from high-end to mid-range, the fitness features remain intact. Unfortunately, Trusted Reviews experienced an "inability ... to stay put" while running, which made it drop "in and out of the coaching mode." And though it may not have a ton of apps, Stuff says it "reliably pulls in email, message and phone notifications" via Bluetooth from your phone.
For $100 less than the Gear 2 the Neo delivers competent performance, despite the lack of a large app selection. And while battery life might not be as great as some of its competitors, the sharp display on the Neo mitigates that somewhat. The biggest issue with the Gear Neo is that it still only works with other Samsung products, making it a tough sell if you don't already own a compatible device.