Review Price £129.00
Hands-on: Sony SmartWatch 2 review
What is the Sony SmartWatch 2?Sony is the world’s leading seller of smartwatches, although that’s a bit like saying it’s the best player in a 3rd division Azerbaijani hand-ball team.
Smartwatches haven’t really taken off yet, but there’s certainly been more interest of late with the Pebble smartwatch smashing its Kickstarter target and Samsung planning its own version with the Samsung Galaxy Gear.
Sony’s SmartWatch 2, confusingly Sony’s third smartwatch, is a good looking water-resistant Android watch that is meant as a second screen for any Android 4.0 phone. It lets you read texts and emails as well as check social media without having to take your phone out of your pocket.
Sony SmartWatch 2 – Design and screenThe SmartWatch 2's body is made from aluminium painted black with a machined edge showing off the silver beneath. It’s a good-looking, industrial design utilising the round power button used on the range of Xperia phones and tablets. That’s the only physical button. All other controls are via the touch screen, with the usual Android back, home and menu touch buttons at the bottom.
The transflective 1.6-inch LCD screen is bright enough to be viewed even on the sunny day we got our hands on it and is just about big enough to use comfortably. It’s only 220 x 176 pixels which on the 1.6-inch amounts to 176 PPI. That’s not an amazing resolution by any stretch, but text is legible enough, although pixels are clearly visible.
It comes with a light plastic strap (in a choice of four colours) and a heavier metal strap is available to purchase separately.
Sony SmartWatch 2 – FeaturesBluetooth 3, NFC for easy pairing and microUSB charging and data transfer are all included. The microUSB is covered by a flap to ensure the SmartWatch 2 retains its IP 57 water-resistant rating.
Gentle vibrations make you aware of new notifications which you can check. There is also the ability to answer and reject calls or use the watch as a viewfinder to take photos via a paired phone. Unfortunately there’s no mic or speaker on board so they’ll be no Knightrider style talking to your wrist. But that’s probably for the best.
The Sony SmartWatch 2 is always on and can last for up to 4 days under normal usage conditions. That’s a lot longer than most, barring the Pebble that uses very different e-Ink technology for the screen. We’ll let you know how true that claim is when we review it fully in the near future.
There will be about 400 Android apps available to use with the Sony SmartWatch at launch with more to follow.
Early Verdict: does it have a killer feature?The Sony SmartWatch 2 is a stylish, good-looking smartphone accessory. But it feels like it lacks a killer feature, even if the basic design and 4-day battery life show promise. It's a gadget you clearly need to live with to decide, which we will once we get one in for a full review.
Next read the full review of the Pebble smartwatch
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