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You’ve been waiting for this one. This is our long term Sony Smartwatch2 review. This Smartwatch2 is Sony’s latest attempt at the emerging wearables technology category that will inevitably become mainstream. While Apple is still floundering or rather copying ideas from other manufacturers Sony has been trying the market with this line of watches. The only competitors to the Smartwatch2 are the Samsung Galaxy Gear and the Pebble watch and are very different from each other.

In terms on construction the Smartwatch2 looks good! It’s quite stylish really dependent on the band you choose. We chose the metal band since it looks like a movie prop from Aliens or Star Wars. The face is made of hardened glass so it is difficult to scratch and the sine physical button is a solid metal.  The other buttons are touch sensitive but only once you’ve activated the screen by pressing the main button on the side. As you can see from our comparison picture against a Casio Pro-trek Triple sensor vs Smartwatch2 its not unusually big. The Smartwatch2 is also water resistant which implies its ready for the outside world. Furthermore as you can see, the Sony screen can be easily read in bright light! The only thing amiss in terms of construction was that the back of the watch – it was plastic.

Note: The Casio Pro-trek series is a pretty smart digital watch that has a thermometer, digital compass and pressure sensor. The pressure sensor can measure height above sea level and under water along with general atmospheric pressure or barometric pressure. The large bezel houses the solar panels which means that it won’t need battery changes for the life of the watch – whatever that may be. This version is circ. 2008.  It’s a cool watch.

In terms of hardware the Smartwatch2 has the latest tech featuring NFC, Bluetooth and micro-USB. The clever screen which can be read in daylight and looks great but the  color screen resolution is a mere 220 x 176 pixels but is capable of displaying at least 16 bit graphics? It’s not bad but could be better. The CPU is reportedly rated at 180Mhz

In terms of use the Smartwatch2 is a smooth experience. The single button activate the main touch screen and whatever apps you choose quickly and the only delays if it needs to get live data like weather or pictures from your photo album.  The bluetooth connection is quite strong we estimate about a 10 meters range before it loses connection with the phone. There are a number of Apps which you have to install via your phone first in order for it work and it can take a few minutes on first pairing. After pairing it is mostly automatic apart form the variables to do with bluetooth. Notifications are via vibration which is strong enough not to be missed. Battery life is an excellent 3-4 days unless you have a busy day or playing with it often which then reduces life to at least a day.

The main function of the Smartwatch2 is telling the time and notifications which is does very well!  We love the messages showing on the screen rather then having to check the phone. For example new emails will be shown and you can actually read the entire message. Other than that there are a number of Apps than can be installed to keep you busy. Make sure you use the Smartwatch2 versions not the ones for the original Smartwatch. Apps need to be installed through the phone which is seamless once you’ve installed the main Smartwatch2 App (Smart connect). The same App cleverly integrates the controls of any Sony product with the feature.

In terms of stability – nothing went wrong since we installed the latest updates! Make sure the Apps are for the Smartwatch2 and not for its predecessor. When we tried the older Apps it caused some instability. For our usage we only needed to charge it every 2 days! The SW2 works on any Android OS phone running version 4 and above whch means virtually any new Smartphone.

The only competitors are the Samsung Gear and the Pebble watch. So why you’d choose the Sony Smartwatch2 over the others? The original Pebble is cheap to look at and wear. The screen is mono scale and not nice to look at. We’re sure it will improve quickly though. The Samsung Galaxy gear is big and flashy with lots of state of the are hardware including a camera! but it is over $100 more expensive and can only be used at this point by the Galaxy Note which is thoroughly disappointing. It’s appearance cannot be customised but it actually looks quite good. Despite lots of potential the main problem is the Galaxy Gear’s instability and lags, there is just too many at the moment.  But otherwise all the hardware features like microphone etc.. but once again given time and software updates it will improve.

To conclude, we like the Sony Smartwatch2. It is the best one at the moment for notifications and viewing SMS and email content actively retrieved from your connected phone. It is very stable hence works without any problems. If that is all you want than this is the device to get. If only Sony included GPS software and the latest health tracker functionality and the usual speed and design improvements in the next model the future looks bright.

Specifications : Sony Smartwatch2

  • Design
    Aluminum digital watch
    with silicone strap/leather/metal
  • L41 x W42 x D9 mm
    Weight 122 gms
  • Display/s
    Transreflective TFT 220 x 176 1.6 inch screen
  • Camera
    N/A
  • Connectivity
    Bluetooth V2
    NFC
    Micro USB
  • Memory
    Enough
  • Ring tones
    Vibration only
  • Features
    IP57 Water resistant
  • Power
    Up to 4 days Standby
  • Package contents
    USB cable
  • Price history
    2014 Approx $269 outright.

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