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Sony SmartWatch 2 - A Second Lease of Life

By Bryan Chan - 23 Dec 2013

Sony SmartWatch 2 - A Second Lease of Life

Sony SmartWatch 2 - A Second Lease of Life

A couple of years back, Sony released the SmartWatch, a watch that connects and syncs to an Android smartphone to display Twitter feeds, emails, SMS, and even notifies you that your phone is ringing. Unfortunately, the SmartWatch didn't really take off, so Sony is making yet another attempt at infiltrating the wearable technology industry by launching the successor to the SmartWatch, the aptly named SmartWatch 2 (SW2).

 

Dimensions and Functionality

The Sony SmartWatch 2 is neither too big, nor too small.

Like most Android devices, there's a Back, Home, and context-sensitive panel.

The power button also functions as the lock/unlock button.

You don't need a dedicated charger to charge the Smart Watch 2. It is charged by a Micro-USB cable.

Like its predecessor, the SW2 is compatible with a large number of Android smartphones running on Android 4.0 and later. To make it easier for you to connect the SW2 to your smartphone, Sony decided to add an NFC module inside. By tapping the SW2 and a smartphone with NFC, such as the Google Nexus 5 together, you'll be able to pair and sync the two if you've already downloaded Sony's Smart Connect app on the smartphone. If you haven't installed the app, the Play Store will be launched with a direct link to download the app.

You'll need to download the Smart Connect app on your Android smartphone before you can pair and sync the SmartWatch 2.

Once you've paired the two, it's time (pun intended!) to put on the watch and experience wearable tech. The SW2 has a 1.6-inch LCD touchscreen that's scratch-resistant and the SW2 itself has an Ingress Protection (IP) rating of IP57, which means that it can be used whether it's rain or shine, and can even be submerged in water for a brief period of time. In terms of dimensions, it measures 42 x 9 x 41 mm, so it fits comfortably on your wrist without it being too large or too small. It also weighs a mere 122.5g, so you'd barely notice that it's there on your wrist.

At this point, take note that you'll have to sync the SW2 and your smartphone via the Smart Connect app. Once you provide permission for the app to sync, only then will you be able to receive feeds from Facebook, Twitter, and your email account(s). Of course, since the SW2 is at its core a watch, it can also tell the time. Similar to the GALAXY Gear, there are 10 different watchfaces to choose from.

You'll need to provide permission for the SmartWatch 2 to sync with your smartphone via the Smart Connect app.

Features

Like the Samsung GALAXY Gear, the functionality of the SW2 can be expanded by adding apps. The apps that we've seen so far include Facebook, Gmail, a camera app, a media player app, Twitter, and Runtastic. Of course, there are more apps to come, further adding to the functionality of the SW2.

You can install additional apps on the SmartWatch 2 via the Smart Connect app on your smartphone.

As mentioned above, the full functionality of the SW2 is only achieved when paired AND synced to a smartphone. Once this is done, the SW2 will vibrate to let you know when a call is incoming or when there's a new notification.

Once paired and synced, you'll be able to read emails, Facebook updates and Twitter feeds easily on the SmartWatch 2.

You can quickly see your call log on the SmartWatch 2. 

Controlling your music is made easy with the SmartWatch 2.

The watchface can be changed.

There are 10 different watchfaces to choose from.

One feature that we would use often though, is the Find Phone app. This app essentially calls your phone, in case you forgot where you placed it. It's also useful when you need an excuse to escape from a conversation with someone you're uncomfortable with.

 

Conclusion

We like the SW2, but there are still some kinks to iron out before we can really fall in love with this gadget. These bugs are most commonly seen when trying to sync the SW2 to your smartphone. It sometimes works, and sometimes doesn't. It works well a majority of the time, but when a bug does occur, we had to begin the entire process of pairing the two devices together and giving to the permission to the app on the smartphone, which is rather troublesome. If Sony manages to update its software, the SW2 would make a strong contender to the Kickstarter-funded Pebble.

7.5
  • Design 7.5
  • Features 7.5
  • User-Friendliness 8
  • Performance 7.5
  • Value 7.5
The Good
Premium design
Micro-USB charging
User friendly
The Bad
Display could be better
Slight sluggish performance
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