Android users can feel right at home. Sony’s watch has the familiar navigation icons at the bottom and the notification bar at the top.
So what is a smart watch? After all, digital wristwatches have existed with more or less levels of smartness since the 80s. What sets these new ones apart in comparison? There are mainly three things: Full digital screen, instead of old-fashioned LCD panels that only showed text. possibility to download and install apps, and last but not least bluetooth connection to a smartphone, so you can see things like email notifications, control the media player and much more.
Sony already launched a little in the spring in the silent Smartwatch, which according to our colleagues at the M3 didn’t quite measure up, but it is now with the Smartwatch 2 that it has become really interesting. It is a bit large, with dimensions of 42 x 41 x 9 mm and the whole kit with bracelet weighs 122 grams. The standard bracelet is rubber, but there is a stainless steel one. The steel bracelet makes the watch weigh a little more. It connects to an Android handset without any major fuss with bluetooth or nfc. Then you download Sony’s app and configure the watch.
The watch has a 1.6-inch LCD screen with a resolution of 220 x 176 pixels. Images displayed on the device look a bit pixelated, but it’s not a major problem. SMS and email are easy to read and the screen is bright enough to read SMS in daylight. The battery lasts three to four days between each charge.
There are two options for bracelets. The slightly more expensive and heavier metal has a black finish, just like the plastic starter wristband.
The interface is simple. We wish there were a bunch of settings that let you choose how many apps should appear on the screen, or how big the text in SMS should be. Just being able to change the background image would be a nice feature. Maybe there will be more settings in a later version, but now you can only turn bluetooth off and on and choose the level of brightness.
Unlike other smart watches on the market, there is a greater number of applications available for the Smartwatch 2, just over 200. They are a varied compote and the majority are developed for the first generation Smartwatch from Sony. It has a smaller screen with a lower resolution, so some apps look like junk and lack features.
You can find these applications directly in the Google Play Store and if you use the Smartconnect app for your phone, you can easily access these apps. As soon as you start Smartconnect, you will see which applications Sony itself thinks you should install. Some of these are the SMS app, music player, call management and slideshow. If you click through to the Play Store, you will find more applications such as Spotify control and various new clocks.
The apps for the Smartwatch 2 work really well. The screen is large enough to display images and even if the text is a bit small in size, it can be read. Smartwatch 2 doesn’t give you an advanced second screen to your Android phone. You can read text messages and emails, view pictures, control music and lets you see who is calling without picking up the phone. It has no camera or ringing capabilities, but also has no restrictions in terms of phone compatibility. If you have an Android phone with 4.0 or later, the Smartwatch 2 can be used with it without any problems whatsoever.
Smartwatch 2 gives you a reason to leave your phone in your pocket. The number of applications for the watch is somewhat unsatisfactory, but the range is constantly growing. Smartwatch 2 is currently your phone’s best friend.
Sony Smartwatch SW2
Manufacturer: Sony, www.sony.se
Processor: Cortex M4, 180 MHz.
Screen: 1.6 inch ips, 176 x 220 pixels.
Communication: Bluetooth 3, nfc.
Battery life: About 4 days active.
Operating system: Android.
System requirements, phone: Phone with Android 4 or later.
Weight: 122 g.
Miscellaneous: Water resistant IP57.
Award: SEK 1,500.
Plus: Works with all Android handsets. Easy to use. Handsome.
Minus: Few setting options. Missing upgraded apps.
Grade: (8 out of 10)