I have been trialing a Sony SmartWatch 2 (SW2) for the last few days, and the first impressions are good, though a more in-depth review shall be coming soon.
The SmartWatch 2 is a handsome device. The case is predominately matte black aluminium, which is polished around the bezel. The only physical button is on the side in the traditional watch winder position. The button itself continues Sony’s recent design theme, and is the same as the power button on the Xperia Z1 and Xperia Z Ultra.
The watch comes with a silicon wrist band in Australia, though other markets have a wider assortment of coloured bands and metal straps. It also accepts a standard 24mm band, so personalising it isn’t an issue.
Out of the box the SW2 needs to be paired with your smart phone and apps downloaded. Pairing is via NFC, then the watch will use Bluetooth to communicate with your phone. With a Nexus 4 – or any phone that incorporates NFC – pairing is effortless, you just touch the back of the watch to the back of the phone, and it’s done.
Your phone will then prompt you to install Sony Smart Connect/Liveware manager from Google Play. Once this is done you then install the recommended apps that you need via Smart Connect. There are Sony apps, Call Handling, Phonebook, Messaging, Gmail, Email, Facebook, Twitter, Weather, Missed Call. There are also third party apps with Augmented Smartwatch and Call Handling Pro being the standouts thus far.
The SmartWatch 2 is more of a second screen for your phone to display notifications, the watch face is always on, and when a notification comes in the watch vibrates and shows a short version of the message. Using the Sony and third party apps the watch can show a variety of messages, such as:
- Google Hangouts
- all Google Now notifications
- Google Keep reminders
- Calendar appointments
- printed navigation directions via Google Maps
The battery life of the SW2 has been good, one charge has lasted two days of using every feature and reminder that I could find. In more moderate use the battery should last at least for three days.
Thus far, the Sony SmartWatch has many very good points mixed with some flaws. It feels as though the watch is almost finished, but not quite yet. It’s missing some imagination in the official Sony apps, with the third party apps needing to be a bit more stable.
A full review will be coming soon.
What do you think of smart watches? A passing fad or here to stay? Let us know in the comments!