As expected, Sony has announced the SmartWatch 2 at the Mobile Asia Expo in Shanghai. Taking over from the last SmartWatch that Sony released last year, the SmartWatch 2 is shown as being a well crafted device with what appear to be some design cues taken from the Xperia Z.
Hardware wise, the SmartWatch 2 is constructed with an Aluminium body and comes with a 1.6″ 220 x 176 resolution touch enabled, Transflective LCD screen, which Sony advise is designed to be easy to read in sunlight. The device is charged via a microUSB port and on a full charge, the battery should last between 5-6 days for low usage and 3-4 days on ‘typical usage.
Wireless wise, the watch contains Bluetooth 3.0 and NFC is included to make pairing that much easier to the entire range of Sony devices and accessories which include wireless headsets, portable speakers, TVs and SmartTags.
While Sony advise that the SmartWatch2 is IP57 certified, they then go straight on to advise that the watch is not suitable for showering, bathing, swimming, diving, snorkeling, water related work and fishing. Even the band included is neither water or splashproof although the SmartWatch2 is compatible with any 24mm watch strap.
The SmartWatch2 is aiming to fulfill the role of being a second screen for your Android smartphone, with the accessory being billed as the most advanced smartwatch available with more dedicated apps than any other smartwatch the complete range of functions will require additional apps installed on your phone, however the possibilities with the SmartWatch 2 will allow you to use it to :
- Handle your calls by a simple touch of your wrist.
- Take a photo remotely from your SmartWatch, using a smart camera app.
- Control your presentations remotely using Presentation Pal.
- Taking a run or on the bike? Select a mapping app on SmartWatch to check your route with a quick glance at your wrist.
- Read previously downloaded e-mails when not connected to your phone.
- Use lifestyle apps like Runtastic to map and instantly track your fitness activities on the go.
- Quickly and easily adjust the tracks and volume on your music player, without ever taking your phone from your pocket.
Sony does seem to have a pedigree in the wearable computing market, specifically in the SmartWatch category. While Pebble does seem to be getting all the glory at this stage from the mass market, Pebble is at heart a very new startup and it remains to be seen what will happen once a major corporation gets involved and puts the entire weight of their R&D department behind the development of apps for these devices.
Sony has advised that the SmartWatch 2 will be available worldwide in September this year, so look out for pricing to be announced locally as we get closer to the launch date.