Sony's SmartWatch 2 is a good-looking and nifty way to keep track of your notifications without constantly yanking out your mobile, compatible with any Android 4.0 and above device.
Review by Sunetra Chakravati,12/16/2013 12:04:41 PM
Look and feel
Ease of use
Consistent, sleek design;
Expandable and customisable
Occasional rogue vibrations;
Yet another device to charge
This snazzy digital watch follows Sony’s trend of combining smart tech with desirable design, and the result is a handy and undeniably cool bit of wrist gadgetry. It’s a chunky mother, no doubt, but slap it on your arm and the SmartWatch 2 is surprisingly light. Sony’s usual boxy design works well, and we love how the power button is the same iconic, rounded affair as found on its excellent smartphones, bringing a delightful consistency to the range. The SmartWatch 2 is also just as durable and waterproof as the mobiles, more of a necessity here, since it’s open to the elements rather than tucked away in a pocket.
Charge the watch via the covered micro USB port and you’ll get around four to five days of use, providing you aren’t constantly fiddling with it. Set up is blissfully simple: just enable Bluetooth on your phone and you can pair to the SmartWatch 2 in seconds, and then it’s just a case of installing your desired apps onto the watch. This is done via Sony’s SmartConnect app, which takes any potential pain out of the process.
There’s a decent selection of apps available right now (all free, handily) which mostly act as notifications of any phone activity. We find that we’re always missing calls and texts when our phone’s in our pocket, especially if we’re on the go, so it’s incredibly useful to also have our wrist buzzing whenever we get a new message. You can read texts and emails right there on the phone’s touchscreen, and even answer calls if you’re hooked up to a Bluetooth headset at the same time.
We did find that the SmartWatch occasionally buzzed when we had no waiting notifications, something we never got to the bottom of, but it was infrequent enough to not really bother us. Also don’t forget to fiddle with the settings of any social networking apps you use, as the likes of Twitter and Facebook notify you of every single timeline update by default. Cue enough wrist-trembling to seriously disturb.
The number of compatible apps is expanding, so expect to see more funky uses in the near future. We like the Runtastic app, for instance, which monitors your exercise sessions and gives live updates, so you don’t need to keep pulling your mobile out of your pocket.
There’s a decent amount of personalisation too, to make the SmartWatch 2 truly feel like your own. For a start you can change the clockface that shows when the watch is hibernating, anything from the digital time and date to an old-school analogue face. You can also swap out the wriststrap from the standard black rubber effort, to a mix of bright colours and even leather. We love how Sony is just as focused on looks as it is functionality, making the SmartWatch 2 a highly desirable mobile companion.