Although smartwatches have been in existence for some time, Sony was the first manufacturer to release the first true smartwatch. This watch, which runs on an Android operating system, is a small OLED computer that you wear on your wrist. At first glance, the Sony smartwatch appears to be a nice little gadget. After all, who doesn’t love the idea of a wearable gadget that can be made to do practically whatever you want?
Since the Sony Smartwatch operates on Android and is compatible with a number of applications readily available in the Google play store, the potential for this watch is, theoretically, endless. When you factor in the fact that Sony has made the smartwatch open source, the possibilities increase tremendously. As an open source device, alternative firmware and custom applications are possible, and Sony even provides official developer support for those wishing to develop new things for the gadget.
In terms of aesthetic appeal Sony’s smartwatch is a definite winner. The device is sleek and elegant, featuring black screen against a silver bezel. For the most part the watch is inconspicuous, but for only $150 it is a great way to show of your style, and your geekiness, while at the same time having a functional watch that does more than just tell time.
Sony requires a proprietary application to be installed on your smartphone in order to interact and manage the watch. Although an annoyance, this is to be expected. Perhaps the most important flaw of the Sony smartwatch, however, is the lack of any sort of on-boar settings. Other than a simple button for power, the watch has absolutely no buttons, relying instead on a touchscreen interface. This wouldn’t necessarily be a deal-breaker except for one thing: the touchscreen is sluggish and, quite often, even completely unresponsive.
The allure of the watch soon completely fades once you realize that there are some major setbacks. First, the Sony smartwatch requires a constant Bluetooth connection to your smartphone. Without this connection the watch simply starts blinking error messages at you until you once again pair the phone and watch. According to Sony’s spec sheet this should never be much of an issue, as it claims to have a 32-foot range. But as we all know, Bluetooth can be finicky and advertised ranges are seldom achieved.
Because of the lack of settings on the watch, every setting change, application installation or tweak must be done with your phone. Ironically, this seems pointless to most people, considering that if you wanted to continue having a hands-on experience with your phone, you likely would not have dropped $150 on a smartwatch.
Overall, the Sony smartwatch seems like a waste of money, especially when there are other, better, options either currently available or soon to be released. Once again, Sony has proven that they have no clue what their customers want, instead producing yet another barely-functioning gadget and pushing it on the unwary and unsuspecting public.