Just yesterday we reported about Tweets from the bigwigs at Sony that seemed to indicate a new smart watch from them at the Mobile Asia Expo next week. Well, we were right about a new smart watch, but instead of being announced next week, it was just announced today! Introducing the Sony SmartWatch 2, AKA Sony’s second shot at your wrist.
It’s true to say that the first version of Sony’s watch did not quite live up to what we were hoping for. It wasn’t the most functional device, and couple that with an expensive price tag, and you’ve got yourself a watch that not too many people are going to be into. At the time, something like the Pebble was a much better option for people looking for a smart watch. The Pebble is water proof and works with iOS and Android, both things that Sony’s SmartWatch couldn’t do. That’s why there’s a lot riding on Sony’s second version of the device.
One thing about the Pebble that was a littleÂ disappointingÂ was the plasticky feel and look of it. This is something that the Sony SmartWatch 2.0 addresses quite nicely. It’s made of aluminum, and even has a stainless steel wristband.
Sony has upgraded their second version of their SmartWatch to make it water-resistant. This means that accidentally splashing some water, but unlike the Pebble you won’t be able to take this into the shower or swimming pool.
The screen size of the watch is about the same, but the screen is now a transflective LCD panel, instead of an OLED screen, which should make for a better outdoors smart watch experience.
Another improvement which is small, but should make people’s lives easier is the change from a custom charging port to a standard micro USB, which means you won’t have to order special cables from Sony if they get lost, and instead you can waltz over to your nearest electronics store and purchase all the micro USB cables you’ll need.
One thing that Sony has really worked on with this version of the watch is making it a lot easier to set up. You can connect to your smartphone using NFC, and once you do this an app will be downloaded that allows users to select other apps that they might want to install. The default apps are only an alarm and timer, however it should be a lot easier to install other apps now.
As mentioned before, the watch now features NFC technology, making it a lot easier to pair with an NFC enabled smartphone. NFC should also be a little better on the battery compared to Bluetooth, which the watch also supports just in case you don’t have a smartphone with NFC capabilities. Despite this, Sony chose not to upgrade the watch to Bluetooth 4.0, and instead it uses Bluetooth 3.0. This means that if you have the ability to use NFC, you should. Bluetooth 3.0 doesn’t have the low power protocols that Bluetooth 4.0 does. Sony must not have seen the need to upgrade because of the fact that the watch should last 3-4 days before it needs a recharge.
The Sony SmartWatch 2 should work with almost any Android phone that is running Android 4.0 or higher. The watch should be released this September, which could be an interesting time for smart watches, especially if we do end up seeing an iWatch. Overall, the Sony SmartWatch 2 is definitely an improvement over their first smart watch, but there are definitely a few features left to be desired such as being completely water proof. It would be nice if the watch was also compatible with iOS, but that’s unlikely to happen. As mentioned before, the watch should work on 4 days of normal use, but people who use it lightly might even be able to get a week out of the watch. We’re unsure on pricing at the moment, but it probably will be similar to Sony’s current SmartWatch.