Monday, 13 January 2014

MakeUseOf Sony SmartWatch 2

Sony SmartWatch 2 Review and Giveaway

Danny Stieben
On 13th January, 2014
Hardware Stuff

Wearable technology has become a new term in recent months — the Google Glass (which we reviewed) is currently the most iconic project of this genre of technology, but it’s still quite a while until it’s ready for consumer hands. However, that doesn’t mean you’re currently out of luck. There are plenty of smartwatches which you can get your hands on right now, so why should you consider the Sony SmartWatch 2?

To find out, we purchased a Sony SmartWatch 2 for the purpose of this review. And now that we’re done with it, we’re giving it away!
Why A Smartwatch?

You might be asking yourself, “What could a smartwatch possibly do for me?” Think of a smartwatch as a helper tool — it can connect to your smartphone via Bluetooth, and show you various functions of your smartphone without actually using your smartphone. You can check for SMS messages, events on your calendar, emails, tweets, the weather, currently playing music, and much more. In the case of music and other applicable situations, you can even control it right from your smartwatch. Oh, and of course, it can act as a stylish watch that never lets you be late.

As it currently stands, it is similar to projects like Google Glass in that it is more of a toy or a cool convenience item rather than something that can do something your smartphone cannot. However, unlike Google Glass, it doesn’t have the potential to eventually replace a smartphone — it’s much easier to make a call with Google Glass than it is with a smartwatch. In any case, it might make simple tasks a bit easier and in turn, make you slightly more productive, but otherwise it doesn’t do anything “new”. It’s just a stylish device that can do cool (wireless) things.

The Sony SmartWatch 2 retails for $199.99, but may be found on eBay for around $188. It’s in competition with every other smartwatch out on the market. The top two competitors are the Pebble Smartwatch — currently great value for just $149.99 — (read our review) and the Galaxy Gear which retails for $299.99, whereby the Galaxy Gear is probably it’s closest competitor. However, the Sony SmartWatch 2 is noticeably cheaper than the Galaxy Gear, and it doesn’t have as stringent requirements — it works with Android 4.0 and above, while Galaxy Gear appears to work only with Samsung smart devices running Android 4.3 and above. Plus, it doesn’t hurt that in my opinion the Sony SmartWatch 2 also looks better.

The Sony SmartWatch 2 has the following specs:
Materials: aluminium (body) and silicon wristband or metal stainless steel
Dimensions: 42 x 9 x 41 mm
Weight: 122.5 grams
Transflective LCD 1.6-inch with 220×176 pixel resolution
Water resistant IP57 and scratch resistant
Bluetooth 3.0
NFC enabled
Works with smartphones running Android 4.0 and above
Battery life: 3-4 days with moderate use, or 7 days with minimal use.
Apps ready to go:
Call handling (answer*, reject, mute, volume handling) *Xperia phones only
Missed call notification
Music remote extension/music handling

Registration open until: Friday, January 24

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