Smartwatches, in general, had a rough start, but the concept survived and during the past half year or so they have definitely improved. This year it seems that we’re going to witness the launch of a new generation of smartwatches, so if you find yourself among those who have been excited about the concept but haven’t really found the right product thus far, then you might be in for a surprise.
Sony is one of the many manufacturers that have been part of the smartwatch market, but in all fairness, the original Sony SmartWatch came with its flaws. The device required installing of applications to offer even the most basic features, battery life wasn’t too great and the gadget was not waterproof either. Meanwhile, projects such as the Pebble Watch have gained traction on Kickstarter and brought improvements in all of these aforementioned areas. Needless to say, at this point there are new standards for smartwatch capabilities.
The good news is that Sony has recently unveiled the SmartWatch 2, and by the looks of it, the manufacturer has greatly improved its product in pretty much every aspect. Will it be able to stand out from the crowd? Let’s take a look at what it has to offer.
Sony SmartWatch 2 – Hardware Characteristics
As mentioned above, the original SmartWatch had its flaws, but Sony seems to have learned from its past experiences and most (if not all) of these issues have been ironed out with the SmartWatch 2.
To begin with, one of the main characteristics of the SmartWatch 2 is that it features Bluetooth 3.0 as well as NFC connectivity. This will make it much easier for users to pair and connect their device with a smartphone. Additionally, unlike the original model, the SmartWatch 2 features a micro USB port which will make it less difficult to charge the battery. Speaking of which, Sony claims that SW2′s battery will last 3 to 4 days. Not bad at all.
Another notable improvement is the display. Featuring a 1.6 inch LCD screen with a resolution of 220 x 176, the manufacturer claims that the display will be easily readable even in bright sunlight. That’s not really something that can be said in regards to the 1.3 inch OLED display on the original SmartWatch.
Sony SmartWatch 2 – Design and Functionality
As far as the gadget’s design goes, the SmartWatch 2 features an aluminum frame around its edges and sports a brushed power button where the winder of a regular watch would be normally located. Overall, the gadget seems to follow the same design language as Sony’s latest smartphone line-up. It’s also quite obvious that this is an Android-friendly smartwatch, as it features three navigation capacitive buttons underneath the display – “back”, “home” and “menu”.
The SmartWatch 2 weighs 23.5 grams and it’s compatible with pretty much any 24mm standard strap available on the market. Additionally, many sources who had the opportunity to get some hands-on time with the device claim that this gadget is merely splashproof. However, Sony’s official page reveals that the device has an IP57 certification. Technically, this means that the SmartWatch 2 actually boasts high waterproof capabilities, being able to survive submerged under 1 meter of water for about 30 minutes.
As for functionality, the SW2 is going to be able and deliver email, call and text notifications out of the box (without requiring the installation of additional apps). The handset is also going to act as a remote control for your smartphone’s music player. Last but not least, Sony claims that there are going to be roughly 200 applications available for download once the SmartWatch 2 goes live.
Sony SmartWatch 2 – Availability and Final Thoughts
Sony hasn’t been able to unveil the exact release date of its upcoming smartwatch, but it did reveal that the device should go on sale sometime in September. The price has also remained a mystery.
Overall, the SmartWatch 2 from Sony seems to be a pretty powerful gadget. It’s definitely “smarter” than the original model, it has a modern design, it benefits from improved connectivity, a better display, longer battery life and a wider range of applications right out of the box. Despite earlier reports, it also seems to be waterproof, at least according to Sony’s specification page.
All in all, if priced correctly, we reckon that the Sony SmartWatch 2 will definitely be a viable alternative to the Pebble Watch and various other competitors. Would you be interested in buying one? What would you consider to be the right price for the Sony SmartWatch 2? Don’t hesitate to share your opinions in the comments section.