Hands-On Review: Sony SmartWatch
The Sony SmartWatch functions like an executive assistant for your Android smartphone. It’s an app-driven customizable “notifier” that straps to your wrist and keeps your phone tucked away until it’s needed. After the quick Bluetooth pairing process, it allows you to screen and preview everything happening on your phone.
As an Android user myself, two major benefits of the Sony SmartWatch were immediately obvious. Androids are generally oversized phones; my Samsung sure is. Struggling to get it out of my pocket for every ding, chirp and rumble it makes can get aggravating, especially when it turns out to be spam. Despite its size, I’d never give up the speed, functionality and screen resolution my Android provides. With the SmartWatch, the instant my phone receives a notification (call, text, email, Facebook, etc), I feel a subtle vibration on my wrist and with one tap, I’m reading it. Even with my phone on silent, I stay discreetly apprised of all notifications.
Preserving your phone’s battery life is probably the greatest benefit of the SmartWatch. As Android users, we love our incredibly vivid displays, but our batteries pay the price. My Samsung typically lasts 8 hours under normal usage, but I’d estimate that 30-40% of “normal use” is simply dismissing notifications that I don’t plan to respond to. And with more than 50% of my average battery usage being eaten up by the screen, I could use an excuse to keep it in my pocket.
In addition to the functional benefits, there is a wide range of fun SmartWatch apps available from Sony Smart Extras and third-party programmers as well. One of the most enjoyable is Music player Smart Extras, a universal remote control app. I was impressed by its full compatibility with doubleTwist, a music app I prefer over the Android-standard Google Play Music. With absolutely no setup or program-syncing, I was able to control my third-party program from SmartWatch. Volume, Play/Pause, Skip forward, Skip backward … it all worked flawlessly.
The SmartWatch keeps you actively in command of every bit of information received by your Android. It’s also a source of entertainment in itself, with a wide selection of free apps ranging as far as pedometers, calculators and photo slideshows. But, above all, the SmartWatch resolves the need to check up on every sound your Android makes. So, ignore that irrelevant text message, skip that John Mayer song, disregard that junk e-mail … all while your phone stays put and saves battery for that important call you’re waiting for.
|Compatibility||Sony Live with Walkman, Sony Xperia active, Sony Xperia arc, Sony Xperia arc S, Sony Xperia mini, Sony Xperia mini pro, Sony Xperia neo, Sony Xperia neo V, Sony Xperia PLAY, Sony Xperia pro, Sony Xperia ray, Sony Xperia S, Sony Xperia Sola, Sony Xperia U, Sony Xperia X10, Sony Xperia X10 mini, Sony Xperia X10 mini pro, Sony Tablet P, Sony Tablet S, HTC Desire S, HTC Wildfire, HTC Wildfire S, Motorola Defy, Motorola Droid 2/Milestone 2, Motorola RAZR, Orange San Francisco, Samsung Galaxy 5, Samsung Galaxy Ace, Samsung Galaxy Fit, Samsung Galaxy Gio, Samsung Galaxy Mini, Samsung Galaxy S II, Samsung Galaxy SL, OS compatibility: Android 2.1 and up|
|Battery Life||Low usage: 1 week
Typical usage: 3 - 4 days
Heavy usage: 1 full day
|Charging Method||USB cable|
|Display||Multi-touch color OLED|
|Operating Range||32' / 10 m|
|Dimensions||1.42 x 1.42" / 36 x 36mm - Thickness: 0.3" / 8 mm|
|Weight||Main unit: 0.55 oz / 15.5 g
Watchband: 0.92 oz / 26 g