Hands-On Review: Sony SmartWatch

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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
Platform Android
Bluetooth 3.0
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

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I just purchased a Sony Smartwatch.  I am having difficulties pairing my Galaxy III with the watch.  I have paired the watch to my iPad but it will not pair with my phone.  Would you give me some ideas as to what may be going wrong?

Hi Pam -

Please make sure you have updated both the phone and the watch to all software and firmware updates currently available. You may need to reset your phone as well. You may want to check with your service provider for instructions.  If none of these actions remedy the problem, please contact SONY directly for assistance:  1-800-222-SONY or http://bit.ly/12BwNsQ

Please contact us via e-mail if you have additional questions:  AskBH@BandH.com