Sony Smart­Watch 2

Australian T3 - - RATED -

$329, SONY .COM .au

Sony’s sec­ond-gen piece ups its game, but still not a win­ner

Let’s be hon­est, Sony’s first Smart­Watch was pretty poor, so the fact that this re­tains the washed-out colour touch­screen and un­skinned An­droid OS of its pre­de­ces­sor is not promis­ing. Icons are too closely packed on the 220x176 pixel touch­screen and the large of fin­ger will strug­gle to use it ac­cu­rately. It does now in­clude a choice of lo-res watch faces, though, so you can go for a more clas­sic look.

Setup is sim­ple, how­ever, es­pe­cially if you’ve got an NFC-en­abled An­droid de­vice – just down­load Sony’s SmartCon­nect app and touch your phone against the back of the watch to pair. Not got NFC? No wor­ries, you can also con­nect eas­ily via Blue­tooth, though hav­ing that switched on will drain your smart­phone’s bat­tery. Don’t have an An­droid phone? Then move along. At least, un­like Sam­sung’s Gear 2, it works with any smart­phone sport­ing An­droid 4.0 or above.

Only the clock faces, timers and stop­watches are built in, but there’s a de­cent se­lec­tion of apps for the Smart­Watch 2 avail­able at Google Play and all your ba­sics, such as caller ID, text alerts, Gmail, Face­book and Twit­ter, can be in­stalled through Smart Con­nect. It’s fid­dly, but at least Sony can’t be ac­cused of load­ing its de­vice with bloat­ware.

Other no­table apps in­clude Walk­mate (right) and Run­tas­tic, both of which use the ac­celerom­e­ter to track your ac­tiv­ity.

Much like the Metawatch, this “smart­watch” is re­ally just a con­duit for info from your phone. That means no voice con­trol, no an­swer­ing calls and no re­ply­ing to texts, un­less you can get away with one of the pre­set tem­plates. The upside of that is pass­able bat­tery life – around two and a half days, with re-juic­ing via mi­cro USB.

There’s ac­tu­ally more func­tion­al­ity than in most con­nected watches here, but its use­ful­ness is still very limited. Love Colour screen dis­plays im­ages as well as text. Wide range of colour straps. Good app se­lec­tion Hate Screen is lo-res and washed out. No apps pre­loaded, not even ba­sics. Only works on An­droid T3 Says Sony’s sec­ond Smart­Watch looks nice and is de­cent value, though far from per­fect

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