Sony SmartWatch 2
$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