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Sony Smartwatch 2 review

A smartwatch that keeps things simple

The Sony Smartwatch 2 - should you buy it? Well do you really need a smartwatch? In fact, does anyone need a smartwatch in their current form?

Probably not - the technology is growing but it's yet to set the world alight, amaze me or actually make a decent case for itself as a vital piece of kit.

That's not to say the Smartwatch 2 is rubbish. It offers up a whole host of features and while it doesn't particularly excel at any point, my mates were certainly impressed when I showed it off to them.

We liked

A water resistant, dustproof smartwatch which isn't overly cumbersome on the wrist is certainly a big positive for the Smartwatch 2 and while it's not going to wow anyone with amazing design, it certainly is practical.

The ability to change the strap with any 24mm watch strap will appeal to some, but it's really the price which helps the Sony Smartwatch 2 stand out from the crowd.

At almost half the price of the Samsung Galaxy Gear it's difficult to justify why you'd opt for this over the Smartwatch 2.

Battery life was pretty impressive with the Smartwatch 2 regularly getting most of the way through a third day on a single charge, plus the range of applications available in Google Play gives you some decent additional options - even if they are hard to find.

We disliked

While various features of the Sony Smartwatch 2 are "nice", I haven't fallen in love with any of them and I'm still struggling to see why I need a smartwatch in the first place.

Sure having notifications pop up on your wrist is convenient, to a point, but consider the tiny text size and the lack of message streams and you're really only getting half the picture.

For the full communication experience you'll still have to phish your phone out of your pocket, and a sluggish UI will force you to your phone even more often.

Smartwatches should make everything a little easier, but the complex setup procedure for the SmartWatch 2 is anything but and frankly I got rather bored of the laborious process.

Verdict

If you are absolutely desperate for a smartwatch then I would recommend the Sony SmartWatch 2 over the likes of the Pebble, Qualcomm Toq and Samsung Galaxy Gear, but if you're not really bothered then I'd advise to steer clear.

Despite the update, the SmartWatch 2 still feels a little half baked. Whilst there are some interesting functions such as the camera extension, or the ability to get notifications and messages on your wrist, it isn't vital. That said, the decrease in price does mean that I'm more tempted to hand over my money.

The sluggish interface still let's the SmartWatch 2 down; often it was a lot easier to just pull out my phone and perform the task. The Twitter and Facebook apps also require a fair amount of attention to set up and maintain, especially if you're always meeting new people.

I could forgive the low res display if the SmartWatch 2 worked smoothly and provided better functionality in the main communication applications. The latest update gives me hope that we might see more in the future, but as it stands this is still very much a work in progress.

Tech Specs

Product TypeWrist Watch
Case MaterialAluminium
Watch FormatDigital
MovementQuartz
Band TypeStrap
Band ColorBlack
Brand NameSony
Watch DesignSquare Face
Face1 Digital LCD Main Dial
Wrist BandSilicone Black Strap with Buckle
Built-in ComponentsBluetooth (3.0)
DurabilityWater Resistant (IP57)
FeaturesEmail, Calendar
ManufacturerSony Corporation
Product ModelSMARTWATCH2
Product NameSMARTWATCH2 Wrist Watch
Manufacturer Part NumberSW2
Manufacturer Website Addresshttp://www.sony.co.uk
Marketing InformationIf your smartphone is Android, this is the watch for you. SmartWatch 2 expands your Android experience and introduces new and exciting ways to live and communicate. It interacts with your smartphone over Bluetooth® and what's happening in your life is mirrored in your watch.
Weight (Approximate)122.5 g