The Sony brand is synonymous with high-quality technology, and the Smartwatch range won’t disappoint. This line of wearables connects seamlessly with Android devices. It’s capable of displaying SMS messages and Twitter feeds among many other things. Here, we take a look at some of the devices within this product line so you can be better informed about their benefits and drawbacks.
The Original Sony Smartwatch – A Strong Design
The original Sony Smartwatch was released back in 2012 and featured a 1.3”OLED display along with an attractive aluminium frame. The display is clear, bright and surprisingly sharp. However, its resolution is only 128 x 128 so text and images aren’t completely clear. The touchscreen is easy to use and responsive although the display isn’t always on. This requires shaking or tapping to wake it up.
It has Bluetooth connectivity to connect to an Android device, specifically designed to pair with the Sony Xperia product line. Some other manufacturers’ models are supported too. There is only one preinstalled app, all the others must be downloaded from the Play Store. This can be quite time consuming. However, there is a range of more than 40 to choose from, allowing all kinds of functions from texting and call handling to Twitter, Facebook and music controls.
When it comes to sports tracking, this device has plenty of potential with the Google Tracks app being the fitness offering. It also offers a long battery life, which is an added bonus.
- Comfortable to wear
- Bluetooth connectivity
- Music controls
- Stylish design
- Limited handset compatibility
Sony Smartwatch 2 – The Second Generation
2013 saw the arrival of the Sony Smartwatch 2, the updated version of the original Sony wearable. Though it is an upgrade on the original, this device isn’t the most exciting or eye-catching design. However, it is functional and good value.
The Sony 2 is smaller than some other rival smartwatches and it’s completely waterproof so it can be worn for swimming. Unlike the original, it’s also compatible with any Android device running Android 4.0 or higher. There is inbuilt NFC and Bluetooth connectivity, and while there aren’t many preinstalled apps, there are lots to choose from on the Play Store which can be downloaded to the device.
The Sony 2 can’t take calls unless you have a headset or hands-free kit and, while messages can be received and read on your wrist, there are only pre-set reply templates for responding. There’s also no integrated voice action or keyboard. All of this means that you really need to take your smartphone along with you wherever you go.
The 1.6”screen measures has a 220 x 176 resolution and the display is always on, making it a lot more convenient. It’s easily viewed, even in direct sunlight. While the 200MHz processor isn’t the fastest, it’s functional and there’s no lag when opening and using apps. The battery also offers a long lifespan of at least two days, even when apps are running.
In terms of fitness tracking, the Sony Smartwatch 2 offers similar functionality to the original version. It shows a lot of promise and can track all of the most obvious sports, but it doesn’t go the extra mile. For serious athletes, a dedicated fitness tracker would be a better choice than this device.
- Stylish design
- Long lifespan
- Compatible with all Android devices
- Can’t answer calls from your wrist or respond freely to texts
- No integrated keyboard or voice action
The Latest Sony Smartwatch – Version 3
Released in 2014, the Sony Smartwatch 3 is the most recent incarnation of this brand’s wearable line and it offers more features than either of its two earlier versions. This device runs the Android Wear OS and has a 1.2 GHz quad core processor along with 512 MB of RAM for extra power. It also features inbuilt GPS making it more functional as a fitness tracker.
The 1.6” display is transflective for easier viewing and offers clear, crisp resolution, and while it doesn’t make for the slimmest or most discreet smartwatch on your wrist, it’s comfortable to wear, especially with the silicone strap (there’s also a stainless steel strap version available).
This model has voice controls, handy if you want to give commands on the move but while notifications can be received, the ability to interact with them is limited. Incoming calls are still received on your smartphone or via a Bluetooth headset.
The 450mAh battery isn’t the biggest but it does allow for around a two-day lifespan, while the integrated NFC and GPS make this a more appealing model than either of its older siblings. Technically, you can play music through this device as there’s 4GB of storage, but getting the songs on there in the first place is a challenge.
In terms of fitness, this smartwatch has plenty to offer. It has a continuous heartrate monitor along with tracking functionality for sleep and calories. Google Fit and other third-party fitness apps are supported too, allowing you to keep an eye on your workouts and overall fitness progress.
- Voice controls
- 4GB of storage
- 2-day battery life
- Heartrate monitoring
- NFC and GPS built in
- The charging port is poorly located
- GPS has limited performance
Should I Buy A Sony Smartwatch?
Although rumours abound of a Sony Smartwatch 4, at the moment it’s still under wraps so, should you buy one of these three older models? The answer very much depends on what you want from a smartwatch and your own personal preferences. If you have a Sony Xperia smartphone, you may appreciate the better connectivity, but if you’re looking for a fully functioning wearable for a similar price, you may be better off looking at a Samsung Galaxy Active 2.