25
Jun
0_Smartwatch_2_Angled

Believe it or don't, there were smartwatches before the Pebble and its host of contemporaries. While it's debatable that Sony's second-gen watch was the best of them, it was certainly among the most high-profile watches, and the company has returned to its old stomping grounds now that the segment has exploded. The SmartWatch 2 (stylized "SW2") includes a bigger, denser display, a revised software suite that more naturally mimics Sony's Android phones, and embedded NFC. The SmartWatch 2 will be available in September for an undisclosed price.

1_Smartwatch_2_Black_Angled

The hardware itself looks like a tiny Xperia phone, right down to the Android-style capacitive navigation buttons and the side-mounted power control (right where the winder on a real watch goes - nice touch). It's wrapped in a flat, rounded aluminum housing, with standard lugs compatible with any 24mm band. Sony will be selling their own, naturally, but you're more than capable of throwing a NATO strap on there if you like.

The screen has been stretched to 1.6 inches diagonally with a resolution of 220x176, compared to the 1.3-inch 128x128 panel on the original. It's a Transflective LCD, which should have better sunlight readability than the original OLED. Unlike most e-ink and similar watches, it's a full touchscreen, which Sony claims will get the best battery life of any smartwatch, 3-4 days with typical usage. Oh - and it can be recharged via a standard MicroUSB port, no special dock or cable required. The watch is rated IP 57 waterproof, what is sometimes known as "splashproof" - OK for quick soaks, but not sustained submersion.

0_Smartwatch_2_Angled 2_SmartWatch_2_Black_Open_Front

The inclusion of NFC is a big deal. Sony is hoping that you'll pair your SW2 with a phone (preferably an Xperia, of course) via an NFC tap. The company has used similar features on Bluetooth headsets and headphones. The software will be compatible with "most Android phones." Built-in apps include call answering and rejecting, a call log and missed call notification, text, email, Facebook, Twitter, Calendar, and weather alerts, a news aggregator, and a remote music player. The coolest software feature mentioned is definitely the remote shutter - tap a button on your watch and your phone will take a snapshot. Naturally, new apps can be downloaded and transferred over the Bluetooth connection. Sony claims they have 200 apps available at present, including the popular Runtastic.

It also tells time.

4_SmartWatch_2_Black_Side

While we won't know the price for a while, I'd be surprised if the SmartWatch 2 exceeds $250 retail. Advanced features or no, Sony will have to compete with the current crop of black-and-white smartwatches, which generally aim for $150 retail (if you can get one). Sony did not say whether on not the SmartWatch 2 would get the software unlock treatment, like its older brother.

25th June 2013, Mobile Asia Expo, Shanghai – Sony Mobile Communications (“Sony Mobile”) today introduces Sony SmartWatch 2 SW2, the most advanced smartwatch available*. Sony SmartWatch 2 is a second screen for your Android smartphone that, as well as enhancing existing phone functionality, offers unique new benefits. Combining form and function in a sleek design, it serves as a multi-functional watch, notifier, Android app interface and phone remote control, all-in-one.

Openness with Android

App expandability is key to Sony SmartWatch 2. It can be personalised with more dedicated apps than any other smartwatch* to seamlessly suit your needs, whether you are on the go, keeping active, in business meetings or simply at home. Download a host of SmartWatch apps and experience a range of unique functions - many of which can even be enjoyed without ever needing to reach for your phone:

  • Handle your calls by a simple touch of your wrist
  • Take a photo remotely from your SmartWatch, using a smart camera app
  • Control your presentations remotely using Presentation Pal
  • Taking a run or on the bike? Select a mapping app on SmartWatch to check your route with a quick glance at your wrist
  • Read previously downloaded e-mails when not connected to your phone
  • Use lifestyle apps like Runtastic to map and instantly track your fitness activities on the go
  • Quickly and easily adjust the tracks and volume on your music player, without ever taking your phone from your pocket

SmartWatch 2 is also both sleek and reassuringly robust thanks to its water and dust resistant design, giving you the freedom to enjoy it on the beach or simply on the go – come rain or shine.

The best of Sony in a SmartWatch

If you use Android, on either smartphone or tablet, Sony SmartWatch 2 is your ideal smartwatch partner. It’s easy and convenient to access notifications from your wrist such as messages, calls, email, Facebook™/Twitter™, Calendar, or use it as a remote for your Walkman™ or other digital media player. This wireless accessory is ideal for pairing with large-screen devices, such as the newly announced Xperia™ Z Ultra, in situations which call for discrete usage. SmartWatch 2 introduces new features as a natural successor to the current Sony SmartWatch such as NFC connectivity for one-touch pairing, stunning premium design and a range of technologies including higher resolution for sharper viewing, better visibility even in sunlight, longer battery stamina, more intuitive interface, standalone watch functionality and a wide range of pre-installed and recommended apps.

When not connected to your phone, SmartWatch 2 works as a standalone digital watch. Read previously received notifications, access the time, set your alarm or even use as a light when searching for your keys. SmartWatch 2 can also be personalised with any standard 24mm wristband and new Sony watchstraps will soon be available for further expression of your personal style.

Jeremiah Rice
Jeremiah is a US-based blogger who bought a Nexus One the day it came out and never looked back. In his spare time he watches Star Trek, cooks eggs, and completely fails to write novels.
  • Sean Thomas

    Wow that is damn gorgeous. I'd wear that.

    • Aleksey_US

      Gorilla Glass? I think Watches are the most prone to scratches devices I have! MY Pebble has a few nasty ones already...

  • Mark

    It runs Android, there is an Android SDK for the Smartwatch.

    http://developer.sonymobile.com/knowledge-base/sdks/sony-add-on-sdk/

    • http://www.androidpolice.com/ Artem Russakovskii

      I am fairly sure after looking at the specs, the SDK, and the white paper for the first watch, that it doesn't itself run Android.

      Just like the other device supported by the same SDK, the Smart Wireless Headset Pro, the watch is a simple BT and now NFC enabled device.

      All the logic and app functionality reside on Android phones for which apps are written using this SDK you linked to. In fact, both the first and second watches specify that they're strictly for Android devices, and that is because the SDK itself targets Android devices and not watches or other OSes.

      • Zach B.

        This. I own the 2nd watch and basically it's a giant bluetooth tethered reader of apps residing on the phone.

  • David Anderton

    cool but they should make one that is more than splashproof

    • Herman

      It's odd though, IP57 means that it can withstand immersion 1 meter deep for half an hour. Yet Sony claims this smartwatch with this particular rating can't be used in a shower, or submerged under water.

      As long as it definitely won't break during rainfall, I'm okay with it.
      And that's why I didn't get the original Smartwatch.

      • Matthew Fry

        It's strange... you'd think it would be no more difficult than a cell phone or camera to make water resistant which most modern cell phones are.

        • Herman

          As a matter of fact, it should be even easier.
          A phone has more ports that need to be covered in well protected flaps. Most ordinary watches are waterproof as well, even.

      • Royal2000H

        Wait what? I thought the original Smartwatch was water resistant? I've used it in the shower...

        • Herman

          It's splash resistant, but I've read on some forums that it had broken from just being used in the rain.

          I guess you're lucky (though it should've been just fine actually since it is splashproof).

      • David Anderton

        I would like to be able to take it surfing or sailing

      • Colin Kealty

        IP57 means that it can be submerged for 30 minutes 1 meter deep and be repairable with a battery replacement, there's a possibility that the battery still gets damaged sadly

  • Andrei

    I guess it would be nice to store your Xperia Z Ultra in your backpack and check what's going on just by looking at your watch

    • ProductFRED

      "Oh look at the time."

      *opens Pornhub app*

      • RoboBonobo

        wat

  • Thomas

    Looks kinda like they're trying to put an Android phone on a watch, probably not the best idea IMO.

  • ergu

    hm... never heard of 'transflective lcd' before. that might make this, in my opinion, a true competitor with the pebble's e-ink. does anybody know if/how well such a display works with no backlight in a normally lit room?

    • youareme7

      I'm trying to figure out that same thing; there are versions of transflective displays that can show up without the backlight (so their always visible) but the video seemed to allude to it being blank until you tapped it, which to me is a no-go.

  • Indy Sigur

    will we be able to link this with ps4?

    • ProductFRED

      Yes. Just pick up your PS4 and smash it against the watch so that they can pair seamlessly.

      • Matthew Fry

        Hilarious mental image :-D

  • TheKaz1969

    ok, so probably a stupid question, but.. this thing pairs with your phone via bluetooth? so can I be paired to my watch and my car at the same time..?

    • Tony Sarju

      yes

    • Zach B.

      I own the previous iteration....I wear the watch and call/listen to music over my Ford SYNC with no issues, except once in a blue moon, I've heard the music cut out for a split second when my phone was pushing notifications to the watch.

  • Tony Sarju

    I am intrigued. I am curious how this watch will handle Gmail notifications, if at all. Or does it only send notifications from the standalone e-mail app?

    • Zach B.

      I own the previous iteration. There are separate apps for email and Gmail notifications. So as long as they haven't redone the entire experience, yes, there will be.

      • Tony Sarju

        Perfect! Thank you for clarifying.

  • wollac11

    Looks really nice. But does it have a mic? I am hoping to get a smartwatch that allows me to peform voice commands via utter, Google voice search with Google Now and autovoice plugin for tasker. Also mainly to show off and feel all sci-fi, but making the odd call from it would be pretty sweet.

    • andy_o

      Do you use Google Now with a bluetooth headset? If so, did one of the latest updates of search break that functionality for you? I remember it's a fairly recent feature, but it didn't last long before another update broke it.

      • Matthew Fry

        Yes for me. It worked and then it didn't. It made me exceedingly frustrated. Since then, my bluetooth headset kind of fell apart so I don't know the current status.

  • MerdescuRazvan

    Now I can feel like a spy!

  • Nick V

    I never wear anything, but I would love to wear this. If Google's offering (I know its a rumor) is anything less than this, Google will have done messed up...

  • Nick Schiwy

    This thing has seriously got my attention. I still want to wait to see what Google has to offer up with the rumored Google smartwatch but if this becomes available later this year and the Google version hasn't been announced, I may just have to grab this one.

  • GeeKLoRD

    The phones became smarter to be a companion device for a Laptop/PC but now we need a Smartwatch to be a companion device for a Smartphone? O_o

  • xnifex

    wow this think is sexy. I've play with the previous one & it was alright, if this adds to it, I'd want one.

  • Samvith V Rao

    Finally a smartwatch that doesnt look ugly!

  • valapsp

    so F#*@ing gorgeous!

  • Ivan Myring

    Cost?

  • youareme7

    I can't say I like that the watch just sits there blank unless you tap on it, or did I see that video wrong? Pebble, Metawatch, and Wimm One have always visible screens, I just think it takes a lot away from the passive look of the watch when it goes blank after a few seconds

  • WIFIATION

    Waiting For the next Bond Movie......

  • Matthew Fry

    Sony, make me a watch able to pay for things.

    • Splike

      It has NFC, so theoretically, you can pay with it.

  • RoboBonobo

    If I wasn't considering switching from Android to iPhone when the new one comes out, I might think about getting this. I think I'll be patient and wait for the AGENT smartwatch to come out.

    • Note 2

      Just curious...what is so great about the upcoming iphone that you would switch from android?

      • RoboBonobo

        Didn't realize I was posting on an Android page; not trying to troll. We don't yet know anything for sure about the upcoming iPhone, I'm just waiting for it instead of getting an iPhone 5 when the new one is just a few months away. But I do know that it doesn't allow apps to run in the background -- you can have hundreds of apps, and they won't start their own processes automatically without you telling them to do something; if you have a lot of Apps, it can be a problem figuring out which one is hogging the battery. So that's one reason why I might switch.
        Another reason is Android doesn't support Bluetooth 4.0 Low Energy (and nothing official from Google says they will any time soon) devices, and I don't want to be limited with what other bluetooth devices I can purchase down the road. Bluetooth LE is kind of important for me. For example, the AGENT smartwatch battery will last longer if I've got a phone that supports LE. I can imagine only more and more bluetooth devices will come out that are LE-only, that I won't be able to use if I've got a phone with Bluetooth 4.0 but the OS doesn't support it. (like the galaxy s 4, nexus 4, etc)
        Plus, the way I use my current phone, I don't have any use for widgets. My homescreen basically just has app icons, like an iphone home screen. I'm looking for more simplicity too. I want it to do a few basic things out of the box, and I don't want to have to root (and rooting can open the door to some of the nastier viruses/malware I've read about, if you accidentally get exposed; however unlikely that may be) just to do something basic like block apps from opening processes all by themselves.
        Anyways, I've pretty much decided I'm switching to iPhone, but I'm going to wait for the new one since it's not that far off; which leaves me some time to change my mind / be convinced to stick with Android. And I'm not dissing Android; I still like it and will continue to follow the news about it. I think there's use cases where iPhone would be better (someone who's a technophobe, or doesn't want to be bothered with a little extra complexity) and use cases where Android is clearly better (someone who wants to torrent in the background while browsing facebook/youtube/etc).
        Cheers.

        • Brian

          Recent Samsung and HTC devices have Bluetooth LE SDKs and official Android support will likely arrive soon.

          And if you're just looking for "a few basic things out of the box", I don't really see how having the latest and greatest version of Android is a big deal.

          But it's up to you, of course.

          • RoboBonobo

            Okay, I didn't realize some new phones have BLE working. So there's that. The main reason that I'll probably switch is still because of how iPhone doesn't allow things to run in the background and start their own processes without being told, by the user, to do something. I'm not saying that way is always better; it just happens to be better for me, for what I want, right now.
            What I mean about 'do a few basic things out of the box' is that I don't want to have to root the phone to do something basic, like freezing apps. I want it to work properly out of the box, without the trouble/risk of rooting and, by doing so, opening the door to all kinds of malware.
            Not receiving the latest and greatest version of Android is fine, it's not a big deal. But that doesn't mean that I'm happy about not getting what I paid for and am still paying for. For me, part of the appeal of getting an Android phone was that new features would be unlocked with future updates.. so that's a little disappointing. It still does the basic things that I need it for and it still does extra things that I want; I just don't get all the features I should/would have got if the manufacturer didn't decide it wasn't worth their while to support their products after a certain age.
            Another reason, which doesn't have anything to do with the tech, is that I want to broaden my horizons.. I've never owned an iPod or iPhone, or Mac computer. Friends know I'm into computer stuff and sometimes ask me for help with their iPhones and Macs, but I don't know where to begin with telling them how to do something simple with their email, for example. I'd like to learn Mac/iOS, just to know how to use it, and also so I can help/teach others.

        • Sreekanth Krishnan
  • ChainsawCharlie

    That is a pretty looking watch. The Sony logo seems oddly big though.

  • Michael W.

    I'm sold. I have the Motoactv, the latest sony smartwatch and the Pebble. All have their pros and cons but I love the pebble's battery life so I tend to wear it the most. But I love how sony has so many apps for their watch. This one has a gorgeous display and better battery life so I might be swapping the pebble for this. Good going Sony.

    • Dirk

      Pebble has 7+ days of battery, this one only 3-4 days?

    • faisal fawad

      sir plz say something to me about smart watch is it use for calling and also it send picture via mms etc

  • Stephen Fronda

    I'm actually kind of excited for this. I own the Original Smartwatch and I'm not that impressed with it. THIS looks sexy though.

  • Grant Barker

    it's about time I replaced my old cheap watch. I like the idea of just swiping to a new clock face whenever we fancy a change. Good stuff. It's one step closer to the microchip, but at least it's stylish, and fun too.

  • Jörgen Pettersson

    The screen looks rather blue in all the segments of the video when they show someone actually wearing it, doesn't it?

  • Christopher Lee

    The claim about best in class battery life would be true if it were qualified as such-- I doubt it'll be able to match the Pebble in terms of pure longevity simply because of the technologies involved. That said, I'm certainly interested in the device given its touchscreen (something I very, very occasionally wish my Pebble had).

    Given my Pebble recently exceeded design specs (a full, one week trip that lasted exactly seven days to the hour, with a low battery warning finally appearing as I unpacked), I'll probably stay with this for a while though. :)

  • Prince William

    Jeremiah, I love the way you wrote this article, informative & insightful. Keep it up!

  • SSR

    Does at least this version keep time while not connected via bluetooth, unlike the first?

    • Sreekanth Krishnan

      SW1 also keeps time when not connected. You just have to connect to phone first and then disconnect. Then it shows time till you switch off the watch.

      • SSR

        That's definitely good to know. Thanks :)

  • Kevin Xiiao Apple

    DID sony smart watch work on Xperia x8?

  • Tanner

    The standardized band one of the biggest draws to this one. I have large wrists so the included one is probably too short, plus rubber watch bands look cheap and tacky.

    First thing I'd do is put a nice stainless band on it. Something like this:

  • hanumesh

    Is sony smart watch compatible with Xperia M and Xperia C .

Quantcast