The Sony SmartWatch 2 (SW2) recently started to ship across Europe and we have been putting it through its paces over the last couple of days. Whilst the focus on wearable computing has been at a real fore-front this year, Sony have slowly been iterating on its SmartWatch for a number of years now.
The SW2 comes with a 1.6-inch display with 220 x 176 pixel resolution, NFC for easy pairing, IP57 water resistance, an aluminium frame and a rubber (or metal) wristband. The watch needs the brains of your smartphone to function, therefore it is meant to act as an accessory to it, helping you to check emails or social status updates. There are also a wealth of apps on the Google Play Store to expand its functionality. Click through for some early thoughts.
The SmartWatch 2 comes packaged in a plastic box, with the side highlighting the NFC pairing as well as box contents (SW2 and a small micro USB cable).
The other side shows additional features such as the IP57 water resistance, 3-4 day battery life, NFC and Bluetooth. You can also see the Runtastic logo on the packaging – a free code is included to download Runtastic Pro.
Here are the full contents of the SmartWatch 2 packaging including a short micro USB cable and a voucher to download Runtastic Pro.
One day we’d like to find out the significance of the clock time 10:35 – if anyone knows please get in touch!
The metal signature power button found in all 2013 Sony Xperia smartphones makes an appearance on the SmartWatch 2.
The other side of the watch has the micro USB port flap. We didn’t have any problems opening and closing this.
We have the SmartWatch 2 with the rubber wristband. There’s no doubt that the SW2 metal wristband looks nicer, but we found the rubber one very comfortable to use for extended periods of time.
The model and serial number of the SmartWatch 2 can be found on the reverse of the watch.
With the sticker removed we get a first look at the face of the SmartWatch 2. You can see three capacitive buttons on the bottom of the SW2 for back, home and settings. You’ll also notice a small notification light next to the SONY logo.
The SmartWatch 2 might seem big, but it’s not very heavy and it didn’t feel awkward to wear.
When you first switch the SW2 on, you’ll see the Sony logo…
… it will then request you to pair the watch with your phone. This is simply done by tapping your NFC-enabled phone to the watch. You can also manually pair via Bluetooth if your handset does not have NFC.
Once you have paired the phone, you will then be asked to download and install the dedicated SmartWatch 2 app onto your phone.
Once fully booted, you’ll see the time appear on the phone, perfectly synced with the same time on your phone.
To enter the menu, you’ll need to hit the power button on the side and then hit the home button. On first launch, six apps are installed as can be seen below.
The Settings menu has various options, which we’ll show you in detail below. The top of the settings menu has option switches for Bluetooth and Vibrate. Hitting the Display option brings up a sub-menu.
In the Display sub-menu you can adjust the SW2’s Brightness and Notification style.
There are three different Notification styles to choose from.
The second part of the settings menu shows options for Watchfaces, Apps and Date & Time.
There are five Watchfaces to choose from, see these all below.
The Apps sub-menu has toggle switches against the apps installed.
The last part of the Settings menu shows options for Language, Security and Support.
You can also access ‘About SmartWatch 2’ and ‘Reset SmartWatch 2’ in the settings. This shows the model number, serial number and firmware being used.
To download apps for the SmartWatch 2, you need to do this via your phone. The option to do this is only whilst the SmartWatch 2 is connected to your handset, as soon as it is disconnected the option to search for apps disappears.
You can browse for apps via a variety of different categories.
This then launches a filtered section on the Google Play Store allowing you to browse and install apps. There’s already a reasonable selection of apps and this will only grow over time.
From our initial impressions, the SmartWatch 2 is a nice accessory that easily lasts 3 days (from our testing so far). It looks great, unlike earlier Sony smart watches and one can tap into a growing app selection. The rubber wristband provides a very comfortable fit. It’s still early days, but the device holds great promise. We’re not entirely convinced that this is a device that one needs, but as a remote connection to your phone it serves its purpose very well.