Sony Smartwatch2 Review: Wearable Tech With No Frills [VIDEO]

Sony (NYSE:SNE) sent us their latest watch, the Smartwatch2. Despite the name, this is actually Sony’s third smartwatch.

I’ve never thought I needed a device between me and my phone, and while the Smartwatch2 hasn’t changed my mind, it is at least a competent, albeit cheap step on the path. It’ll take care of basic smartwatch functions, but don’t expect any frills.

AESTHETICS & DESIGN

Does the Smartwatch2 sound familiar? It should. It’s no coincidence that it looks like a perfect complement to the Xperia phone -- Sony would like you to purchase the watch as a companion device for the phone. It’s got the same thick black bezels and silver strip.

Good news, though! It’s still compatible with any Android device running at least 4.0, so you’re not tied to any specific phone line.

Sony Smartwatch2 Design Make no mistake about it, the build quality of the Smartwatch2 is superb, but the look may not be for everyone.  Nick Deel/IBT

The screen is easily readable when it’s in clock mode, even in direct sunlight. Point for Sony there. I can’t say I care for the square shape, though. It looks all right on a large wrist like mine, but this would look ridiculous on a slender arm -- and since the Smartwatch2 has to also be ... well, a watch, fashion is an important factor.

That said, you could wear this every day, assuming you don’t wear a suit to work. A rubber strap comes standard; it’s cheap, but it’s functional. Leather and metal straps are available, but they’re not free.

PERFORMANCE

The watch makes your phone do the heavy lifting, which is fine, because it doesn’t have much power or character to begin with. The interface is pretty bland, but to be fair this is only ever meant to be a secondary device.  The touch detection is pretty good, and widgets load quickly enough.

Sony Smartwatch2 Performance The Smartwatch2 map function was atrocious and virtually unusable.  Nick Deel/IBT

Sony’s released a ton of little apps for the Smartwatch, but I can’t find a reason to use many of them. Even the basic stuff like Gmail and Twitter -- you get flashes and little snippets of information on the screen, but you can’t do anything with it. You’ll still have to take out your phone to make any use of the information.

VERDICT

And therein lies my problem with this watch. The function is fine, for what it’s worth ... but I haven’t been convinced that I need something between me and my phone. This doesn’t have the aesthetic value of an old-fashioned watch, and it certainly doesn’t have enough power to do much tech stuff.

Sony Smartwatch2 Verdict Don't expect too much from Sony's Smartwatch2. It's primary function is to give you notifications and it does just that.  Nick Deel/IBT

The Smartwatch2 is $200, which is significantly cheaper than its chief rivals. If you have to have a wearable device, this isn’t bad -- as long as you’re not expecting more than an accessory.

Check out our review of Sony's Xpreia Z1S phone here: http://ibtimes.com/sony-xperia-z1s-review-step-right-direction-video-1631214

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