We're all talking about wearable technologies these days. It is said to be the next big thing in the technology industry. Every single tech company has considered in moving into the area, wanting to gain their fair share of market as they push out new wearable technology products. We've seen Microsoft working on smartwatches a decade ago, but it was deemed too early for its time. Currently, big names like Samsung and Sony already have their smartwatch products out on the market. Apple is also rumoured to be building a iWatch as well. However, it seems that consumers have yet to fully realise the need for a smartwatch. Today, we take a look at the 2nd version of Sony's smartwatch lineup, the Sony Smartwatch 2 and each individual functions and features that it has.
In terms of the user interface, the SmartWatch 2 has adopted their own Sony theme. Applications icon are placed 6 x 2 on a page and there can be multiple pages. An Android user will definitely know how to use the smartwatch as it works just like an Android smartphone. There is even a home, back and menu button found at the bottom of the watch.
|Power button at the right side of the watch|
|MicroUSB charging port at the left side of the watch|
FeaturesTo put it simply, the Sony SmartWatch 2 is not a standalone smart device. It has to function together with an Android Smartphone. The watch connects to the smartphone via bluetooth and it can even be paired easily with the use of NFC. Setting up the SmartWatch was fairly simple and we were able to get started without much effort.
|Sony SmartConnect App for pairing with Smartwatch 2|
|Applications for Smartwatch 2 are installed from the SmartConnect App|
It is required for users to download the Sony SmartConnect Application from the Google Play Store in order for the SmartWatch 2 to synchronise with the various smartphone applications and get on the fly notifications on the watch. The SmartWatch essentially serves as a quick notification center, alerting users of the latest notifications right on the small display on the watch. Additionally, as the watch vibrates, one is sure that they will never miss a call, notification or alert ever again.
The Sony SmartWatch 2 is a great companion to any Android device and it complements it extremely well. It solves some typical problems of a smartphone. For example, I can now be sure of who is calling me without taking out my smartphone from my pocket.
Imagine having a leisure game of badminton while the Android smartphone is placed in the bag not far away. I can immediately take a look at all the important notifications from the watch or know who is calling me without disrupting the game and walking all the way to my bag to find out the details. There are definitely some useful case scenarios for the SmartWatch 2. Additionally, as the SmartWatch vibrates everytime it is out of sync with the smartphone, it indirectly reminds me that I've left my smartphone behind.
|Twitter notification alerts on SmartWatch 2|
What's best about the Sony SmartWatch 2 that makes it different from the other SmartWatches in the market? It's certified to be IP57 water resistant. Being water resistant matters a lot for a watch as there is a high chance where it will be exposed to such conditions. You wouldn't want your smartwatch to be damaged when you're in a rain or when you forgot to take it off when you're having a shower right?
The possibilities are made infinite with Sony's decision to open up the SmartWatch platform for developers to develop 3rd party firmware and applications. Developers can definitely challenge themselves to develop on this emerging platform which may hold many opportunities in the near future.
|Dial pad to make calls|
There are even more applications from Sony as well as other 3rd party that can be installed from Google Play Store.
Final ThoughtsAs a geek myself, I felt obliged to have some cool technology to wear and show it off to other people. The Smartwatch 2 is definitely something that I have been looking for to wear in order to show others the geek in me. If you have any geek friends who will be celebrating their birthdays soon, this could be the perfect gift for them. It makes perfect sense as a Christmas gift too!
Despite the numerous advantages which the SmartWatch 2 brings to users, there also also some pain points which could have deterred the purchase. Firstly, as compared to a traditional watch in terms of battery life, the SmartWatch needs to be charged frequently. I had to charge my unit every 3 to 4 days which I found it to be quite troublesome. Furthermore, I felt that Sony ought to find more developers to develop applications for the SmartWatch. As for now, even though it has already been more than a year since the first Smartwatch product from Sony, there is still a very limited number of applications for the Smartwatch. The most straightforward applications such as WhatsApp messenger, Facebook Notifications etc are still not available. Sony definitely has to put more effort in attracting developers to create applications for the Smartwatch to make it successful.
Even so, the Sony SmartWatch 2 makes perfect sense to work side by side with any Android smartphone. I have to compliment Sony who ensured the compatibility of their SmartWatch to all Android smartphones, unlike Samsung Gear which is only for Samsung Galaxy devices. As an advice to all parents out there, if you have a child who is kinda a geek and loves technology, buy the SmartWatch for them. They will love it.
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