The Sony Smartwatch 2 is the second attempt of the Japanese company to try and cornerstone the industry. Conservative research states that the entire smartwatch industry will be worth $62 billion by 2018. This is prompting an entire cadre of startups to get into this space. Sony is one of the few with a second generation device, next to Pebble. How does this stack up against the competition?
The Sony SmartWatch 2 has a new 1.6-inch transflective LCD touchscreen and soft keys that mimic Android’s back, home, and menu functions. The resolution is only 220 x 176, this is fairly poor, as pixels tend to be jagged. You can tell there is not much memory in this device, because they are not really using anti-aliasing. Most of the core functionality is built around interacting with the touchscreen and pairing it with your phone.
The Smartwatch 2 is not very smart, sadly. The built in functionality on it can tell the time, be used as a stopwatch, and be used as an alarm. But that’s about it. You can reject incoming calls from the SmartWatch and automatically send a SMS text.
You really need to have an Android Smartphone to take advantage of this watch. In order to even set it up, you need to download the Sony Android software to control it and load in firmware. There also is not a dedicated Sony Android App Market. This is something Pebble did right in their iOS app, you can install faces, gps, productivity and fitness apps. Heck, there is even games like Asteroids! The Sony App, is basically a portal to other apps listed on Google Play. So, if you have a phone that is not compatible with Google Play, or does not have the G Services, you are doomed.
In the end, the Sony Smartwatch 2 is not very smart. You can think of it as a dumb terminal that is reliant on your phone for most of the apps. Really, this is meant to pair to your phone via bluetooth and give you notifications. It is meant to ping you when you get text messages, Whatsapp messages and let you know when someone is calling. It might save time to glance at your wrist, rather than take your phone out, get it out of standby and open the notification. Check out our unboxing and review to get a sense on our thoughts.
Michael Kozlowski is the Editor in Chief of Good e-Reader. He has been writing about audiobooks and e-readers for the past ten years. His articles have been picked up by major and local news sources and websites such as the CBC, CNET, Engadget, Huffington Post and the New York Times.