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Sony SmartWatch 2 review (do I need this gadget?)

Sony SmartWatch 2 review (do I need this gadget?)
 

Can a smart watch change the way you use your phone? No. But it can help you stay in touch with your messages, your emails and never miss a call again (even when you are in a meeting).

We tested Sony SmartWatch 2 with HTC One (although we also have a Sony Xperia Z1) so as to see if it can work with other smartphones than Sony smartphones. Meet this artistic technology piece below.

HOW IT WORKS

After opening the device, you pair SmartWatch to your phone using the bluetooth. You can also connect the watch to the phone by touching the NFC area of your phone (if your smartphone has NFC). You must also download on your phone the free Sony app called Smart Connect. After downloading the app you connect the phone to your watch and then start downloading extra apps to the watch.

Open the Smart Connect app and tap on the Watch to edit the apps. You can see the installed apps and some more apps you can additionally install. Not all apps are available for all devices. For example the Camera app is not working for HTC One.

You can find apps like Calendar Reminder, Call handling, Gmail, Facebook, Twitter, Missed Call, Slideshow and Twitter. Another app is Music Player and Runtastic (for runners). My favourite apps are Call handling, Missed Call and Gmail.

Facebook is not so important for me to get notifications on my watch. Of course you can select which Facebook notifications you get on your device. You can select Notifications and Inbox only. You can also select from which Facebook friends you will receive alerts. So if you don’t want to miss any Facebook updates, this is the app you need to install on your watch. SmartWatch has not sounds, only vibration. So don’t overdo it with notifications. You don’t want your hand to vibrate all the time, you want only important stuff (like phone calls, SMS and emails) to bother you.

SIZE & DESIGN

I don’t really like the design, it’s not a beautiful watch, it’s a technology gadget you have there hanging on your hand. People will notice that you wear something different. It’s much better than the old SmartWatch but not as beautiful as other watches. The square design in watches is too 80s and the screen reminds me of the first smartphone I had. The watch is light and smaller than the competitors. So if you are used to wear watches, this one will make no difference to you.

What I really love on that watch is that it is water resistant. You can wash your hands with it. That’s great. I don’t like watches that are not water resistant. Of course you cannot swim in the sea with that watch but it’s great to be resistant enough to make your life easier.Just don’t forget to close the USB port.

SCREEN

SmartWatch has a 1.6 inches screen with 262.000 color panels to make the screen easy to read in the sun. In countries like mine,with lots of sun, we have a lot of problems with our smartphone screens during the summer. That means that if you are standing out in the sun, you cannot read the screen of your device. But you can read the screen of SmartWatch with this Sony device (even if the icons are too small). When the device is sleeping, you can see the time on a gray scale screen without the need to press the power button. Too normal for a watch. Unfortunately you cannot edit the timeout of the screen. Generally this watch lacks a lot of basic settings. There is also no display settings and you cannot edit the vibration (it’s only yes or no). If you choose no vibration, then you have no notifications. If you press yes and the vibration is not capable to alert you, then you have no option to make the vibration last longer.

BATTERY

The battery is good although I don’t like the idea of charging my smartphone and my watch at the same time. The battery on SmartWatch 2 lasts for 4-5 days if you turn it off during the night and you get about 20-30 notifications per day. For continuous use, it lasts 1-2 days but your smartphone will be already dead a few times in the same period (with bluetooth and data open all day). The battery charges very fast, it’s not like smartphones that need a lot of time to charge. But if you don;t like the idea of having another gadget to charge, just skip that watch.

SOFTWARE

There are more than 300 apps available for SmartWatch 2. Of course not all of them work for your smartphone and some of them are not free. But you can take a look and search for the apps you like from your Smart Connect app. What I missed is an app to sync with Google Maps and give you directions on your smartwatch. I would like to walk on the streets and have discrete directions on my watch, not on my mobile (talking turn left – the people around are looking at me).

Some apps are not working well, in some others it takes ages to update so stick to the basics, calls, emails, messages. Of course you cannot reply from the watch and you cannot mark as unread a gmail. On the other hand you can call someone from your watch but have to get access to your phone (unless you have a car handsfree or a hands free). So you can use the phone without accessing it. That’s helpful. Of course if the watch is not connected to the phone, nothing works (except the already downloaded messages). So take the watch as an extension to your phone, not as an individual device. You can also control your music. You can skip tracks and control the volume. If your phone is connected to a bluetooth speaker, that’s really useful. You can control the phone and the music from your couch.

VIDEO REVIEW

VERDICT – should I buy this device?

This gadget is not for everyone. It’s the best device you can buy (after your smartphone) if you want to be always updated. I have the watch on my left hand for about 1 month and I really love it.

It’s not perfect, there are some problems with it but I love it because I am sure I will never miss a call (even if I am on my bike or motorbike or when I teach and the smartphone is on mute). I also get my emails on time and can take a look on my watch and see who is sending me an email. If it is an important one, I take out my phone and respond. If not, I just skip the email and continue my work / life.

If you have no need to be always connected to your phone or email, then you don’t need that phone. It’s a wonderful gadget for people with professional needs to be always connected.

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