I have been using the Sony SmartWatch for a few months now coupled with a Sony Xperia S phone. I must say so far I have been quite impressed with the
Obviously being a Sony Watch and a Sony Phone I would expect the two to work well together and so far they do. This is an Android device, so in theory
will work with any Android phone provided the Apps are installed. The Watch connects by Bluetooth and pairing the device is a simple operation,
confirming the connection on both devices.
In order for the device to function correctly you will need to install an App on your phone. The main App is the Smart Connect App by Sony, this used to
be called Liveware. This comes as part of the Operating system on the Xperia. You will then need to install the SmartWatch App, to allow you to change
Apps and configurations on the Watch. There are lots of other Apps for the Sony SmartWatch, some developed by Sony and some independently. I have tried a number of the Apps mostly the free ones, the Sony Apps work well as you would expect, some of the others are a bit more flaky. Once the software is
installed on the phone, switch the SmartWatch on and it will connect within a few seconds. You can now control watch functions and displays from the
SmartWatch software on the phone. This software allows you to change the order of Apps and the settings for each App, on the phone, change the type of
clock disaplayed and make other configuration changes.
The battery on the phone has lasted for 4 days on one charge but this varies drastically depending on what type of watch display you turn on. If you use
the standard digital clock display that turns of after a few seconds then the battery life is great. Choose the analogue display that stays on whilst you
are moving and the battery will last for only a day. If you want to make the clock face really funky then the battery will probably only last a few hours!!
The touchscreen is responsive and clear.When you recieve a text, Call, email or alarm the SmartWatch displays the relevant icon and vibrates. Touch the icon
on the screen and it will open the relevant app,. You can control whats on the screen by swiping across, up or down, (eg reading an email, switching
between the apps or changing a music track. A pinching movement on the screen will close any open App. Some Apps can be displayed as widgets and you can scroll through the widgets by swiping across the screen.
You obviously cannot talk to the SmartWatch ‘James Bond style’ but you can setup a response to a call or text you receive (eg. to respond to a call touch
the icon on the watch and you can select a pre-formatted response like “I will call you back in a minute” or “on leave” useful if you’re in a meeting
but not always appropriate.
The Apps I recommend installing are as follows:-
Sony Developed Apps – Email, Messaging (SMS), Call Handling, Missed Call, Music player, Find Phone, Callendar Reminder, Twitter, Facebook
Other useful Apps – Gmail, ModeChanger (Changes phone between Normal, Silent and Vibrate), Endomondo (Sports Tracker), GPS Map, Phonebook
Fun Apps – Custom Watch (Allows you to change the display in analogue or digital with background pictures and colours, drains the battery) VFinder
(Allows you to view on the watch what the Phone Rear camera can see and take a picture using a swipe action on the watch), It’s clever but a bit hit and
miss with the picture taking aspect.) Rain Alarm (Informs you when rain is approaching your area!!)
The SmartWatch itself is very good value £75 compared with other watches like the I’m Watch £250 – £500 from Italy (due in October 2012) or the Pebble (E-paper) at $150. There are a number of other watches being developed such as the IOS compatible MetaWatch Strata (due this year), so there will certainly be a few to choose from!
One aspect where the Sony Smartwatch scores against some of it’s more expensive rivals is the ability to read a full email or SMS on the phone not just
the subject heading! the screen is clear and very easy to read except in the sunlight where it is almost impossible to see.
Overall I like this device and it’s caused a few comments and laughs among freinds, I like being able to see who is calling me, read a text/email and
play music without having to get the phone out of my pocket or bag. Another nice aspect is the ability to take the phone of the strap and clip it on to
something else, IT comes with a rubber strap but it also has a metal connector that you can attach any normal watch strap to which I have done and it