First impressions are – big. It weighs 122.5g, is about 40mm square, 9mm thick - most of that a 40mm diagonal (1.6”) touch screen. Yet it is entirely comfortable on a dainty wrist as a meaty mitt. It uses a standard 24mm wrist strap – you can order either silicon strap or a svelt looking black stainless steel link bracelet. Either way it is an impressive looking watch.
Ingress Protection rating IP57 means it is dust resistant and protected against temporary immersion. Do not try it – warranty is void is water is found in the case.
Battery life is seven days of occasional use and up to four of always on – that is excellent compared to other similar devices. In tests – using everything I could throw at it - I got three days between charges.
It is a companion watch – it connects to a smartphone via NFC/Bluetooth. For the most part, it uses the smartphone’s computing power and simply reflects the output on screen.
When you first get it you need to load a Smart Connect driver from Google Play – pairing via NFC/Bluetooth initiates this process and then you are presented with a range of genuine Sony SmartWatch apps including:
- Call handling (answer, reject, mute, volume handling)
- Missed call notification
- Music remote extension/music handling
You can also search Google Play for more unofficial apps – there are currently 80+ and these are things like a flashlight, calculator, alarm, find your phone and more. Most work well but some require a genuine Xperia smartphone to function. App developers will likely find many uses for this device.
The only minor disappointment was that it is not a Dick Tracey watch/phone. You can use it to make and receive calls and messages but there is no inbuilt microphone or speaker – paired with a nice Plantronics Voyager Bluetooth headset it would be excellent for those on the move.
I tried it with the Runtastic free basic app and there is a special interface for the small screen. It is a bit fussy to set up but it works.
What do I think?
I love the concept of a smart watch as a companion device – I think this is the right way to go. This is Sony’s second attempt and they have improved on version 1.
Yes - for AU$185 for the black Silicon strap version ($206 for the black metal bracelet version) and $21.49 for different coloured straps – I would buy it.
I would certainly use it for my morning walk hooked up to Runtastic app - and perhaps become addicted enough to stealthily check emails and more when I am not supposed to.
I have yet to test the competitor’s Samsung Gear but at $369 I am not sure that it has enough extra functionality to justify spending more – and it only works with the Samsung Note 3 at this time. Both share a similar sized screen and both have excellent pedigrees.
The review unit was supplied by MobileZap Australia – an online supplier. Delivery was 3 to 5 days from order.
One other review mentioned it being temperamental at times – losing connection. I have not experienced this and I suspect that it is a matter of a firmware update for earlier watches.