Sony on Tuesday officially unveiled its second-generation smartwatch, the SmartWatch 2, at Mobile Asia Expo in Shanghai.
Previous rumors did say the company was working on a new smartwatch model, and it looks like Sony delivered. We’re looking at a companion gadget for Android devices, one that also happens to be water-resistant.
Specs and features
The new smartwatch from Sony packs a bigger 1.6-inch touchscreen display that offers a higher resolution (220 x 176 pixels) and improved screen brightness.
The SmartWatch 2 is built using “high quality materials” including an aluminum body and stainless steel wristband (which can be swapped with any standard 24mm straps). The device is water-resistant (IP57 certified) and offers NFC and Bluetooth support for pairing with Android smartphones and tablets that run Android 4.0 or higher.
The watch features a user interface “similar to Android UI so it is more intuitive” and works as a standalone wristwatch when a connection to an Android device is not present. However, users will be able to read previously downloaded emails even when the device is offline.
The SmartWatch 2 will come with support for answering calls, reading messages, checking social media updates, taking photos straight from the device, controlling presentations and music playback, adjusting volume and running mapping and fitness apps.
The company says it has “over 200 unique apps” for the SmartWatch that have been downloaded over 1 million times to date. We’ll also remind you that Sony is welcoming developers to create new apps for its SmartWatch devices via its Open SmartWatch initiative.
Finally, the SmartWatch 2 is said to offer the “longest battery life for a smartwatch,” although actual details are not provided at this time. Engadget has it that the device will get you four days of use of moderate use on a charge.
Release date and pricing
The SmartWatch 2 will be available worldwide starting from September 2013 according to Sony’s announcement, but there’s no price tag for it yet. The current model costs around $100, depending on where you purchase it from.
Introducing Sony SmartWatch 2 – the world’s first water-resistant smartwatch with NFC connectivity*
A multi-functional message notification device, Android app interface and music remote, all in a sleek and water-resistant design
Combines Sony’s technology and design expertise with one-touch connectivity and premium build quality
Next-generation Sony SmartWatch offers improved performance, intuitive interface and standalone capability
Reaffirms Sony’s leadership in smartwatch and wearable technology segment**
25th June 2013, Mobile Asia Expo, Shanghai –
Sony Mobile Communications (“Sony Mobile”) today introduces Sony SmartWatch 2 SW2, the most advanced smartwatch available*.
Sony SmartWatch 2 is a second screen for your Android smartphone that, as well as enhancing existing phone functionality, offers unique new benefits. Combining form and function in a sleek design, it serves as a multi-functional watch, notifier, Android app interface and phone remote control, all-in-one.
Openness with Android
App expandability is key to Sony SmartWatch 2. It can be personalised with more dedicated apps than any other smartwatch* to seamlessly suit your needs,
whether you are on the go, keeping active, in business meetings or simply at home.
Download a host of SmartWatch apps and experience a range of unique functions – many of which can even be enjoyed without ever needing to reach for your phone:
Handle your calls by a simple touch of your wrist
Take a photo remotely from your SmartWatch, using a smart camera app
Control your presentations remotely using Presentation Pal
Taking a run or on the bike? Select a mapping app on SmartWatch to check your route with a quick glance at your wrist
Read previously downloaded e-mails when not connected to your phone
Use lifestyle apps like Runtastic to map and instantly track your fitness activities on the go
Quickly and easily adjust the tracks and volume on your music player, without ever taking your phone from your pocket
SmartWatch 2 is also both sleek and reassuringly robust thanks to its water and dust resistant design, giving you the freedom to enjoy it on the beach or simply on the go – come rain or shine.
An increasing market in wearable tech
A typical smartphone user reaches for their phone many times a day to read messages, check the time, view and make social media updates, use their favourite apps, take photos, listen to music and play mobile games. SmartWatch 2 addresses this need by offering you a convenient touch screen device so you no longer need to remove your phone from your pocket or bag.
“Sony is the proud leader in the smartwatch market** since introducing our first Bluetooth watch in 2007,” says Stefan K Persson, Head of Companion Products at Sony Mobile Communications.
“Competitors are only now launching first generation devices, while we are already launching a 3rd generation device with all the insight gained from over half a
million customers combined with Sony’s wealth of technology expertise to create the best ever smartwatch experience.
“The future of wearable devices is incredibly bright with analyst research predicting 41 million ‘smart’ watches will be sold by 2016,” continues Persson. “We have over 200 unique apps dedicated for Sony SmartWatch with over one million downloads to date and we are continuing to work with our strong developer network to deliver ever more compelling smartwatch experiences.”
The best of Sony in a SmartWatch
If you use Android, on either smartphone or tablet, Sony SmartWatch 2 is your ideal smartwatch partner.
It’s easy and convenient to access notifications from your wrist such as messages, calls, email, Facebook™/Twitter™, Calendar, or use it as a remote for your Walkman™ or other digital media player. This wireless accessory is ideal for pairing with large-screen devices, such as the newly announced Xperia™ Z Ultra, in situations which call for discrete usage.
SmartWatch 2 introduces new features as a natural successor to the current Sony SmartWatch such as NFC connectivity for one-touch pairing, stunning premium design and a range of technologies including higher resolution for sharper viewing, better visibility even in sunlight, longer battery stamina, more intuitive interface, standalone watch functionality and a wide range of pre-installed and recommended apps.
When not connected to your phone, SmartWatch 2 works as a standalone digital watch. Read previously received notifications, access the time, set your alarm or even use as a light when searching for your keys.
SmartWatch 2 can also be personalised with any standard 24mm wristband and new Sony watchstraps will soon be available for further expression of your personal style.
Using groundbreaking design, Sony continues to introduce new technologies and has the largest range of NFC accessories available from wireless headsets to portable speakers, TVs, SmartTags and SmartWatch.
Key features for Sony SmartWatch 2
Screen brightness (sunlight readable)
Longest battery life for a smartwatch* (battery level indicator shows low battery warning)
Easy setup (NFC pairing and connecting)
Standalone watch functionality
Standard micro USB cable for charging
User interface similar to Android UI so it is more intuitive
Bigger screen with higher resolution (1.6 inch, 220 x 176 pixels)
High quality materials (aluminium body and stainless steel wristband)
Extended compatibility (works with most Android phones)
Swappable wristbands – personalise with any standard 24mm strap
Sony SmartWatch 2 SW2 will be available worldwide from September 2013.