Sony SmartWatch2

One of the best Android smart watch companions that nobody is talking about is getting better

The Sony SmartWatch 2 SW2 app is getting what looks to be a sizeable update from Sony, and it promises a decent boost in performance — especially scrolling — on the watch itself. A component of the Smart Connect for LiveWear suite, the SW2 app is the control center for other apps you install on your SmartWatch 2. It sounds a little complicated if you've never used it, but the Live Wear suite is a front door to all the smart Sony accessories and their companion applications for Android. You open it, and (in this case) choose the SmartWatch 2 section, and you can control all the other applications from Google Play that install on the watch itself. 

The new update should install like any Android application — including a timed release by market or carrier. Don't worry if you don't see it right at the moment. After installation, your SmartWatch 2 will reboot, and all the perks afforded by the new software will be in place. 

We're not seeing any drastic performance increase, but the SmartWatch 2 seemed snappy and responsive before the update — even when soaking wet. In any case, we're not ones to turn down any updates. If I run across anything new or exciting, I'll be sure to tell you all.

Wearables look to be the next big thing, and so far Sony is on the right track and hitting the right buttons with the SmartWatch 2. I'll be penning my thoughts on this one over the weekend, but a quick spoiler is a big thumbs up for Sony and their latest accessory offering. You can check for your update via the Google Play link above.

Source: Sony

 
There are 24 comments

JarlSX says:

they really need to add watch faces and male the screen timeout longer or selectable. bringing back the watch face that's displayed on the box would be a nice start.

Sean473 says:

Jerry is this the update that was live on the 21st or this another one? I don't see any update for the app in the play store other than the one I had on the 21st... Also can you guys post apks for the apps if you get the updates? It would be very helpful!

wynand32 says:

I was wondering exactly the same thing...

mathiasjk says:

Remember a fee years ago when everyone said that netbooks where the next big thing and they never became the next big thing? That's how I feel about smartwatches and wearables.

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Allen Brown2 says:

Netbooks became tablets with optional Bluetooth keyboard if you purchased the accessory.

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NoNexus says:

Difference is that people want to be connected with the least hassle. It could happen

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TeknoBug says:

Yup, I still have my netbook and the problem with most netbooks is their horrible overall performance- Chromebooks are trying to keep that netbook trend alive.

And I think it's up there along with large oversized phones, people will go back to smaller phones in a year or two once they realize how inconvenient it is to carry it around. Back in the early 90's I had to live with a bag phone and a brick phone.

Amir47 says:

Official review would be nice

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Sean473 says:

Agree.. I want to see an unbiased AC review.. The CNET UK one was so so anti- Sony!!

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crxssi says:

Exactly.

Jerry says this: "One of the best Android smart watch companions that nobody is talking about"

Including Android Central, apparently!

icebike says:

Translation:

AC hasn't gotten their FREE evaluation unit. ;-)

crxssi says:

LOL! Probably

Amir47 says:

Yeah when I read that part I was thinking "then talk about it!!!"

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FrozenIpaq says:

I've been an owner since day one and can give you an honest opinion since I actually spent some money on the watch (rather than reviews who might've been given review samples).

The biggest complaint that owners are having, including myself, is the absence of a digital watch face with the date. Right now it only reads the time. I often refer to my watch multiple times a day to reference the date and not having it on the digital version was a killer. I have since adopted the white analog face with date and it actually has grown on me quite a bit.

The battery life was a major consideration for me. I've been shopping around for smart watches since before the Pebble and battery life has always been top on my list. The Sony Smartwatch 2 delievers on that front with a 3-4 day battery life. I haven't let mine get down too far to see how long it actually lasts but I've gone Friday-Monday without charging it (I only charge it at work).

I was also worried about the physical size of the watch - I have small wrists. Thankfully it doesn't look out of place on my wrists even though I'm using the smallest setting possible on the band. It's big enough to the point where it stands out more than your standard watch - but that could also be because it's unlike any other watch as well. I've gotten several comments on the watch asking if it was that "new watch" - they were often referring to the galaxy gear.

The watch's responsiveness is also fairly good. I say "fairly" good because I often find myself hitting an icon and then trying to hit it again to trigger the application. It's not a factor of me missing however, it just apparently takes some time for some apps to launch initially (the music app is the most noticeable one - the other ones are pretty much instant). The screen is very easy to navigate through and swiping left from right and tapping on an icon is extremely easy. You get 6 icons per screen but are only given two ways of organizing the icons (something a lot of reviews seem to miss) - by alphabetical order or by most used. I really wish there was a way to customize the app layout more but I found that the "most used" option satisfied my needs for the most part.

Coming down to apps themselves - the stock apps are great. They're responsive and all have the same design throughout, really tying the watch together. I'm able to easily glance at an incoming notification and act on it - which, most of the time, means leaving my phone in my pocket. There's about a one second delay from when the notification arrives on my phone so I just put my phone on silent and never have to deal with a ringtone again (or getting two sets of vibrations). To act on a notification when it shows up just tap on the screen and it'll open up. I often find myself glancing at the notification, tapping the screen (to signify I saw it and eliminate the notification count), hitting home and then the power button all within a single second.

The messaging app is great - able to read entire messages from the watch and even send a "quick reply" if necessary. The e-mail app on the other hand leaves a lot to be desired. It displays the subject line and then the pre-header text. It's enough most of the time but a lot of the time I wish I could see more of the message without having to open up my phone. There is an option from the watch however to open the message on your phone. For Gmail it seems to open up your inbox rather than the specific message. For SMS messages it seems to open up the specific message.

Another app on the phone I use regularly is the alarm clock - I am able to set a separate alarm from my phone and I'm pretty much guaranteed to notice the alarm. It's a nice extra added level of security and is easy to set from the watch itself.

The Music App works as advertised but is not very visually pleasing. I didn't get any album art and couldn't see any song information even though I was using Google Music.

The Facebook app can send you status updates from your friends or just private messages, however it will only do it based on an "update" schedule - so something like every 15 minutes (smallest option). I also had issues with it syncing up with my Facebook account - I've pretty much given up on that app.

Want other types of notifications (Hanghouts, BBM, etc.?) - you'll need to download a third-party smartwatch app to do it. There's several that do it and you'll just need to find the one that's right for you. There are several "all-in-one" notification apps that handle multiple apps but none of them quite match-up with the first-party apps from Sony.

I've had 0 issues with connectivity! My watch has never lost a connection on me (at least that I noticed).

The physical watch itself -

I'm using the silicon watch band and have had it come off in two instances (the pin fell out from the watch). This was mainly because I applied too much pressure on the watch while getting something in a tight area but nonetheless it came out and required me to reset the watch band.

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If you have any further questions about the watch itself or apps you can hit me up at @FrozenIpaq on Twitter since I probably won't be paying attention to this thread much. Hope my review was somewhat enlightening.

enigmax says:

Thanks for sharing this...

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jm345 says:

Is there an app to record audio? IOW, is there an easy way for me to record verbal memos/notes that I can play back later on the watch or at least on my phone?
Thanks

FrozenIpaq says:

Unfortunately the smartwatch 2 does not have a microphone so this would not be possible. I'm also unaware of an application that can trigger your phones microphone and record notes with that.

That's probably the one major downside of the watch - no microphone, meaning no Google Now integration (i talk to my phone more often than I'd like to admit).

treybeno says:

Great real world review. That answered a lot of questions for sure

droidhead_1 says:

I want it now. On the gear toy can't even see your emails

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SassyLee says:

You can see your email you just need to use Samsung's email client instead but I do which gmail email client worked though.

briankariu says:

Gimme a pebble with this kind of biuld quality and color screen, add in some mmmmooore battery life and am sild. Hook line and sinker

Sent from the heartland of Africa

ben mathew says:

great post.I have bookmarked it.By http://www.24x7stores.com/

TeknoBug says:

I still think SW2 is better than the Gear, I played with the Gear and I like the curvy glass, but that's about it, it felt useless otherwise (and it was linked to a Note 3 next to it).

jon bell says:

Can you tell me what version the update is? I'm on 1.1.4 released on 21st Oct..

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