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Sony Smart Watch 2: Is it worth buying?

October 28, 2013 15:42 IST

Sony Smart Watch 2: Is it worth buying?

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Arup Das

As kids, the ultimate futuristic gadget we could imagine was a watch that could double up as a phone. We all wanted to act like Dick Tracy and voice memorable dialogues into the watch.

Sony was among the first to make this dream a reality, and now it already has the second iteration in the Smart Watch 2.

The most sensible feature of this watch is that it can be connected to any Android phone as long as it runs on Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich or higher.

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Photographs: Courtesy, Sony

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Sony Smart Watch 2: Is it worth buying?

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The Smart Watch 2 is nowhere a chunky device - just a thin aluminium sliver, 9 mm thick. However, the square design reminds us of schooldays when the nerds would try to act cool by flashing their calculator watches.

The dull-looking black rubber strap gives the watch a cheap look, but the good news here is that Sony will come out with colour and leather options. You can even personalise the strap as the Smart Watch 2 uses a standard 24 mm fitting.

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Photographs: Courtesy, Sony

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Sony Smart Watch 2: Is it worth buying?

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Taking a leaf out of Sony's flagship products - Xperia Z and Z1 smartphones - the watch too is water proof up to a depth of a metre for 30 minutes.

This doesn't mean that you can go surfing and swimming, but you don't need to sweat it during the rainy season.

Because it is first and foremost a watch, Sony gets full marks for getting the basic function right.

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Photographs: Courtesy, Sony

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Sony Smart Watch 2: Is it worth buying?

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The 1.6-inch LCD's back light works well, and whatever the light conditions, the display is easy to read.

What surprises is the excellent and responsive touch screen. It was a smooth experience despite the relatively small area on which the finger can play.

The image resolution, unfortunately, is nothing to rave about. It is easy enough to read text, but images look pixellated at most times.

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Photographs: Courtesy, Sony

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Used as we are to high-resolution smartphone screens, the watch's display was disappointing and left us with the feeling of having encountered dated technology.

The watch gets connected to your Android in a couple of seconds via Bluetooth. Now before expectations start soaring, this is not a Dick Tracy watch as it does not come with a microphone and a speaker.

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Sony Smart Watch 2: Is it worth buying?

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The Smart Watch 2's basic function is to notify you about your mails, SMS, updates in your social media circles and incoming calls. Let's start with answering calls.

You need a handsfree device or the actual phone to answer your calls. The watch screen will flash the number or the person's name.

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Photographs: Courtesy, Sony

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Sony Smart Watch 2: Is it worth buying?

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You can sync your phone contacts but there is every chance this will slow down the watch. Our advice is that you just add the favourites list.

When it comes to mail and social-media notifications it becomes a bit tricky. You get to see a notification on your screen for 10 seconds with a couple of lines to give you a gist of the message.

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Photographs: Courtesy, Sony

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This leaves you hanging and frustrated. But that's the least of your problems - you can't respond via the watch. There are a handful of apps that let you reply, like the one for Twitter.

Also, if you plan to sync your Facebook account to Smart Watch 2, then we suggest you go to settings and manually select your notification alerts. Otherwise your watch will be buzzing all the time, giving you all updates on your "friends".

No one is quite sure what a smart watch should have so - every product of this type from Samsung to Apple and Toshiba is an exercise in experimentation.

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Photographs: Courtesy, Sony

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Sony's Smart Watch 2 aims at being an affordable notification product (Sony says the watch, on launch, will be much cheaper than Samsung's Android-powered Gear watch) which has excellent battery life of three-four days and has smartphone-like touch response.

The single-core processor does lag at times but the device functions well. Unfortunately, it doesn't offer any wow functions but, yes, you get to see text messages. It is at best a good notification device and a smart pager.


Photographs: Courtesy, Sony

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