Oh, the Apple Watch, the new standard for smartwatches. It’s all about sensors and all of the amazing things you can do on your wrist without pulling out your smartphone. However, all of that functionality comes at a very high price, starting at $349 and we can only guess how high that price will rise with the gold covered versions. Also, conveniently missing from the big announcement is the battery life so who knows how long you can go without charging your fancy new Apple Watch. On the other side of the spectrum is Sony who has come out with a device that is more my style. Rather than cramming in as many features as possible, Sony has decided to keep it simple and useful.

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Simplicity

It’s called the Smartband Talk which is an apt name as it’s definitely more on the fitness band end of the spectrum than the smartwatch end. I’m ok with that, I like a simpler device on my wrist. The simplicity starts with the screen, which is the e-paper screen that was popularized by Pebble. Unfortunately, the e-paper screen isn’t a touchscreen so instead you have two buttons on the side to control it.

The fitness tracking and smartwatch abilities work pretty well for a small screen woith no touch controls. It can handle the typical smartwatch notifications for texts, emails, and calls while also handling stuff like weather. Then there’s all of the fitness tracking stuff which is always great to have, such as steps taken and a heart rate sensor which will be logged in Sony’s fitness software that you can then view on your smartphone or computer.

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Talk?

Perhaps you had already heard of the original Sony Smartband and are wondering why this iteration is called the Smartband Talk. There’s a simple reason: this iteration has a speaker to take calls. Hence, you can talk into this Smartband. It’s a clever gimmick but I’m convinced that this kind of functionality is so convenient that the awkwardness of being seen in public talking to your wrist is worth it. Say you just need to answer a quick call from someone so they know you’re almost there. It’s much easier to talk the call on your wrist and say yeah, almost there, ok, bye. I’m hoping that this becomes a little more socially acceptable so people can take full calls on their wrist. For $200, it’s sure to have some other tricks up its sleeve. Look out for the Smartband Talk coming soon!