Smartwatches are the new big thing in the tech world these days with Samsung throwing everything they possibly can at the consumer and hoping something will stick to Google with the recently announced Android Wear platform which will be available on three devices, the LG G Watch, Samsung Gear Live, and the Moto 360, all coming soon. In light of these announcements, I promptly went out and bought a Sony SW2. Why would I do such a thing with brand new smartwatches being announced? Here’s my review of the Sony SW2 and why I think Sony has made the perfect smartwatch.
The first thing that drew me to the SW2 is the premium design. I got mine with a stainless steel band, which I can replace with another band if and when I ever feel like doing so, and it really looks and feels like a quality timepiece. The heft is actually quite surprising considering its entire form factor but I found the weight to be reassuring and comfortable. The next thing that enticed me is the touchscreen. I know the Pebble Steel smartwatch has more apps and more functionality but I just couldn’t get past the lack of a touchscreen. Full clickable buttons seem counter intuitive for a piece of technology that is small enough to fit on your wrist, why not throw in a touchscreen to make navigation easy and fluid and even kind of fun? Considering I got my SW2 for a sale price of $139.99, I just couldn’t justify either of the Pebble smartwatches over the SW2.
The software aspect of the SW2 is what really sold me and still impresses me on a daily basis. The screen always stays on and, as you can see above, I have the ability to create custom watch faces through the Sony app on my smartphone that can show me as much or as little information as I desire. I can have just the time or I can have the time, the date, the weather, how many notifications I have, my most recent calendar event, my Bluetooth status, battery life, and my most recent notification, all at a quick glance. I can rearrange the information in a bunch of different ways so my whimsical side can take over occasionally and I can just go crazy with customization. Dismissing a notification is as easy as just touching the screen once and it clears the notification and the watch will fade the screen and go back to the watch face. A nice little app for the SW2 is called WatchIt and it will show every notification that shows up on your phone, to the point of complete annoyance on some of them but the nice thing is that you can set WatchIt to not display certain notifications. Even with all of the notifications and the screen being always on, I regularly get 3 days of usage out of it, if not 4, and it charges quickly via a typical micro USB charger (ahem, Pebble!) so on the nights that I don’t need to charge my phone, I can use the same charger to charge the SW2.
Other than the convenience of notifications, the SW2 doesn’t try to do much more. There are quite a few different extensions for the SW2 such as a remote camera taking app and a flashlight app (just turns the screen white) and the obligatory calculator app but other than that, the Sw2 doesn’t promise much else. And that’s what I like the most about the SW2, it doesn’t try to do too much. It’s waterproof and it shows me my notifications and that’s all I want it to do and for the price, it was a steal. So consider the SW2, especially with it being sure to go on sale again soon, when thinking about the fancy new expensive smartwatches out there. You really can’t beat $139.99 for such a great device so get out there and hunt for that price!