JAPANESE HARDWARE MAKER Sony announced its second generation Smartwatch 2 at an event in London on Tuesday, alongside the 6.4in Xperia Z Ultra phablet.
Sony's Smartwatch 2 beat Apple's and Samsung's respective rumoured smart watches to market, and acts as a companion for Sony's Android powered smartphones.
The Sony Smartwatch 2 has a 1.6in 220x176 touchscreen that offers one-touch access to all of its main features. These include the ability to glance at messages and Facebook posts while on the move, control music playback, handle phone calls and do things such as mapping while running. You can even take photos through your phone using the watch, Sony said, using the dedicated camera application.
Like the Sony Xperia Z Ultra, the watch is dust and water resistant, as Sony targets those with outdoor lifestyles. It also features built-in NFC, which makes pairing the Smartwatch with a phone easy, according to Sony.
We managed to catch a bit of hands-on time with a non-working model of the Sony Smartwatch 2, which will be made available with a range of watchbands. While some might struggle to read messages on the watch's tiny screen, the device did look good, borrowing Sony's Omnibalance design from its Xperia Z and Xperia Z Ultra smartphones.
Stefan K Persson, head of Companion Products at Sony Mobile Communications said, "Sony is the proud leader in the smartwatch market since introducing our first Bluetooth watch in 2007.
"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 Sony Smartwatch 2 will be released in September, around the time Apple is expected to unveil the iWatch, although there's no word on pricing yet. µ