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Product Sony Smartwatch 2
Website Sony Mobile
Specifications 1.6in 220x176 resolution display, 200MHz Qualcomm M3 CPU, Bluetooth 3.0 and NFC connectivity, silicone or stainless steel wristband, 42x41x9mm, 122g
GETTING TO MARKET before Apple's and Samsung's rumoured smartwatches when it announced its second-generation Smartwatch 2 last summer, Sony's wearable device is a companion for the firm's Android powered smartphones.
As did its predecessor, the Smartwatch 2 gives users the ability to glance at messages and Facebook posts while on the move, while also enabling them to control music playback, handle phone calls and view maps while running.
The Smartwatch 2's rival is the Samsung Galaxy Gear, which touts some impressive features such as a built-in camera. Where Sony potentially could win in the market is through the Smartwatch 2's ability to integrate with any smartphone running the Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich mobile operating system or later, whereas the Galaxy Gear is limited to work only with Samsung smartphones. Sony's Smartwatch 2 is also much cheaper, retailing for just £130, less than half the price of the Galaxy Gear, which could make it desirable for those who don't want to spend a lot on a novelty device.
Sony has given the Smartwatch 2 a minimalist design with a simple square aluminium clock face, an all-black colour scheme and just one physical power button. A chrome edge around the clock face lends it premium appeal and also feels sturdy.
While wearing the Smartwatch 2, you'll have no qualms about how it feels on your wrist, and in fact you'll barely notice the difference in weight between that and a standard watch. The silicone wristband on our review model did seem a little cheap looking, but those looking for a more flashy design can buy the stainless steel wristband model, which retails for the same price.
The benefit of the silicone strap is that it is more comfortable as it stretches with your wrist movements, making it more ergonomically friendly. The wristband has seven holes to accommodate slender to larger sized wrists.
The best feature about the Smartwatch 2's design is that it is rated as IP57 weather resistant, meaning that it can be submerged in water and is dust-proof. However, this doesn't mean that it's fully waterproof and the watch can't cope with being taken swimming or diving, for instance.
Overall we were pleased with the Smartwatch 2's design, mainly due to its comfortable nature. Its light weight of 122g makes it feel very natural to wear and its 42x41x9mm size means it's compact enough not to scream, "LOOK, I'M A SMARTWATCH!"
Next: Display, setup and features.
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