Tuesday, 1 July 2014

Sony SmartWatch 2

The Sony SmartWatch 2. It’s a smart watch. By Sony. And it’s their second one. Inventive with names they are not, but they have managed to finally release a piece of technology that we’ve all been waiting for; something totally useless that almost doesn’t feel like the prototype of a more successful version of the same thing.

Rumour has it that one of the most important techniques and abilities of an advertising agency or a product designer is to find a problem that no one knows they have, tell them they have it and then tell them that they can now solve this problem if they buy a product. Smart Watches, and the SmartWatch 2 in particular, have been designed to fill a much needed gap in the market thusly: Have you ever had your phone really close by, needed to check the time and accidentally lifted the wrong arm in front of your face?  Well now we have the perfect product for you, it is the Sony SmartWatch 2, the square of nothing that costs a whole lot of somethings (insert your currency here).

Sure there are minor reasons for buying a smart watch such as taking your pulse, being able to take photos quickly and surreptitiously, and being able to have phone calls through them like James Bond might. The Sony SmartWatch 2 does exactly none of these things, though does come with an app store selling many apps. Most of which are variations of the pedometer. From the Greek: Pedo and Meter meaning a person who measures the ground.

The suggested download of the pedometer is, in my opinion far too sensitive, often adding an extra step with every subtle flick of the wrist. On my second sit through of Blue is the Warmest Colour, for example, I ran over two kilometres in ten minutes.

The only app, and this may say more about me than it, that actually made me glad I had it on, was an app that made my phone emulate the sound of a man (presumably) farting. Lights out, couldn’t find my phone, pressed the fart button and my flatulent phone caught my attention instantly. The apps apart from that seem that they are only useful if you really want to use your left wrist to do something your right thumb could do. For example you can open the camera on your phone and take a picture from your phone, but only if you unlock it manually first and aim it in the direction of what you want to photograph.

Within seconds of buying it I felt like my chances of getting mugged had increased and that my would-be muggers would be so disappointed with the product that they’d stab me to death in the street and laugh at my genitals. 

On the positive side it is waterproof and dust proof, utilising similar features to the Xperia Z models, but I think that something that exists only to protect itself is utterly pointless and a waste. Sure it’s cheaper than the Galaxy Gear and the like, and it’s advertised as intentionally being more streamlined and basic for a reason but this just calls to mind the image of a Ferrari being advertised as a streamline model because it has no engine, wheels, seats or fuel tank.

If you really want a smart watch just to check your messages on it as you’re walking down the street, enjoy customising strap colours and you frequently get into a shower with your watch on accidentally, then sure, look into one of these. If however you are a rational thinking human being go and give your money to a cancer research or something else instead.

The Sony SmartWatch 2 gets a 2/5.


Dave Roberts

Floating Skyscrapers at CeX

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