It’s here, it’s really here!
I was so excited to see the ‘missed delivery’ card from the postman, knowing what was in the packet. I had been anxiously waiting for the delivery from Clove since I first read about the new version of the SmartWatch, hoping Sony had improved on their first attempt into the wearable android accessory.
The packaging is nice, presented in a diamond shaped box, there isn’t too much inside. Just the watch strap and clip for using your own strap, the USB charge cable, the watch and instructions.
The instructions are easy to follow, and being a bloke I skim read them, scanned the QR code to install the LiveWare app on my phone from the Android ‘Play Store’ Market, this then prompts you to install the SmartWatch app.
After allowing the SmartWatch to charge for the recommended 2 hours (well almost 2 hours..), it was time to fire it up!
Switching the SmartWatch on sends it into pairing mode, so you need to add a new device on your Android phone (a Samsung Galaxy S2 in my case). Once that is completed, the apps you download from the market that support the SmartWatch appear on the watch unit itself.
The Apps you can install range from the obvious Twitter and Facebook , to ‘Find Phone’ and GMail notifier. My favourite so far is the ‘Music Player’ App. This allows you to Play/Pause, Fwd/Rwd music using your default media player on your phone. You can even adjust the volume by swiping the screen. This should come in useful at the gym. It would be perfect if it would show the album art too.
Find Phone is also pretty cool, tap the link on the SmartWatch , and even if your phone is on silent, it will play your default ringtone. The only downside to this is that you need to be within the bluetooth range of your phone.
You can even answer and reject calls, and send a pre-defined text message from the SmartWatch. Handy if you are in a meeting.
Controlling the SmartWatch is fairly easy to get used to. Press the only ‘hard’ button on the right hand side of the device to bring the unit out of sleep mode, you are then greeted with the digital clock screen. A single tap on the screen takes you to your short cuts, such as weather, new items, phonebook etc. A single tap launches that app. You can also slide the screen down to see your widgets, such as Twitter, Music, Weather, Facebook and SMS messages. Sliding left or right on the screen moves you between the widgets. To go back a level, just tap the screen with two fingers.
I had a little trouble deciding which wrist to wear the watch on. I am left handed, so normally operate my phone with my left hand, but I would normally wear my watch on the left wrist. It feels weird on the right wrist, but easier to operate.
I have what could be called ‘girly wrists’ as they are fairly weedy. I was worried the SmartWatch would be too big for my wrist, as I have found with a lot of ‘dumb’ watches. Fortunately this isn’t the case, it actually fits quite well using the included black rubber wrist band.
More colours will be available soon, and you can even use your own strap thanks to the included adapter.
So far, battery life seems on a par with the stated 3 – 4 days of typical usage. It does, however, appear to impact my phone battery a little more, but not enough to worry about.
I showed the SmartWatch to a few colleagues for some feedback. A couple of them thought it was an iPod (ouch!), one of them thought it was too big. All of them were impressed with what it could do, but saddened that it wouldn’t work with their iPhones.
Would I wear it every day? Maybe. Would I wear it on a night out? Probably not. For me, it is just a bit too bulky, and I wouldn’t want to risk losing it.
Post any questions you have about the SmartWatch below, and I will be happy to answer them.