Feeds
75%
Sony SmartWatch Xperia Android phone accessory

Sony SmartWatch Android remote

Bluetooth strap-on second coming

  • alert
  • submit to reddit

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops

Well connected

The default display shows the time but when you tap the screen the view changes to show either the installed app icons or any active widgets. An up/down swipe of the screen moves you between apps and widgets, while a pinch takes you back a step making navigation a simple affair. The order and behaviour of the SmartWatch apps is managed from your phone using the LiveWare app. This also lets you specify which apps show widgets on the SmartWatch’s screen.

Sony SmartWatch Android phone viewer/controller accessory

Overall, thinner than its LiveView predecessor

At 36mm square by 8mm thick the device is 3mm thinner than the original. It has a clip at the back that can be used to attach it to the supplied silicone wrist strap or to your clothing or rucksack strap. To charge the SmartWatch you get a USB cable with a proprietary connection.

Available in six colours, the wrist strap is strong, comfortable and the SmartWatch itself clips firmly in place, so you can wear it without fear of it coming adrift. When a call or alert comes through, the SmartWatch vibrates, which can be rather disconcerting the first time it happens when you are wearing it on your wrist.

Sony SmartWatch Android phone viewer/controller accessory

Strap-off, if you prefer

Unlike the LiveView, which was wretchedly flakey, the SmartWatch always connected reliably to my phone. Whenever I strayed out of range or turned my phone’s Bluetooth radio off, it reconnected automatically and quickly. That said, this review was conducted using v1.2.34 of the SmartWatch app so I can’t comment on the reported issues with v1.2.33.

The 1.3in OLED display is both crisp and clear, so it’s easy to see what's going on and read on-screen text. In terms of both look, operating speed and screen touch sensitivity, the SmartWatch is very much an advance on the old LiveView model.

Sony SmartWatch Android phone viewer/controller accessory

Colourful options, but quite a chunk of change for the pleasure of a hands-free strap-on

Sony reckons the rechargeable battery will keep you going for between one day and one week depending on how heavily you use it. I never got less than 48 hours from a full charge, even when using it intensively, so Sony’s average figure of four days sounds about right.

The big problem is the price. Even though you can find the SmartWatch for a lot less than Sony’s RRP of £110, it’s still too expensive. For forty-quid it’s a must-have but at twice that, it’s a luxury many will find hard to justify.

Verdict

Unlike the original LiveView, the new SmartWatch actually works. It’s thinner, has a better screen and more importantly maintains a much more reliable Bluetooth connection with your phone. It also benefits from a broader selection of better third-party apps and a nice bundled wrist strap. While it's at least twice as good as the original LiveView, it's a real shame that it’s now twice the price. ®

More Gadget Reviews

Hauppauge
MyTV 2Go
iLuv Vibro
Classic II
Belkin YourType
Folio
Archos 35
Home Connect
Knomo Folio

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops

75%
Sony SmartWatch Xperia Android phone accessory

Sony SmartWatch Android remote

Handy but expensive remote viewer/controller for your Android phone.
Price: £110 RRP

More from The Register

next story
Microsoft to enter the STRUGGLE of the HUMAN WRIST
It's not just a thumb war, it's total digit war
Tim Cook: The classic iPod HAD to DIE, and this is WHY
Apple, er, couldn’t get the parts for HDD models
Google Glassholes are UNDATEABLE – HP exec
You need an emotional connection, says touchy-feely MD... We can do that
Caterham Seven 160 review: The Raspberry Pi of motoring
Back to driving's basics with a joyously legal high
Back to the ... drawing board: 'Hoverboard' will disappoint Marty McFly wannabes
Buzzing board (and some future apps) leave a lot to be desired
prev story

Whitepapers

Why and how to choose the right cloud vendor
The benefits of cloud-based storage in your processes. Eliminate onsite, disk-based backup and archiving in favor of cloud-based data protection.
Forging a new future with identity relationship management
Learn about ForgeRock's next generation IRM platform and how it is designed to empower CEOS's and enterprises to engage with consumers.
Reg Reader Research: SaaS based Email and Office Productivity Tools
Read this Reg reader report which provides advice and guidance for SMBs towards the use of SaaS based email and Office productivity tools.
Saudi Petroleum chooses Tegile storage solution
A storage solution that addresses company growth and performance for business-critical applications of caseware archive and search along with other key operational systems.
Getting ahead of the compliance curve
Learn about new services that make it easy to discover and manage certificates across the enterprise and how to get ahead of the compliance curve.