Feeds

Give it a wrist, fellas: Sony's back with $200 Android Smartwatch 2

If at first you don't succeed...

Choosing a cloud hosting partner with confidence

Sony has revealed its second-generation attempt at kickstarting a smartwatch market: a $200 Android-powered wrist-computer.

The 1.6-inch Smartwatch 2 is a revision of Sony's first model, which went on sale six years ago to a less than enthusiastic response. The watch is slaved via Bluetooth 3.0 or NFC to a phone and tablet running Android 4.0 and vibrates on the wrist when new information is uploaded.

“The average smartphone user reaches for their device more than 100 times per day to check text messages, read emails and social network notifications and, of course, to check the time,” said Ravi Nookala, US president of Sony Mobile in a statement.

“SmartWatch 2 makes these core tasks easier, and does much more with apps available, for everything from productivity to fitness and games.”

It has been six years since Sony made a foray into the smartwatch market and the results have been less than stellar. But Sony is no-doubt hoping that the new device will benefit from the growing wrist-wars hype, in part started by Pebble's moderately successful timepiece that was funded in part by a Kickstarter project.

Since then Samsung, Motorola and Qualcomm have shown off their own smartwatches – but the rumor mill is going overtime on bigger names trying their hand at wrist-watch computing. Apple is the biggest fish, and has trademarked the name iWatch (although this may be a spoiling tactic), but Google, Microsoft and even Dell and Nissan have all hinted that they are going to offer up similar hardware.

One analyst house has predicted that next year manufacturers will shift five million smartwatches (a claim El Reg is highly skeptical of) and there have been a host of smaller companies putting out their own wrist gadgets. But the problems of small screen size, poor battery life, and a lack of apps, seem to be putting off consumers.

In Sony's case, the little computer has a 220-by-176 pixel color display screen that we're told can be viewed in direct sunlight, a claimed battery life of three to four days, and 137 applications in the Google Play store. That might be enough to tempt some consumers, but somehow El Reg doubts customers will be flocking to the stores. ®

Beginner's guide to SSL certificates

More from The Register

next story
Ex-US Navy fighter pilot MIT prof: Drones beat humans - I should know
'Missy' Cummings on UAVs, smartcars and dying from boredom
Don't wait for that big iPad, order a NEXUS 9 instead, industry little bird says
Google said to debut next big slab, Android L ahead of Apple event
Xperia Z3: Crikey, Sony – ANOTHER flagship phondleslab?
The Fourth Amendment... and it IS better
Netscape Navigator - the browser that started it all - turns 20
It was 20 years ago today, Marc Andreeesen taught the band to play
A drone of one's own: Reg buyers' guide for UAV fanciers
Hardware: Check. Software: Huh? Licence: Licence...?
The Apple launch AS IT HAPPENED: Totally SERIOUS coverage, not for haters
Fandroids, Windows Phone fringe-oids – you wouldn't understand
Apple SILENCES Bose, YANKS headphones from stores
The, er, Beats go on after noise-cancelling spat
Here's your chance to buy an ancient, working APPLE ONE
Warning: Likely to cost a lot even for a Mac
prev story

Whitepapers

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.
Cloud and hybrid-cloud data protection for VMware
Learn how quick and easy it is to configure backups and perform restores for VMware environments.
Three 1TB solid state scorchers up for grabs
Big SSDs can be expensive but think big and think free because you could be the lucky winner of one of three 1TB Samsung SSD 840 EVO drives that we’re giving away worth over £300 apiece.
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.
Security for virtualized datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.