Thursday, October 17, 2013

Back to Android... Sony Xperia Z1 and Smartwatch 2 (imported)

After going nearly a full year without a phone upgrade (did a temp upgrade to the Galaxy S4 but then returned it), I have been itching to get back into the Android world again.  Lately I've been using my iPhone 4S running iOS 7 and have been getting a bit bored with it.  However yesterday my new imported Xperia Z1 and Sony Smartwatch 2 arrived from the UK and after using it for a day I already have some notes and comparisons to other smartwatches I've used.

This post will be a brief one but filled with my initial impressions on the Smartwatch2.  I have owned a Motorola MotoActiv and thought it was a pretty good Gen1 attempt at a smartwatch.  It really wasn't marketed as a smartwatch but really fit the bill better than anything else out at the time (Sony's original smartwatch was about all).  It ran a very slim Android 2.2 OS and had 16GB of onboard storage and GPS, WiFi, BT connectivity w/a headphone port and usb port.  

The MotoActiv did notifications pretty well and had about 12 watch faces built-in and also had the ability to wake it by shaking your wrist 3 times quickly (loved that feature!).  Battery life was decent in the 2-3 day range w/notifications for texts/email enabled and pedometer for the fitness apps (it was mainly a fitness device more than a smartwatch).

Thus leads me to the Smartwatch2. I mainly got it because it was bundled free with my Xperia Z1.  On it's own it retails for around $200 (still too much for what it does imo). 

The main things I like thus far is getting my corporate email notifications on it and controlling the Walkman app on the phone when I'm out and about walking and listening to music on my Z1.   

There are only 4 watch faces which is very disappointing and they are baked into the firmware; ie you have to either develop an app or make custom firmware.  

Battery life is looking like 2-3day range with email alerts/texts and using as a music remote.  

The screen is not that bad.  I'm not sure what most geeks are expecting in something this size but it's good imo; way better than the MotoActiv.  

I'm hoping Sony listen's to the users on what we want changed. I kind of think Sony bundled the Smartwatch2 to mainly get the devices out in user hands and in turn feedback on what their next generation of smartwatch should do. :)