The Galaxy Gear only partners with a few of the Samsung phones (not all) and the Pebble, though it has much in it’s favour (such as the long battery life due to the low power black and white e-ink display) has fewer apps and functions. The Google smartwatch (Google Gem), is supposed to be out soon but no sign of it as yet.
See the 10 must-have functions on someone’s wish list when they were looking ahead to what functionality a smart watch needed to include.
The Sony Smartwatch claims it will work with most android phones but is that the case or does it need to partner with a Sony phone? Well the answer is both yes and no.
I ordered them together but as the watch arrived first I connected it to my Galaxy Note 1. I discovered that though there are watch apps that are extensions of dedicated Sony phone apps, there is still plenty of functionality with a generic android phone.
Leaving my non Sony phone in my pocket I can…
- Feel the watch vibrate to alert me that a Gmail has arrived. I look at the watch and the first few lines of the email is displayed together with the identity of the sender. If a few have arrived at once I can swipe them sideways to go forward or back.
- As above the phone will vibrate to alert be to an SMS (or this one) which can be read like an email. The same with Facebook messaging. Another app deals with Google+.
- Consult my calendar.
- Consult a shopping list I sent from my phone earlier using either Smart Note or Daily Helper. Daily helper is good for reminders or shopping list and notes if you know how to use it. The app comes with no instructions. Make sure you watch the video on Google Play, where you find the app, or you will be lost trying to figure out how it works.
- If I have hands-free earphones, or bluetooth headset I can touch the phone to answer a phone call that I can hear in my ears without taking the phone out of pocket or bag. Without the headset the call will be answered but the caller will be talking in my pocket! In the same way I can dial a number and make a call, again, leaving the phone out of sight.
- Toggle on/off sound, data, wifi, GPS and airplane mode. And another here.
- Launch a variety of actions with the use of voice commands after using the watch as a trigger.
- See where I am, displayed on Google maps. So if I am following a route in a city, I can do it more discreetly that holding the phone in front of my face.
- Go running and use the smartwatch as a fitness aid as, using the GPS of the phone, it behaves like a GPS running watch.
- Control music playlists with the usual stop, go, next track, etc.
The list could go on including the less useful and the odd, such as remotely controlling the camera of the phone to use it as a spy cam or recorder, myriad choice of watch faces
Oh, and it tells the time, like a watch. Even with the standard default watch face it looks super cool.
I had thought that with a Sony phone the Sony Smartwatch becomes far more powerful, and the range of possibilities increases, as it integrates with the native Sony apps. But the Sony extensions work great with my Samsung Galaxy apps.
Manual for the Sony Smartwatch2 SW2 is here, in English, French, German and Spanish. Sony Smartwatch2 SW2 manual