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By 27 June 2013 | Categories: news

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It has been a busy week for Sony Mobile Communications (SMC), as the company has announced two smartphones in the Xperia Z Ultra and dual-SIM Xperia C. Now the Japanese firm has unveiled its third generation smartwatch - the Sony SmartWatch 2 (SW2).  

This smartwatch acts like a second screen for a user’s Android-powered smartphone, to serve as both a multi-functional watch as well as an Android smartphone remote control.

It measures in at 41.6 x 41.1 x 9 mm and weighs 23.5 g or 48.4 g together with its silicon strap. The straps can also be personalised with any standard 24 mm wristband (silicon or metal) and Sony stated that it will have a range of watch straps available in various designs and colours.

According to Sony, the SW2 runs Android 4.0 (Ice Cream Sandwich) or later and boasts a 1.6" (220 x 176 pixels) colour display. Sony stated that this display will remain readable under direct sunlight and is water-resistant (IP57). Unfortunately, the display of the wristwatch is only splash proof, with the company elaborating that the device is not suitable for showering, bathing, swimming, diving, or snorkeling.

How does it work?

Once the SW2 is paired with a smartphone over Bluetooth (packs Bluetooth 3.0; one-touch pairing via NFC also offered), users will be provided with access to notifications such as SMS received, incoming calls, email, Facebook, and Twitter notifications.

In addition, users obtain a remote control function within certain applications the likes of the Walkman music player, whereby they can control the music playback (play, pause, skip tracks) via their SW2. This remote control feature also extends to the camera app and Presentation Pal, enabling users to take a photo remotely using a smart camera app, and control a slideshow or presentation remotely from their SW2.  

When the SW2 is not paired with a mobile device via Bluetooth it acts as a standalone digital watch, allowing users to read previously received notifications, access the time, or set an alarm.

Sony SmartWatch 2 will be available worldwide from September 2013, with local availability still to be confirmed.

“Sony is the proud leader in the smartwatch market since introducing our first Bluetooth watch in 2007,” said Stefan K Persson, head of companion products at SMC. “Competitors are only now launching first generation devices, while we are already launching a 3rd generation device with all the insight gained from over half a million customers combined with Sony’s wealth of technology expertise to create the best ever smartwatch experience.”

Persson added: “The future of wearable devices is incredibly bright with analyst research predicting 41 million ‘smart’ watches will be sold by 2016. We have over 200 unique apps dedicated for Sony SmartWatch with over one million downloads to date and we are continuing to work with our strong developer network to deliver ever more compelling smartwatch experiences.”

In related news, TechSmart was recently given the opportunity to get some hands-on time with Sony’s large screen smartphone - the Xperia Z Ultra - at the Sony Store at Vodaworld in Midrand. Read our first impressions of the phablet here.

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