Sony's $200 smartwatch works with Android phones

October 15, 2013 by Anick Jesdanun

Sony says its new computerized wristwatch will sell for $200 in the U.S. and will work with a variety of Android phones.

Sony's SmartWatch 2 hasn't gotten as much attention as Samsung Electronics Co.'s Galaxy Gear, but it's cheaper and compatible with a broader range of phones. The Gear costs $300 and currently works only with the company's Galaxy Note 3 phone.

Unlike the Gear, however, Sony's watch doesn't let you make phone calls directly through the wristwatch. You can answer calls using the watch, but you need a Bluetooth wireless headset linked to the phone if you don't want to hold it to your ear.

Sony Corp. said Tuesday that the watch is available immediately through the company's physical and online stores. Other online retailers will also sell it.

As more people own smartphones and tablets, consumer-electronics companies are creating a new category of products to give consumers more ways to stay connected—and to spend money. Qualcomm Inc. also plans to release a smartwatch in time for the holidays, while Apple is widely believed to be developing an iWatch.

The company said its is designed to perform common tasks such as checking texts and email, liking Facebook posts and getting calendar reminders.

"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," Ravi Nookala, U.S. president of Sony Mobile Communications, said 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."

SmartWatch 2 is designed to complement a phone—specifically those running Android 4.0 or later. Sony promises three to four days of battery life between charges, compared with about a day for the Gear. The display measures 1.6 inches (4 centimeters) diagonally, the same as the Gear.

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Separately, Sony announced the U.S. availability of two new phones:

— The Xperia Z Ultra is a larger version of its Xperia Z waterproof smartphone. It has a 6.4-inch (16.26-centimeter) screen, among the largest out there. A standard version will retail for $650, while a faster, 4G LTE version will sell for $680.

— The Xperia Z1 is a 5-inch (12.7-centimeter) that sports a massive 20.7-megapixel camera and is capable of attaching better lenses. That retails for $670.

The phones won't be locked to a specific wireless carrier, but they won't work with Verizon or Sprint's network. Sony did not announce plans for locked, subsidized versions that require two-year service agreements.

Explore further: Sony launches camera phone with add-on lenses (Update)

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not rated yet Oct 15, 2013
Why don't they show you the edge view.... All the smart watches I've seen are very thick and clunky looking.
1 / 5 (1) Oct 15, 2013

Another grand failure for Sony.

In the end, the Sony Rolly will have sold better.

not rated yet Oct 18, 2013
Since this is android based, is the watch 8x8 inches? This compliments a phone how? This is what happens when the sales and business department take over a technology company.

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