You know how people who rudely check their phones every 42 seconds can drive you completely bonkers?
Thanks to Sony they won’t do that any longer. Instead they will drive you bonkers by checking their watches.
The watch can also be used to hit redial and control other functions, like the smartphone’s music player.
Oh — it also tells time.
There is clearly interest in this sort of device. A proposal to produce a phone-connected watch called the Pebble didn’t raise the sought-after funding of $100,000 when it was posted on Kickstarter, the Web site that seeks investors for creative projects — it raised more than $10 million. The creators are indebted to deliver about 60,000 watches to investors.
The Sony version lacks the style of the Pebble. It is a simple 1.4-inch square with a glassy face and polished silver-colored bezel. The display screen measures 1.3 inches diagonally, well shy of an inch square, yet it’s oddly easy to read, except outdoors, where the sun can wash out the display.
Sony Xperia phones come ready to sync with the watch (natch), but because the watch uses the Android platform, some other Android phones can connect once the LiveWare app is downloaded. But it doesn’t connect with as many as I would like — not one of the five I had on hand made the list of about 20 phones (other than Sony’s) that link with the device. With the right phone and software the SmartWatch pairs much like any Bluetooth device.
When a call or message comes in, the phone vibrates and wakes the screen, which stays lit for 15 seconds. Incoming calls showed the number and name if the person was in my contact list. Messages just came in as a blue icon, though.
The watch requires a phone to work. On the occasions when I lost a connection, even the clock went to 00:00. I didn’t get anything close to the advertised four-day running time for the watch’s battery, but it didn’t matter; the Xperia Ray phone it connected to conked out long before the watch.
So far there aren’t a lot of apps available for the phone and to find them you are consigned to the fifth circle of Google Play (the torture formerly known as the Android Market). Look under “Sony Smart Extras” to improve your results. I found about 20 apps.
The watch has a clip on the back, much like an older iPod Shuffle, so it can be clipped to clothing or to the interchangeable watchbands Sony sells for $20 each. The watch lists for $150 from Sony, which plans to ship it this week.