Saturday, July 23, 2016
Days at a time
The SmartWatch 2’s interface isn’t very responsive —swiping through the screens
is often laggy and choppy and opening the various apps can be frustratingly slow.
Often I would get frustrated with the SmartWatch’s slow response and just dig my
phone out of my pocket to read the notification, thus defeating the purpose of
wearing the SmartWatch. Changing tracks with the built-in music controls is also a
chore, to the point where I would just skip to the next track on my phone, bypassing
the SmartWatch altogether. cheat cards
Micro USB charging is a wonderful thing
One of the hallmarks of a good smartwatch is long battery life — between charging
my smartphone, tablet, and laptop every day or two, the last thing I want to have to
charge often is my watch. The Pebble does a good job at this — it can last up to
five days or so on a charge — while the Galaxy Gear requires you to charge it
daily, a non-starter. The SmartWatch 2 lands somewhere in the middle: Sony claims
about three to four days between charges and my experience lines up with that. It
could certainly be better, but it wasn’t a deal breaker for me. Sony also makes it
easy to charge the SmartWatch over Micro USB — the same cable that I use to charge
my smartphone can now charge my smartwatch. That’s a major convenience for the
SmartWatch 2 that the Pebble and the Galaxy Gear don’t match.
A successful smartwatch needs to have three things done right: a set of functions
that people want; have those functions actually work; and have a compelling design
that doesn’t scream “I’m wearing a computer on my wrist.” The SmartWatch 2 hits
on the design part, but it misses on the other two.
Sony’s made a lot of headway with the SmartWatch 2 – it’s categorically better
than its predecessor and better than any smartwatch Sony has ever released. But it’s still a number of steps away from being something that everyday people can wear, use, and enjoy. The hardware is greatly improved, and the design is probably the best of any smartwatch you can get. But the display is a bit of a letdown and the clumsy interface and difficult set up are frustrating and more than the average person is likely to put up with. Compound that with the notification system that doesn’t quite work and there’s very little reason for me to recommend a SmartWatch 2 over a Pebble to anyone. It’s the same story as many of Sony’s mobile devices: good hardware is let down by frustrating and clumsy software.
Most people still shouldn’t spend their money on a smartwatch – the market just
isn’t mature enough and there are still too many compromises you have to make in
order to work one into your life. But if you are intent on buying a smartwatch
today and not waiting for better options that will surely be coming, you can do
better than the Sony SmartWatch 2. marked poker