Sony SmartWatch 2 gets re-announced, coming late September for €199
In the rush of news earlier today, it seems we missed one of the major announcements. Sony (re)announced the SmartWatch 2, which we first saw back in June, but we didn't get much information on it. This time around, we know more of what to expect from the device, including that it will be released in late September and will cost €199.
The Sony SmartWatch 2 is, as you could likely guess, the sequel to last year's Sony SmartWatch. The SmartWatch 2 features a 1.6-inch display at 220 x 176 pixels, which is noticeably lower than Samsung's Galaxy Gear at 320x320, although maybe not so bad, given the use cases for the watch. Also, Sony's display is transflective, similar to the Qualcomm Toq, which allows for much better battery life. There are no speakers, microphone, or camera, which limit the functionality, but have the benefits of adding battery life, and allowing for interchangeable wrist straps. Sony is rating the SmartWatch 2 for "3 to 4 days" of battery life with normal usage. And, as you would expect from a Sony device, it has IP57 certification for water resistance.
As far as functionality, you can pair the SmartWatch 2 via NFC if you have a compatible device; and, you'll get the usual notifications that are basically standard on smartwatches already. Sony has really improved the overall performance of the device, and improved the interface. But, apps are still hit or miss. Sony has worked hard to get more 3rd party development, but none of the apps really turn the device into a true smartwatch, and instead keep it as little more than a second screen for your smartphone.
There's no word on U.S. pricing or availability, but the SmartWatch 2 is planned for a European release in late September. The standard black silicone strap model will cost €179 (~$236); the stainless steel strap model will be €199 (~$263); and, each of the color silicone straps will be €19 (~$25). It is already listed on Amazon UK for £159.99 (~$250) with a shipping date of September 13th. Electronics tend to be more expensive in Europe, so a $149-199 U.S. price tag isn't out of the question