Sony SmartBand SWR10 Review

Lifelog companion app

Sony’s LifeLog companion app is rich in functionality and looks beautiful.

The centerpiece of the SmartBand fitness tracker experience is the Lifelog companion app. Sony has made the application compatible with all brands of Android devices (not just Sony devices), and this kind of interoperability is a very welcome development that many fitness trackers sorely lack.

The Lifelog companion app is much more than just a step and calorie aggregator, though. It is an app that truly wants to give you an overview of your mobile life and fitness in a single window. For this, it tracks all the time you’ve spent browsing, listening to music, and watching videos on your devices, and shows it all along with your walking/running/cycling activity in an interactive timeline. This way, you can see exactly what pictures you took on which day without ever having to enter the gallery, for instance.

And for its other, fitness side, it uses your personal data to set step goals and show you your progress towards them. Speaking of personalization, we ought to complain about the unnecessarily tedious process of installing Lifelog and getting it to work with the bracelet. In order for all this to happen you need to install three separate apps (Sony Connect, LifeLog, and SmartBand SWR10), plus, in addition, you need to register a Sony Entertainment Network account via an interface that is not very well optimized for mobile. We wish Sony would decrease the number of necessary apps for all this, and make the registration simpler.

Pairing and functionality


Getting the SmartBand SWR10 on, pairing it and getting it to work is a quick and easy process, once you’ve got all the apps in place. Sony’s fitness tracker comes with NFC, which makes pairing a super simple process. Just make sure you have Bluetooth enabled on your NFC-enabled smartphone, and touch the phone with the tracker, to have it all paired and completely hooked up. The technical requirements for the app and the band are Android at version 4.4 KitKat or newer.

You have just one button on the SmartBand, and here’s what it does:

  • single press to check if you’re in day or night mode
  • press and hold to switch between day and night mode
  • double press to add Life Bookmark

The one button is all you have to interact with the device. The SmartBand lacks the display that some other fitness trackers have, and that’s basically its biggest limitation. You wear it 24/7 anyway, so it would be nice to be able to see the time on it, rather than having to check your smartphone, or having to wear one more thing on your wrist - a traditional watch.

With this in mind, and now that you know how to operate it, it’s time to take a look at what the SmartBand actually does.

SmartBand as fitness and sleep tracker

The SmartBand will track your steps and runs, and it will monitor your sleep and wake you up gently, but it won’t be of much use for sports other than running.

The other functions of the SmartBand: control your music
One final special feature of the Sony SmartBand that is worth your attention is its music control capabilities. Getting the hang of music control is a bit tricky, but after a few attempts we got it working. You have to press the physical key once and then tap on the top of the SmartBand to control music playback on your paired device. Tap once to play or pause the current track, tap twice to skip to the next song, and tap three times to go back to the beginning of the song, or reverse back to the previous one. Note that this kind of control works best with native applications, and may not work with third-party apps.

Battery life and charging


The Sony SmartBand SWR10 ships with a miniature, 35mAh Li-Ion battery that theoretically can last up to five days on a single charge. In real life, those numbers are about right, and you should not expect much less. Recharging the battery takes about 1 hour, which is not all that much, but it’s just strange to see such a small battery charge up for so long.

You charge it via a regular microUSB cable, and good news is that you’d need that cable for charging only - all the syncing happens wirelessly.

Conclusion


The Sony SmartBand SWR10 is now sold for $100, a price that is not too high given that the competing FitBit Flex is also sold for $100, while the Nike FuelBand+ is priced significantly higher, at $150.

For all it aims to do, though, the SmartBand delivers. It’s a good fitness tracker that will please stats-obsessed runners, and just those who want to improve their health by walking and running more. The LifeLog app is also a great effort by Sony. All in all, if tracking your daily activities is something that you want to do, the SmartBand won’t disappoint.


Pros

  • Extremely lightweight and compact, you can almost forget you’re wearing it
  • Works with all Android 4.4 phones
  • Water resistant with IP58 certification
  • 5-day battery life
  • Sleep monitoring is nice, and silent alarm is great too

Cons

  • Setting it up is a bit too lengthy of a process
  • No way to track any other types of exercise apart from walking and running
  • No display at all

PhoneArena Rating:

8.0

FEATURED VIDEO

11 Comments

1. amiaq

Posts: 509; Member since: Jun 30, 2012

Will it work if I m not wearing it, by just carrying it my pocket for example? Or it need specific body movement to register or to gather data?

6. Sora77

Posts: 70; Member since: Mar 31, 2014

Amazon review said it works well with it in the pocket. And it also said he can also take photo with that button on smart band in addition to music control.

2. ArtSim98

Posts: 3535; Member since: Dec 21, 2012

I love the smart wake up function. Though it doesn't seem to track the calories very accurately.

3. wedjat

Posts: 5; Member since: Dec 07, 2011

for my taste the lifelog app wastes to much battery(to keep location and running all time). i stoped using the band because of that.

4. TechBizJP08

Posts: 495; Member since: Mar 25, 2013

Does it work with tablets with 4.4 as well?

5. josephnero

Posts: 780; Member since: Nov 16, 2011

i would love to get one in future

7. zennacko unregistered

Could I take a shower with it or the waterproofing was meant for accidents, and not actual use on a rainy day?

8. JaroB

Posts: 112; Member since: Feb 13, 2013

IP 58

9. abhijithkumar.nit

Posts: 47; Member since: Apr 09, 2013

Can I control more than one smart bands from one phone?

10. dougasker

Posts: 4; Member since: Jun 14, 2013

This is a step too far, manufacturers such as Sony and Apple, indeed all OEMs need to consternate their R&D budgets on better battery life, not this frivolous technology.

11. biltong

Posts: 1; Member since: Aug 06, 2014

If I don't have my phone with me (leaving it at home), and I go out jogging, will it still track my location as well as the distance I'm running as well as the time?

Latest Stories

This copy is for your personal, non-commercial use only. You can order presentation-ready copies for distribution to your colleagues, clients or customers at https://www.parsintl.com/phonearena or use the Reprints & Permissions tool that appears at the bottom of each web page. Visit https://www.parsintl.com/ for samples and additional information.