back to article Give it a wrist, fellas: Sony's back with $200 Android Smartwatch 2

Sony has revealed its second-generation attempt at kickstarting a smartwatch market: a $200 Android-powered wrist-computer. The 1.6-inch Smartwatch 2 is a revision of Sony's first model, which went on sale six years ago to a less than enthusiastic response. The watch is slaved via Bluetooth 3.0 or NFC to a phone and tablet …

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Silver badge

Success

Nothing sucks seeds like a parrot.

If at first you don't suck seeds, suck and suck and suck again.

Perhaps times have moved on. Those that need to look cool have been out of luck recently. There really has not been much cool stuff on the market recently and they will be getting the need for a coolness fix.

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Re: Success

Its not about cool. People weren't cool for having smartphones or PDAs 10 years ago, because the functionality that they offered was something only a very small segment of people wanted.

With the rise of iOS and Android smartphones, they provided functionality that a lot of people wanted.

Right now the watches (and glasses) are like the smartphones or PDAs of 10 years ago, and do something only a small segment of the population wants (i.e. fitness) They'll need to add some additional functionality that a lot of people want to become successful. If no one solves that problem, they won't sell many, because a useless product isn't "cool" no matter who sells it, but a useful product isn't selling well because its cool, but because it is useful.

Having a watch notify you of a text message or call is useless, because the only way to continue the interaction is via voice. Unless you get a lot of calls and texts you ignore having the notification isn't the end of the matter. If you have to grab your phone anyway you haven't saved any time (not that taking your phone from your pocket is difficult, but presumably the idiots who design the current crop of smartwatches think so since that seems to be the only function they provide)

Do you really want to hold your watch to your mouth and speak texts in front of others, or alternate holding it by your ear and your mouth to have a phone conversation? Few people will, that's why what Sony is describing here will fail like all other smartwatches have (with the exception of the ones that fill that narrow market for fitness buffs, which are successes in a narrow market but aren't going to sell tons like smartphones in places full of fat lazy people like the US)

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Re: Success

I do not think it is about cool. It is about functional.

There is a whole raft of jobs where you cannot pull your phone every 10 mins or so to check something while you may actually need to do so.

Bosses organizing "no phones allowed" all day meetings, dealing with far east and to a lesser extent middle east customers, or just the plain convenience of not dragging that 5+ in super-slab pretending to be a phone out of your jacket inner pocket.

3 years ago in the days of SmartWatch 1 things were different - the average high end screen size was sub-4in diagonal. We also used the phone for phoning not as our main net access gadget. So overall, I would not be so sure about the success or failure of this one.

In any case - Sony's gadget actually looks like the only one that is not locked in to a particular vendor "ecosystem". It will also work with non-factory firmware (Cyanogen, etc). So, if my current watch kicks the bucket for whatever reason I may consider buying one.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Success, Really?

Another device that will be worn for a few days then end up in the bottom of the bottom drawer.

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Ridiculous

Do you think that bosses who do "no phones allowed" meetings are going to allow smartwatches? That customers who consider it rude to pull your phone out of your pocket will not see reading messages on your watch equally rude?

Even with Google Glasses the same would apply, the boss isn't going to happy if you're in his "no phone" meeting with a blank stare and occasional facial tics because you're reading emails on your glasses.

The point of a no phone meeting is avoiding distraction. It isn't about the phone, it is about the distraction. The same goes doubly for customers who think it is rude to focus your attention on something other than themselves.

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Article fail

It's a 3rd gen device, the last one came out a year or two ago.The reg article you link to even contains this information.

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Linux

Re: Success

Yeah, you got most of it. It is functional in only a certain circumstances that some people would find we useful for them. It will not be all. People tends to carry their phone n holster for men and for women in the handbag. So checking text of notifications with a glance and flick is simply as convenient as it gets on the watch.

While driving, when you get a SMS, you might want to flick gestures for quick response : Up (yes), Down (no), Right (Maybe), Left (later). This does not distract and takes a fraction of a second. A voice call might get the autoresponder SMS that you are driving (rule set on watch for auto response).

Any added conveince factor to the user is well sort after these days as our precious time is being pulled by all the newer modes of input the world is throwing at us. Of course, many will choose to ignore it for a time but people do have priorities. This means filtering out what is important to you for the occasion.

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Timekeeping

The key thing it will need is to be able to keep time without a mobile to pair to. I spend a lot of time per day out of bluetooth range. Unless it can be used for primary function without the sync, it's useless.

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JDX
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The average smartphone user reaches for their device more than 100 times per day

wtf

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This looks to be a better idea:

http://www.slashgear.com/sony-sbh52-mini-handset-reduces-xperia-z-ultra-phablet-size-shame-25287821/

Basically, it's a small Bluetooth headset that includes an FM radio. It also has a speaker and mike, so can be used to take/make calls as if it were just a small phone.

Unlike a watch it is suitable for listening to music streamed rom your phone, as well as displaying notifications on its screen.

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Re: This looks to be a better idea:

Unlike a watch it's no use for telling the time and makes you look like a bit of a dick.

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FAIL

Re: This looks to be a better idea:

so its a second mini-phone to use with your mega-phone that you cant use as a phone (/mp3 player/ whatever) because it's too big...

A bit like having a normal sized phone, and, maybe a tablet or laptop.

How long before this 'mini-handset' gets upgraded with a bigger (better?) screen, camera, and other goodies, to the point where it's too big, and you want something small, like a watch, to let you quickly and easily see the information from your mini-handset, that you use because your 'phone' is so big you have to carry it around in a rucksack?

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Re: This looks to be a better idea:

Er, how does it make you look like dick when it resembles a small MP3 player clipped to your shirt, or when held to your ear a small phone?

I'm sure it can tell you the time, but then if you have it in your breast pocket for smart-phone-companion duties, your wrist is free for a normal watch. Get a mechanical model ('automatic') and you'll be able to tell the time even after an EMP strike.

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Re: This looks to be a better idea:

@D@v3

"Upon the fleas were other fleas and so on ad infinitum" - we get it. I was just making the point that whilst a wristwatch is easy to check visually for notifications, it isn't suitable for headphones.

The precedent for this is the Sony Wireless Walkman... this was a 'proper' Walkman in that it played cassette tapes, but it was paired to a matchbox sized receiver into which the headphones were plugged. The receiver had transport controls that were relayed to the main Walkman unit.

This was in the mid-nineties, and it was available in Japan. My assumption is that the UK's transmission regulations prohibited its sale here.

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Don't forget about the LiveView Generation 2 - released right at the end of 2011 (according to Amazon)

http://www.amazon.co.uk/Sony-Generation-SmartWatch-Smartphone-Accessory/dp/B006RJR62I/ref=sr_1_3?s=electronics&ie=UTF8&qid=1381918613&sr=1-3&keywords=sony+smartwatch

Middling reviews....

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Boffin

Where did you discover your first clue, Sherlock?

"...but somehow El Reg doubts customers will be flocking to the stores. "

REALLY?

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Boffin

Bluetooth 3.0 sounds like a highly questionable decision : BLE (Bluetooth Low Energy) came with 4.0, and before it there were no real ways to save juice with a permanent connection - the clue is in the name....

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No smartwatch product will survive unless it has atleast few months of battery time (eink) and zero bazle having rectangular shape... all current products are fuckin bastards fooling people around. Seiko has most potential (current can run 1year) but they are not playing their cards to the fullest... perhaps blackmailed on hands of rolex to clone their needle designs and ultra realistic mimicking of mechanical displays on eink display. Seiko if u want throw apple in dustbin of history at wristwatches then release the little larger, zero bazel version of ...

http://gizmowizz.com/gizmowizz/images/july2011blog/_seiko_sbpa003_sbpa001_.jpg

And

http://cdn.slashgear.com/wp-content/uploads/2010/09/Seiko-eInk-watch.jpg

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