Sony SmartWatch 2: Improved Specs, But Still Android-Only

By Wesley Fenlon

A bigger display, better battery and NFC syncing give Sony a shot at the Pebble and MetaWatch.

The release of the Pebble Smartwatch has come and gone with little fanfare. After pulling in more than $10 million on Kickstarter, the Pebble turned out to be a decent second screen for a smartphone, and little more--it's hard to live up to $10 million of hype. Now Sony is taking a stab at the pebble with the second iteration of its SmartWatch, which is simply called the SmartWatch 2.

Unlike the Pebble and another smartwatch on the market, the MetaWatch, Sony's second model is stuck in the Android world. iOS users won't be able to sync up with the SmartWatch 2, but Sony has expanded compatibility to a range of Android devices that weren't previously supported. The specs of the watch are significantly changed as well. Sony has upgraded from a 1.3-inch display to a 1.6-inch display with a 220x176 pixel resolution, improved sunlight visibility, and added NFC for faster at-a-tap smartphone pairing.

And those aren't the only additions. Sony says its improved battery life is the best of any smartwatch, and the UI now better reflects the Android operating system. The face of the watch has Android's typical back, home, and menu buttons. The watch also charges via micro USB rather than a proprietary power connector.

NFC is one trick Sony has up its sleeve that's missing from either the Pebble or the MetaWatch. It's also the only one with a color screen, though the Pebble's e-ink display will likely remain far more legible in sunlight. The SmartWatch 2 also isn't rated for full water immersion like the other two watches.

The SmartWatch2 is due out in September at a yet-to-be-announced price, but the first model MSRPs for $150.