Like HowStuffWorks on Facebook!

How the Sony Smartwatch Works


SmartWatch Pros, Cons and Competition
Fitness trainers demonstrate Motorola's MotoACTV at the 2012 International Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas.
Fitness trainers demonstrate Motorola's MotoACTV at the 2012 International Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas.
David Becker/Getty Images

It should be mentioned that Sony isn't the only manufacturer vying to replace your watch with a multi-function gadget that'll enable you to lead a totally, continually connected wireless lifestyle. There's also the Motorola MotoACTV, which is not only designed to augment Motorola's RAZR phones, but also enables you to monitor your heart rate and check your route with a GPS chip while running or cycling [source: Oliver]. And there's also upstart tech company Allerta's new Pebble, which is so trendy that its development was partly funded by $4.7 million obtained through the crowd micro-financing site Kickstarter [source: Kim]. Unlike the Sony SmartWatch, the Pebble is designed to work with both iPhones and Android phones [source: Rieland].

So, how does the SmartWatch stack up against the competition? According to CNET reviewer Brian Barrett, the device has both strong and weak points. Its miniscule size makes it a lot more portable and less obtrusive than the bulkier MotoACTV, and the elegant design and variety of stylish colored wristbands available make the SmartWatch into a nice fashion accessory. But while Barrett was easily able to download and install apps, he found that some of them were glitch-ridden, and either didn't fully work or caused the watch to crash and reboot. The SmartWatch's battery life was another downside, since it's way shorter than a conventional watch. Barrett found that he needed to recharge it at least every two days, not even close to Sony's claimed longevity of four days [source: Barrett].

Slashgear reviewer Chris Davies noted that the SmartWatch, like other smart watches, also has a key limitation: Unlike a smartphone, its tiny screen is too small to tap out responses to your social media stream, e-mail and texts, which downsizes your interactions into one-sided communication [source: Davies]. Great for those texts you'd rather not respond to. Not so great for the ones that warrant a note back.


More to Explore