Sony Unveils a Water-Resistant Android-Based SmartWatch 2 [Video]

Sony’s updated Smartwatch 2 connects to a mobile phone to act as a notification device for messages, calls and music.

Sony is rolling out the red carpet to introduce the company’s forthcoming next-generation Android-powered Smartwatch 2.

Unveiled in Shanghai and London this morning, Sony describes the water resistant Smartwatch 2 as “a multi-functional message notification device, Android app interface and music remote”.

The company said the device “reaffirms Sony’s leadership in smartwatch and wearable technology”.

The Android-powered wristwatch retains the familiar remote functionality of its predecessor: it can answer or reject phone calls, email and texts, snap photos, etc.

The new SmartWatch 2 has a bigger screen and higher resolution (1.6 inch, 220 x 176 pixels) and claims to have greater brightness than the previous version, so you can more easily read it in sunlight.

Sony claims that its improved battery life is the longest of any smartwatch. And when it comes time to recharge the battery, you no longer have to deal with Sony’s silly proprietary cable — the SmartWatch 2 charges over standard Micro USB, informs the Verge.

The SmartWatch 2 also features support for NFC and Bluetooth 3.0, so you can easily pair it with compatible devices running Android 4.0 or higher – something like the Xperia Z Ultra, perhaps.

Sony’s packed all of this “second screen” functionality into a handsome, aluminum body design that’s crafted to be dust- and water-resistant (IP57), much like the Xperia Z line before it. And for users that want a little variety, the company’s also offering a pack-in stainless steel wristband that can be swapped out for any other 24mm strap.

“Sony is the proud leader in the smartwatch market since introducing our first Bluetooth watch in 2007,” said Stefan K Persson, Head of Companion Products at Sony Mobile Communications.

“Competitors are only now launching first generation devices, while we are already launching a 3rd generation device with all the insight gained from over half a million customers combined with Sony’s wealth of technology expertise to create the best ever smartwatch experience.”

Pricing for the new smartwatch hasn’t been revealed yet but the formal product launch will occur in September of this year.

Sony also showed off a forthcoming “phablet”, the Xperia Z Ultra, which features a 6.7” screen and claims to be the world’s largest smartphone.

The Xperia Ultra uses a 6.4” Full HD ‘Triluminos’ display, adapting Sony’s TV technology. Waterproof and using a 2.2GHz processor, it also offers 4G connectivity.

Pierre Perron, president of Sony Mobile Europe, said the device would “blur the boundaries between the phone and the tablet”, and added that it was building on a trend among female consumers in Asia in particular for larger phones, reports the Telegraph.

Sony’s new range of Xperia phones and tablets is aiming to spearhead a resurgence of the company’s mobile division. The Xperia Z phone and the Z tablet have won multiple awards and been largely well received, offering the ultra-thin designs and distinctive, minimailist styling.

Sony is among a number of manufacturers including BlackBerry, HTC and Huawei all aiming to capture the third place spot after Apple and Samsung. Sony hopes it will be able to capitalise on its strength in other industries, including TV and photography.

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