The second-gen activity tracker is hardly fancy, but it’s essentially better in every way than its non-display-sporting predecessor.
Sony will likely hold onto the Android Wear-powered SmartWatch 4 until IFA in Berlin early next month, at which point we also expect the Xperia Z5 and Z5 Compact smartphones to come out. In the meantime, the Japanese device manufacturer looks to cover its lower-end bases, unveiling the SmartBand 2 just weeks after the Xperia C5 Ultra and M5.
Designed to take on basic, minimalist wearables such as the Fitbit Flex, Jawbone Up2 and 3 or Misfit Shine, the SmartBand 2 isn’t the flashiest wrist worn gadget in the world. Or the most advanced, lacking the tiniest screen or voice call capabilities.
On the bright side, it’s light as a feather, at 25 grams, easy to camouflage or at least make it so as not to stand out too much, and above all, endowed with heart rate monitoring functions. You can seamlessly measure your pulse and stress level by syncing the accessory to iPhones running iOS 8.2 and up, or Androids based on KitKat or Lollipop.
Shielded against dives in water as deep as 3 meters, the SmartBand 2 features NFC and Bluetooth 4.0 connectivity, and vibrates whenever a paired smartphone receives calls or messages. Only want to bother with important notifications? Leave it to the colored LED lights to inform you off the bat of the type of notification pushed from your handheld to your wrist.
If you deem battery life the ultimate make-or-break piece of any wearable’s puzzle, then rejoice upon hearing the Sony SmartBand 2 lasts up to five days between charges.
Unfortunately, built-in heart rate support, endurance and robustness will come at a fairly hefty price in September. Literally, the price tag is far from economical – €119, or around $130.