MANILA, Philippines – Announced at the 2014 Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas Sony’s Smartband is one of the most promising fitness trackers in the market today.
The device was slated for a March release, but without much pomp and fanfare quietly began shipping this May. In the Philippines it is being marketed in tandem with the Xperia Z2 smartphone. The band alone retails for P4190 (aprrox $95). I couldn't wait for the official release so I got mine online via WidgetCity.
Sony’s latest wearable device can do everything expected of an average fitness tracker including logging steps – differentiating between walking and running – and sleep. But together with its bundled Lifelog application also records other activity including communication and media consumption.
The app provides a visual representation of your day including the photos you took, when and where; messages you sent; and when you went for that run and for how long. With a double press on the SmartBand's button you can also create a bookmark to record specific moments in time that you want remembered.
Like many of Sony's other devices the SmartBand ships in a jewel case. Printed on top are the device's salient features; Bluetooth and NFC connectivity (for connecting to and syncing with a smartphone), its IP58 rating (meaning its dust resistant and water proof); and microUSB (for charging).
Sony pays $25-50 million dollars per year to be a WorldCup sponsor so you'll find WorldCup branding on the back of the box. The SmartBand is currently available in black and a special Brazil edition (in some markets). Optional bands are offered in a range of colors but we haven't spotted any locally.
Inside the box Sony includes one core fitness tracker, two bands (1 small, 1 large) a 1 microUSB cable and a QuickStart guide. The extra band is a nice touch, if you purchase a Jawbone Up 24 or a Nike FuelBand you have to be specific about the sizing. For a more specific adjustment there's a push clip and 6 available punch holes.
At the heart of SmartBand is the core fitness tracker. Sony says that in the future it will offer a range of accessories that support the core tracker. At CES 2014 designs for tie clips and pendants were shown off.
To get started insert the core tracker into the cavity on the botom of the band. The core should have enough power for an initial setup but Sony recommends that you charge the core for at least 30 minutes before you get started.
The SmartBand doesn't ship with a USB charger but it should charge fine on the charger that comes with your smartphone.
Wearables like the SmartBand are meant to be worn all the time, so comfort should be a major factor to consider when buying one. Thankfully the SmartBand is lightweight and made of a soft type of rubber – very comfortable to have on – it's almost like you have just a thick baller band on.
Before you can setup the device you'll need to download three separate apps from the Google Play Store. SmartBand SWR10, Smart Connect, and Lifelog. A quick search for Sony SmartBand will bring up all three apps. The device currently doesn't support iOS.
Check back for a full review later this week. - Rappler.com