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Sony Rolls Out SmartWatch 2, Apple iWatch Still MIA

Sony Rolls Out SmartWatch 2, Apple iWatch Still MIA
By Jennifer LeClaire

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While Google and Apple haven't yet officially entered the smart watch market, Samsung jumped in recently with its $299 Galaxy Gear. Sony, it seems, has really taken the plunge, rolling out the second generation of its SmartWatch, priced $100 less than the Galaxy Gear.
 


Samsung has thrown down the smart watch gauntlet. The much-talked about Apple iWatch has not yet officially entered the game and Google is still sitting on the sidelines. Sony, meanwhile, has rolled out the second iteration of its SmartWatch.

First announced in this summer, the SmartWatch 2 serves as a second screen for an Android smartphone and a multi-function watch, notifier, Android app interface and phone remote control. Sony cites app expandability and personalization as a key differentiator.

Priced at $199, a $100 less than the recently-released Samsung Galaxy Gear, Sony’s watch has a 1.6-inch touchscreen. The device lets you handle your calls by a touch of your wrist, take a photo remotely from your SmartWatch, using a smart camera app, and control your presentations remotely using Presentation Pal. If you are taking a run or riding a bike, you can select a mapping app to check your route with a quick glance at your wrist.

Sony Wants Its Share

The SmartWatch 2 also lets you read previously downloaded e-mails when not connected to your phone or use lifestyle apps like Runtastic to map and instantly track your fitness activities on the go. The wearable device lets you adjust the tracks and volume on your music player, without ever taking your phone from your pocket.

SmartWatch 2 even offers near field communications connectivity for one-touch pairing, and a range of technologies including higher resolution, better visibility even in sunlight, longer battery stamina, a more intuitive interface, and standalone watch functionality.

"The future of wearable devices is incredibly bright with analyst research predicting 41 million 'smart' watches will be sold by 2016," said Stefan K. Persson, head of Companion Products at Sony Mobile Communications. "We have over 200 unique apps dedicated for Sony SmartWatch with over one million downloads to date and we are continuing to work with our strong developer network to deliver ever more compelling smart watch experiences."

New Xperias Selling

Sony also brought two new smartphones to market: the Xperia Z 1 and the Z Ultra. The Z1 is betting its success, in part, on a set of camera applications, which let you broadcast photos live from the device to Facebook and get your comments directly on the screen and an overlay selection of customizable animations.

Specs-wise, Xperia Z1 features the Qualcomm Snapdragon 800 processor with 2.2 GHz quad-core CPU and 4G LTE. The Xperia Z1 also includes a 3000 mAh battery for a high battery performance. Sony’s Battery STAMINA Mode automatically turns off functions to save power when you don’t need them and restarts them when you do.

For its part, the Z Ultra bills itself as world’s slimmest and largest full HD smartphone display. The smartphone has a 6.4-inch touchscreen. It also features Snapdragon 800 processor with 2.2 GHz quad-core CPUs, 4GLTE and HD and classifies itself as waterproof.
 

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