Sony Smartband Talk (SWR30)

​[This post was moved from my previous blog]

I have been using the Sony Smartband SWR10 for about six months and I have mostly been very happy with it. Initially I purchased it because I was curious on how I slept and it has a great feature for giving vibrating notifications if I have the phone in my pocket and receive texts/calls/emails and so on. This fall Sony released the next level of their Smartband – the SWR30 or Smartband Talk as its friendly name is. It mostly does the same as the original Smartband, but it adds a screen. And that gives some more interesting features:

  • ​​See name of the person calling you (if in your phonebook)
  • See text messages
  • See emails
  • See calendar events
  • Start/pause music and volume up/down
  • Remote control the sound on the phone: normal/vibrate only/sound off
  • Get my phone to ring if I forgot where I put it (and vice versa)
  • Remote control the phone camera
  • Hands free calling
Yeah, thats a fair list of new features! So – this is something between a Smartband (basic activity tracker) and a Smartwatch.

Now I can see who texts me while I’m driving and dont have to pick up the phone and I can have the phone in my backpack/pocket while walking and keep updated on incoming emails and phones. Even answer the phone for a short message. Great!

The display is NOT a touch screen as I have read in some reviews. One would think that as you tap it for some functionality. But it actually uses the motion sensor to sense the motion from you taping the screen. And the screen itself is an E-inc display similar to a Kindle E-book reader. A technology which I find very impressive! It does not use any battery for the display as long as the image on the display is static. It uses only battery when changing the screen, so for example when the time shifts from 19:12 to 19:13, it uses a tiny bit of battery to update the page.

​OK, so I feel I have to balance this out a little bit. All great? Nah, there are some issues.

  • ​Music control has no skip function. But why??
  • Sony has locked the home screen so I dont have an option to keep it all black or use any of the watches apps as the home screen. I would actually prefer if the home screen didnt have any info on it. And that would even save battery. I dont need another watch as I am already carrying one on my other hand (allthough this one is network corrected, so more accurate than most other watches so you could question the logic of using something else)
  • 2-3 days of battery is a little bit shorter than I would have wished for
  • As I am using Bluetooth Hands Free in my car, I can not use the Talk function on the Smartband Talk. The phone will not connect to the car BT if its already connected to the Smartband Talk in hands free mode. But that also mean I can not mute incoming calls with the volume buttons on the Smartband as it is based on it being connected as a hands free. But at least I found a way to see who is calling..
Anyway, bottom line is that this is a great gadget and I am happy to own one!
I am sure most of my issues with this is just software based and would hopefully improve within short time (or at least I hope so!).
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