Monday, September 28, 2015

Chai Time:Sony Smartband (SWR10) Review

This was the first wearable to lay upon my body, or more precisely, my wrist. It came bundled with our Xperia Z2 at the time (probably because of a lack of sales). Later on, we received another one with the purchase of a Z Ultra.  Being it one of the top wearables at the time, it did get a lot of answers and I got a lot of questions asked about its functionality.

In order to use said band, one must download Sony’s apps (Smart Connect and the SWR10 extension, and a not mandatory LifeLog). With the first two apps, you are able to set up the device and receive vibrating notifications on your band which come with a tiny vibrating LED. Also, you will be able to set up music controls on the band (by tapping it a said number of times). If you download LifeLog (or what I call the stalkiest app on the store) you are able to use this app with the added functionality of the smartband. The app itself allows you to (as the name implies) log your life. It lets you know how much time you spend on certain apps in addition to working as an activity tracker. With the smartband, it allows you to track your sleep and set up smart alarms. These will track your sleep and wake you up in the lightest phase with vibrations from your band.

You’ll be wearing this band at night since the battery will last for almost five days on a single charge, plus it takes an extremely short while to juice up fully. In addition, you’ll be wearing it in the shower since it comes with water proofing.

The hardware itself is pretty simple, it is simply a white chip style “Core” unit which is inserted into a silicone band. The band is extremely pleasing to wear, with a very soft texture and easily tightened with the classy metallic button. This is a very light combination which lays little weight on the wrist and is easily worn to bed.
Smartband Full/Sony
The apps themselves are pretty decent, I am no fan of LifeLog since tracking every aspect of my life is not appealing to me. In addition, if you long press the button it will add said event as a special event. This is not a feature that drives me nuts. The only thing which I found useful was the sleep tracking in order to see how much juice I could squeeze out of my 5 hour sleep times. The music controls themselves in theory would be quite useful for changing tracks by simply tapping the band after pressing the button, although most of the time I ended up pausing my music, and needing to take my device out in order to press play again. This defeats the whole
purpose. Sometimes a gentle tap was enough, sometimes I needed to smack the wristband in order to get it to work.

Overall, if you get this device for free in a bundle do try it out, it is a nice and useful accessory. Although if you are looking to purchase it, I am afraid it is not worth the money. The features are very limited.

  • Super comfortable
  • Great hardware
  • Sleep tracking
  • Great battery life
  • Little functionality
  • Music controls hard to operate

By: Phil Monnier