Sony SmartBand

Sony SmartBand
Sony SmartBand

Sony's SmartBand not only monitors your physical movements, but also your digital life.

It consists of a wristband and a removable white plastic tracker called the Core.

This rounded rectangular device has one button, three white LED lights on one side and a micro-USB charging port at one end. It fits securely into a groove in the wristband.

It logs the steps taken, calories burned and other minutiae of your daily activities.

Once inserted into the wristband, the device is IP58 certified, that is dust-resistant and waterproof to a depth of 3m for 30min. The wristband is easy to wear and lightweight.

The band in the review unit was black, but it is also available in green, purple, white, blue, pink and orange for an extra $28 apiece.

Unfortunately, iOS devices are not supported and your smartphone has to run the latest Android 4.4 KitKat and Bluetooth 4.0 Low Energy.

The device is also equipped with Near Field Communication (NFC) technology. Set-up is easy if your smartphone is NFC-enabled. Just tap and you will be taken to the Google Play Store to download the SmartBand SWR10 app.

The SmartBand app will not appear on your device. You must download the Smart Connect app to configure SmartBand's settings.

Finally, to sync the data collected by the Core, download the Lifelog app.

The whole rigmarole made me wonder why the Core needs three apps to work, instead of just one.

Fortunately, all you need to do is add an existing Google account or create a new one to log into the Lifelog app and sync with the SmartBand.

Lifelog will display your recorded data in an easy-to-view interface consisting of a timeline and a total of 13 boxes that show your data, such as calories burned, steps taken, walking, running, sleeping, communication (social media, SMS and e-mail messages), Lifelog bookmarks and Internet browsing.

There is a downside. The Core was not pinpoint accurate when tracking the physical side. It gave my running time as 4min when I had run for 15min. It "discounted" 500 steps from the total that most of the fitness trackers in this round-up gave.

But it did monitor my sleep accurately and also tracked periods of light and heavy sleep. On a full charge, the SmartBand lasted for five days.

If you want a simple and moderately priced fitness tracker to monitor your activities, then the Sony SmartBand may suit you.

BACKGROUND STORY

TECH SPECS

Price: $138

Material: Plastic tracker with rubber wristband

Water resistance: Up to 3m for 30min

Connectivity: Bluetooth 4.0, Near Field Communications

Weight: 21g

RATING

Features: 3/5

Design: 3/5

Performance: 2/5

Value for money: 3/5

Battery life: 3/5

Overall: 3/5


This article was first published on July 30, 2014.
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