Sony SWR30 Smart Band Talk
Very light, and very comfortable
The SmartBand Talk weighs just 24 grams. It straps to your wrist with a silicone band and clasps together using a push-stud system. It’s quick, safe, and convenient. Once it’s on, the comfortable SmartBand Talk is almost unnoticeable. My wrist never got too sweaty, and it’s so light I sometimes had to check it hadn’t fallen off.
Like the aforementioned Pebble, the SmartBand Talk has an E-Ink screen, rather than a color LCD or OLED touchscreen. It measures 1.4-inches and has a 296 x 192 pixel resolution. Because it’s E-Ink, the display is monochrome, and the only option is to inverse the black and white colors. Using a white background made the display more readable for me, but there’s no backlight, so it’s useless in the dark.
It’s not a touchscreen, but the screen does respond to touch. Well, actually it responds to a very decisive prod. For example, when a notification appears, a strong tap is needed to reveal the message. A soft, gentle caress doesn’t work here, and bashing away at the screen isn’t the subtlest of actions.
There’s a metal volume rocker on the righthand side that doesn’t demand such harsh treatment, along with a hole for the microphone. On the other side is a micro-USB port for charging the SmartBand Talk. The 70mAh battery lasted for just over three full days, unless it was used for long calls, but this was easily stretched out to five days by turning it off at night. A rubber cover goes over the charging port, ensuring the SmartBand Talk meets the requirements for an IP68 rating. I wore it in the shower without any problems.
Feature packed, but each one limited
Sony’s SmartBand Talk does many things well, but none of them perfectly or comprehensively, because the SmartBand Talk isn’t a technical marvel with a whopping processor or a big touchscreen.
It can function as a basic wrist watch because it displays the time on the main screen. It tracks your activity and sleep, runs tiny add-ons to activate certain features on your phone, displays notifications, and will work as a Bluetooth speaker and microphone for calls.
Counting steps is a staple function of any wearable, and the SmartBand Talk will break them down into walking or running, plus keep watch over you while you’re sleeping. This data is shown on the main screen, and collated inside Sony's Life Log App.