Performance and User Experience
The Sony SmartWatch wasn’t the leading smartwatch in my books, with the more expensive Samsung Galaxy Gear churning out better performance. However, Sony tried to do the watch justice by creating a user-friendly app which unfortunately is only compatible with Google Android devices.
The UI is effective, and new users will appreciate how simple it is to navigate their way around the app, with a look similar to the Android UI of the Watch. It employs a minimalist dark-themed background, and the bright font works well for the design. All the options integrated into the SmartWatch are displayed in a neat menu panel. The interface deserves 4.5 out of 5.
To use this app, you’ll need to sync it with Smart Connect (LiveWare Manager) which will then pair the SmartWatch with the app. Smart Connect, once synced with the SmartWat
ch app, will take over the handling of all other apps paired with your watch, including authentication of your device. The Android app works once your phone pairs with the watch via Bluetooth.
You can customize your SmartWatch face directly from Smart Connect on your phone. On the app, you can amend settings such as vibrate, Master Reset and can also choose which apps should be active on your watch. The app also offers tools such as setting up email notifications from Gmail and message notifications from Twitter and Facebook. The app will let you take control of a few of the other SmartWatch settings such as display brightness and volume. If you move the watch out of range with the phone, the app will alert you to the disconnection, although Live Wire will swiftly reconnect it once you move back in range.
You won’t have to pay for the SmartWatch Google Play app for Android as it is free. There are also no in-app purchases. The latest version offers more apps which are compatible with the SmartWatch, and you will get regular updates for bug fixes. The features get 4 out of 5.
Performance and User Experience
The overall experience as rated by most users is positive although most users trying to pair new devices face some level of difficulty. Some apps also won’t work with Smart Connect. 4/5.
The app requires a minimum of Android 2.1, therefore, this app is for all Android devices. Unfortunately, it isn’t compatible with iOS, so the app gets 3 for cross-platform use.
- Seamless integration and syncing with the SmartWatch;
- Easy-to-use UI;
- Connected apps work quite fine.
- Difficulty in pairing new devices;
- Quite a number of third-party apps won’t work;
- Several unfixed bugs for different devices;
- Delayed notifications especially for Twitter.
The Smart Connect UI has improved significantly from the first Sony release which was less than intuitive in its design. The app syncs seamlessly if it’s the first time you are pairing the device with your SmartWatch. However, new pairings become more difficult, and you have to play around with the Bluetooth and power settings if you want to set up new devices. The app will also give you problems, especially on the Samsung S-Series. Might be the fact that Samsung has its own SmartWatch. Either way, once you get it to actually work, you will find it extremely useful. I’d recommend the app but generally prefer the Samsung Gear app.