Like most devices today, smartwatches are trying to make everything more versatile. They run games, watch movies, listen to music through them. In general, the situation is traditional and similar to the beginning of the path of smartphones. Then they tried to cram as many functions as possible into them, some of which were not so obvious. The most striking example is, for example, watching on-air TV — many Chinese manufacturers were proud of this “trick”, and “advanced guys” measured antennas on their mobile phones and peered at football on tiny screens.

When the robot needs to be fed too often

In order to separate the wheat from the chaff, and leave only those functions that are really convenient to do, it took not so little time. Checking your mail, please. Watching movies — well, with a little stress, of course. But all those projectors that turn a smartphone into a home theater, projection keyboards that are still impossible to type on, this has remained on the sidelines until the technology develops enough so as not to degrade other consumer qualities of the device.

Already in the first versions of smart watches there were too many frills. Too much.

Approximately the same situation with the clock. For example, on some smartwatches, you can read social networks or watch short videos. Cool? Undoubtedly. But for this we have to pay the price of battery life. Someone might say that in the days of mechanical watches, they also often had to be let down every day. But the time it takes to recharge is still incomparable with recharging.

And, what is the saddest thing, all these sacrifices are practically in vain. If you are not a very extravagant person, then you are unlikely to even watch TV shows on a tiny display. Showing a photo is also unlikely.

Based on these considerations, I have formulated a list of what I need from a smart watch.

  • The clock should show the time — this is not discussed, despite the fact that we are all used to watching what time it is on a mobile phone, it is much more convenient to do this from a watch.
  • Show information from the phone, in particular these are: notifications of calls, SMS, missed calls
  • Show useful information from applications, such as weather, as well as notes about upcoming meetings (at least their name)
  • Long work. At least a couple of days. The situation when I forgot to charge the gadget at night, and after that I go without it during the day, does not suit me at all.
  • be waterproof. This is not even discussed — an attempt to get myself bracelets / watches that are unstable to moisture inevitably ended in loss of money for me.
  • Look normal. Preferably like a regular watch, but you can just strictly and neutrally
  • Use standard power and sync connectors. Seriously, guys, I’m already tired of the fact that every outlet in my house looks like a hedgehog bristling with various chargers.

Cartoon characters in search of the perfect smart watch

Oddly enough, having looked at a lot of smartwatches, so far I have found all the above qualities only in the Sony SWR-30. Actually, this device is positioned by the company as a smart bracelet or fitness tracker, but in fact it does everything that I need from a smart watch.

So, the things that I liked the most:

  • The bracelet uses a curved E-Ink screen. Due to this, everything is clearly visible on it, including in very bright light. In addition, the screen does not go blank, I do not have to “revive” the device every time just to see the time. Due to the economical screen, the device also works for a long time — the manufacturers promise 4 days, I most often got about 2-3, however, in most cases this is enough. There are watches that last longer, but they are much more expensive.
  • The smart bracelet charges quickly. Literally in half an hour.
  • The device has a standard power connector, although, it would seem, it’s Sony, it’s good that they didn’t come up with any nonsense, as, for example, in the Sony NWZ-A17 player.
  • The gadget looks quite strict, especially in the black version. What is called «Sony Style»
  • The device is waterproof. They promise only splash protection, but I forgot to take them off a couple of times before swimming in the pool. So far, nothing bad has happened.
  • All the things I need, like showing notifications about SMS, meetings and calls, are there. And, most importantly, there is a phone search mode, now I don’t run around looking for a device every time before leaving the house.
  • You can also configure the management of various programs, for example, starting a voice recorder, or turning off Wi-Fi, without having to crawl through the menus (especially relevant in light of the disgusting work of Wi-Fi in the Moscow metro).
Of course, there is also something that I did not like at all:

  • All information is added to the Sony Lifelog proprietary program. It’s fun, but I miss syncing with some other programs like Moves.
  • They say either it doesn’t work, or it doesn’t work well with apple devices. However, this is irrelevant to me.
  • Sometimes the device spontaneously loses connection with the smartphone. The pattern could not be identified. But Bluetooth is so unstable. Already used to the fact that the «blue tooth» almost always means that there will be glitches and loss of communication.
  • Some widgets look on the screen, well, let’s say, so-so.
  • Most applications written by third-party developers are paid.
  • One of the main ways to control the SWR30 is by tapping on the screen. It’s somehow very annoying, it would be worth hanging this functionality on one of the buttons, especially since, for example, I practically don’t use volume down / up from the clock
  • Extra (for me personally) functionality of voice commands, sometimes working neither to the village nor to the city.

Despite all these shortcomings, it was on the Sony Smart Band SWR30 that I stopped for now. Are there any other devices worth looking at? Preferably on e-ink. Everything that I have found so far on Aliexpress brings monstrous longing. Tell me if you know.


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