Sony SmartBand Review

    The number of wearable gadgets is growing every day and two, perhaps the most noticeable groups are smart watches and sports bracelets, trackers. If the former are used to interact with your smartphone and receive notifications, the latter monitor your physical activity. Sony decided not to be limited to SmartWatch watches, but also released an electronic bracelet, the functions of which, however, are not limited to counting steps and affect the most diverse aspects of human life. We bring to your attention an overview of this unusual gadget.

    SmartBand is an elastic rubber bracelet with adjustable width and a very stylish metal clasp with the Sony logo. On the inside of the bracelet there is a recess in which a white Core plastic module with a micro USB connector, a mode button and three LEDs indicating the charge level and operating mode are inserted. By the way, you need to charge SmartBand once a week.

    The material is very pleasant, does not irritate the skin and does not make your hand sweat, like plastic watch straps. The bracelet is perfectly adjustable in width and holds perfectly on the hand. The device is protected from water in accordance with the IP58 standard, so you can safely swim with it. Rubber bracelets of different colors can be bought separately and rearranged the main module in them.

    To connect the device to a smartphone, just attach it to the back wall (unless, of course, the smartphone supports NFC), or find it in the list of available Bluetooth devices and create a pair. After that, you will need to download SmartBand and Lifelog applications from the Play Market, as well as create an account on the Sony Entertainment Network to store statistics. If you are using a smartphone from a different manufacturer, you will need to install the SmartConnect application, without which the bracelet cannot be connected. Now it remains to enter the date of birth, height and weight, and if desired, adjust the stride length while walking and running. You can start!

    The main work is undertaken by the Lifelog application, which diligently monitors all your actions. The application takes into account literally everything that you can do using a smartphone: the number of photos and tracks you listen to, the time spent on social networks, watching TV shows or games. Lifelog automatically determines the categories of applications you run, counting, for example, Bookmate or Kindle as reading books, and Instagram and Facebook as malicious procrastination using social networks. The button with the map shows all your movements for the day (week, year, month), actually, on the map.

    By holding the button for two seconds, you can switch between day and night mode. You can find out which mode is currently active in the notification bar of your smartphone. Double-clicking allows you to add a note about an event to Lifelog, and if you press the button once and gently hit the bracelet once, the music will pause or start playing again. Double-clicking switches the player to the next track, and triple - to the previous one.

    At the end of the day (and, in principle, at any time), you can see ruthless statistics and find out how many steps and which route you took, which, at the same time, listened to music and how good or bad the weather was. Of course, the calories spent are also considered, and their consumption at rest is also taken into account. Here you can set a goal, for example - go through a certain number of steps in a day, burn more calories or sleep through the required amount of time. Some goals have already been set in advance, based on average statistics, for example, eight-hour sleep, 7,500 steps and 2,500 kcal per day, but these goals can be changed without any problems and add new ones, for example, take at least ten photos a day or read at least one hour.

    The vibration motor installed in the bracelet is used both for sending notifications and as an alarm clock. Perhaps, it is worth telling about the last function in more detail. Surely many of you have met with “smart alarms” that work when you are in a shallow sleep state. In this case, a person wakes up easily and turns out to be much more awake than awakened in the stage of deep sleep. Such applications use a microphone and an accelerometer as a data source, so the information about the movements of a person in a dream turns out to be quite inaccurate, but in the presence of friends and relatives, as well as pets, the use of such alarms completely makes no sense.

    SmartBand receives information directly from your hand, so you can not doubt its reliability, in addition, you can not worry that the smartphone will fall or be under the pillow, because of which the alarm will not work - you can safely put it at the required distance from the bed ( but only within the range of Bluetooth).

    SmartBand settings are available through the SmartConnect application and allow you to turn on the automatic night mode (no notifications except the alarm clock will not work in a given period of time), configure the notifications themselves and select additional applications. However, the latter, so far, are only two - one allows you to turn on vibration if you are away from the smartphone further than ten meters, and the other is to control the music player using a bracelet.

    Of the shortcomings, I would note some of the incompleteness of the Lifelog system itself - it takes into account only those actions that you perform using a smartphone, it would be nice, for example, to authorize applications on frequently used social networks and keep statistics on their use on a laptop and desktop computer. On the other hand, you can synchronize data from multiple smartphones or, for example, from a smartphone and tablet, the main thing is to use the same account on all devices. I had some difficulties with this - the Sony Entertainment Network account was used on the Sony smartphone, and on the tablet of another manufacturer - Google+, it was not possible to make friends with them, despite all the efforts. I hope that this shortcoming will be fixed in the next updates. It should be noted that Lifelog is open source, so, as with SmartWatch, you can expect the most unexpected user modifications. To make friends with Smartband fitness trackers such as Run Keeper and Endomondo, unfortunately, but there is only hope for their developers who will someday add a bracelet to the number of supported devices.

    The result was a very unusual and very convenient device that will appeal not only to lovers of a healthy lifestyle, but also to those who seek to keep everything under control and try to organize their time. A number of shortcomings that we identified during the testing turned out to be mainly software, so the hope for an early correction is very high.

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