The upcoming Sony Xperia Smartwatch, coming as part of the line’s impending refresh, will feature a capacitive touch screen and NFC support, if recent reports are to be believed.
According to a source who spoke exclusively with CNET, the smartwatch that Sony is expected to debut at the Mobile Asia Expo this week will be “minimally” water-resistant and feature a capacitive touch screen. This new Xperia Smartwatch would also run Google’s Android operating system.
Unlike its predecessors, users would be able to use an NFC (near field communications) chip to pair the device with other devices over Bluetooth. If that’s true, it would immediately solve one of the problems with most smartphone accessories: the sometimes tricky nature of Bluetooth pairing.
The company launched its previous Xperia SmartWatch in the United States this past April. Using Bluetooth, the Android-based device is able to interface with the wearer’s smartphone to showcase emails, text messages and social updates from Twitter and Facebook.
That device had been selling for $149.99 in the United States, though it’s since been reduced to just $99.99 on the company’s website. In addition to allowing users to more easily get at their latest nonfictions and messages, users of last year’s Sony SmartWatch could treat the device as another accessory by changing its colored wristbands.
In GottaBeMobile’s hands-on with the Sony Xperia SmartWatch we found that the device could be seriously useful when paired with a smartphone that could support it, Apple’s popular iPhone not being one of them.
Reports have recently indicated that an Apple iWatch SmartWatch had entered testing, according to the Economic Times. Its sources also indicated that the iWatch will feature a 1.5” display and that Apple had already ordered 1,000 test editions of the device from its hardware partner Foxconn, the same firm who already manufacturers the iPhone.
So far smartwatches seem to have captured the imagination of users, though that hasn’t necessarily translated to higher sales. The Pebble smartwatch rocketed to its funding goals on the popular Kickstarter website, however its widespread availability hasn’t moved many units.