The SmartBand 2 tracks steps with its accelerometer, automatically logs activities such as walking running and gym workouts, plus with the addition of a new optical heart rate monitor, it will also check your pulse.
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Sony is marketing the new heart rate sensing as a way to keep an eye on stress levels as well as your fitness. All the data will be sent to Sony's Lifelog app which has longed tried to expand the quantified self beyond fitness. There's also sleep tracking, with automatic sleep detection, and a smart alarm.
Both the activity and sleep tracking are said to get a boost thanks to more useful insights in the form of comparisons and motivational prompts based on exercise, sleep, wellbeing and stress levels. We can't wait to see just how much of an emphasis Sony has put on actionable insights as there's so much room for improvement.
Three LEDs on the IP68 waterproof silicone band will pulse alongside a vibration when you get calls or texts though like the original SmartBand, there's no display. That said, you can also tap the band to play, pause and skip tracks on your smartphone. The tracker is compatible with both iOS and Android.
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Battery life is two days, which is a little disappointing compared to the likes of the Fitbit. Still, it charges to full in one hour via Micro USB and though the design is pretty familiar, it weighs just 25g and there's a new metal clip to keep the whole thing secure. The bands will come in black and white at launch this September with pink and indigo to follow - as it's modular, you can pop the SmartBand core out and use it with previous Sony bands too.
The SmartBand 2 will go on sale in 60 countries for €119 - we will update the story with UK and US pricing when we have it. We should get a hands on with it at IFA if not be for so stay tuned.