What's the most useful smartwatch of them all? If you guessed Sony's, you've got reason to smile: we just got word that it's finally available here in the US of A. As expected, the SmartWatch costs $150, while those colorful (read: not black) wrist bands are priced at $20 a pop. To recap, the watch pairs with Android phones over Bluetooth, using a free app available in Google Play (if you happen to own a Sony handset, you should find that application pre-installed). Like any smartwatch worth its salt, this one lets you read emails, texts and social updates on the device. Meanwhile, the list of mini apps is approaching 60, as of this writing, and already includes biggies like Facebook and Google Maps.

After getting hands-on not once but twice, we can say the rubber strap is comfortable and the 1.3-inch OLED display responsive, though the apps are a mixed bag in terms of usefulness. Tap-to-like on Facebook? Genius. A remote for your phone's camera? Unabashed gimmickry, if you ask us. Using the watch to call someone in your contacts list? You'll need a Bluetooth headset for that feature to be truly handy. Other favorites of ours include the ability to find your lost phone (even if it's set to quiet mode), as well as stream photos and other media from your phone. You can even respond to incoming text messages with a preset reply (e.g., "I'm busy. What's up?"), though good luck using that canned response a second time when your friend gets back to you 10 seconds later. In any case, is all that worth the $150? That's a conversation you best have with your wallet -- in read-only format, naturally.
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Store your Smartphone: SmartWatch from Sony Brings Android Power Straight to Wrist
Innovative AndroidTM accessory from Sony allows you to stay connected when your phone is stowed in your pocket or bag

- Read social updates, text messages and email
- Manage calls with a simple touch and swipe
- Personalize with apps downloaded from Google Play
- Control music on your smartphone
- Snap pictures with your Android phone from a distance
April 12, 2012, Atlanta, GA –Sony Mobile Communications announces the availability of its new SmartWatch, a wearable device that extends the power of Android smartphones by sending timely and personal information from your smartphone straight to your wrist. A vibration and screen alert notifies you of key events, like an incoming call. It also allows you to read texts and emails as well as receive FacebookTM and TwitterTM updates – all from your wrist.

SmartWatch from Sony connects to Android smartphones via BluetoothTM giving you the ability to control key functions without removing your smartphone from your pocket or bag. With just a tap, touch, and swipe, SmartWatch turns from a watch displaying the time to a remote information center for your Android smartphone.

A growing number of apps are available for download through Google Play – including those for social updates, workouts and music – all customized for the 1.3-inch OLED SmartWatch touch screen. While SmartWatch works with these existing apps, Android developers can create apps specifically for the device. SmartWatch works with most Android (2.1 and above) smartphones.

"SmartWatch is the first of many Smart Extras that seamlessly connect and expand the smartphone's reach and user experience," said Paul Hamnett, President and Head of Customer Unit, North America, Sony Mobile Communications. "Designed to break free from the single screen experience, SmartWatch provides access to live content and entertainment on the go."

The durable SmartWatch is dust proof and splash proof and comes with a black rubber wristband included in the box. Wristbands in five additional colors are available for purchase. SmartWatch's design includes a rear mounted clip, so it can be removed from the wristband and attached to clothing or a belt.

At launch, SmartWatch has a suggested retail price of $149.99 and will be available at http://www.sony.com/smartwatch and Sony stores. SmartWatch availability at additional retailers will be announced soon.

SmartWatch is part of Sony Mobile Communications' strategy to create Smart Extras that make Android smartphones smarter.

Key Features of Sony XperiaTM SmartWatch:
Dimensions: 1.42 X 1.42 X 0.3 in
Weight: 0.55 oz
Display: 1.3" OLED display, 128 x 128 pixels
Compatibility: BluetoothTM 3.0 and AndroidTM 2.1 or above Connectivity: Standard USB charging
Battery life: Up to 4 days
Language support for: English, Spanish, French, Chinese (Traditional), Portuguese, Swedish, Russian, Danish, Polish, Japanese, Czech, German, Modern Greek, Dutch
Notifications: Display notification or vibration
Apps: All events (displays in chronological order), Messaging (SMS/MMS), corporate E-mail (for SonyTM and Sony Ericsson Android phones), Gmail (for all other Android smartphones) Calendar Notifications, FacebookTM, TwitterTM, Music Player, Call handling (call, mute, reject, or answer and send pre-defined SMS), Pre-defined SMS, e.g. missed calls – I'm busy, messaging - call me, email – ok, Battery strength, Find phone, and Weather widget. Plus lots of apps on AndroidTM market.

Additional SmartWatch bands available in pink, white, mint, grey and blue

For full details on all products news, please visit the press room and the product blog: http://blogs.sonymobile.com/products/. For full Android smartphone compatibility, please visit http://sonymobile.com/smartwatch

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Sony SmartWatch now available in the US for $150