Sony's 2nd-Gen SmartBand Embraces Apple iOS - Twice

Sony's 2nd-Gen SmartBand Embraces Apple iOS

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Sony Mobile Communications is making its second-generation Smart Band activity tracker a little smarter and a little more durable.

The SmartBand 2 silicone rubber wristband adds a heart-rate sensor, compatibility with iOS devices, and more robust protection against water compared to its predecessor. Its IP (ingress protection) rating jumps to 68 from 58 to withstand immersion in fresh water up to 3 meters for 30 minutes, up from 15 minutes, despite a cap-less MicroUSB.

The device launches in 60 countries in this month for 119 euros, and it will come to the U.S., a spokesperson said. U.S. pricing and availability weren’t released.

Like before, it’s compatible with mobile devices running Android 4.4 (KitKat) and up, but now it’s also compatible with iOS 8.2 mobile devices.

SmartBand 2’s accelerometer and heart-rate sensors work together to monitor pulse and heart rate to gauge fitness, excitement and stress levels. It automatically tracks activities such as walking, running and other workouts while mapping the wearer’s heart rate.

The new device continues to offer sleep monitoring and a smart-alarm clock function, which wakes users up at the best time based on their sleep cycle.

Like before, the device vibrates and uses pulsing LEDs to notify users of a missed call, message, email or tweet. Also like before, the SmartBand controls music playback on a Bluetooth-connected smartphone or tablet. Users tap the band to play, pause and skip.

Other continuing features include vibrating notification to alert wearers when they are more than 33 feet from the connected device. It continues to offer NFC, and it continues to work with Sony’s LifeLog smartphone app, which lets users record their day’s activities, including pictures taken, calls made and locations visited.

Battery life is up to 10 hours with continuous pulse, stress and heart-rate sensing switched on, but in normal mode, the battery lasts for up to two days, and in stamina mode, up to five days. The battery charges to full capacity in about an hour.

It comes with an all-new metal clip to make it easier to put on, but it retains the size of its predecessor.

It can still be worn with third-party bands. Sony offers the tracker with black, white, pink and indigo bands.

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