Sony SmartBand Talk

A simple combo minus the fancy smartwatch features

Sony SmartBand Talk review
For those who enjoy the simple things in life

The Sony SmartBand Talk SWR30 is very easy to live with. It's incredibly light and I didn't suffer from any skin irritation issues during our tests. It's not for people after the very latest smart features, but as a clock plus fitness tracker, it's pretty neat.

However, it does feel a little overpriced. At £130 (US$169.99, AU$199) you're paying a fair bit for technology that is less than cutting-edge. I have a sneaking suspicion the price will drop before too long, though, which should make the Talk easier to recommend.

We liked

The light frame makes the SmartBand Talk very comfortable to wear day in, day out without discomfort. I noticed no irritation caused by the rubbery band either.

The e-ink display looks a lot nicer than a low-res LCD in daylight, and suffers from none of the view angle problems conventional displays can suffer from.

When tasked with light duties, the Talk feels quick and convenient, switching between roles and a basic notifications pager, watch and fitness tracker with ease.

We disliked

Three-day battery life is acceptable, but nothing more. Taking into account the use of an e-ink screen and the tiny 70mAh, it seems a missed opportunity that the SmartBand Talk doesn't have at least 5-7 day stamina.

This is not a serious fitness tracker, with no altimeter, no GPS and no heart rate sensor. For a wrist-worn device accuracy doesn't seem too bad, but it's not going to be top-notch either.

The more smart features you plug into the band, the more sluggish it is to operate. Keep your smartwatch expectations low in order to have the best experience with this band.

Verdict

While a bit expensive the Sony SmartBand Talk is pleasantly simple in hardware and interface. It offers a smartwatch and fitness combo for those not too bothered about experiencing everything the smartwatch revolution has to offer.