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Sony SWR30 Review

sony-swr30-review

Last Updated on September 29, 2021 by ashwinig 

Quick Overview

Smart wearables have been around for quite some time. With the recent shift in perspective, more and more people have been incorporating health and fitness into their lifestyle. This has shot smartbands into being the most popular device in the wrist wear segment. You will find that a host of people prefer ditching the old school time watches for something that does a lot more than just show the time aka the “Smart Wearables”. Of this again the smart bands are the more popular version from the smartwatches. This is because smart bands do not flood you with technology and keep things simple.

With the rise in popularity, a lot of conventional brands have been making a furrow into the smart category. Sony is one such brand. This article will concentrate on Sony SWR30 smart band. Read on to find out how successful this successful brand was in the “smart wearable” platform.

Before diving into this you should know that Sony Smart Band Talk SWR30 is an experimental product from Sony. Sony has tried to deviate from the norm with this one by incorporating certain aspects to make the wearable technology jazzier. It is a cusp of a fitness tracker with a bit of Pebble smartwatch thrown in for fun.

When launched Talk SWR30 was one of the best and most innovative devices on the market. Other brands like Motorola and LG were still fiddling around at that time. Since then though things have changed with Sony stepping out of the rat race and Samsung taking over the Android wear platform with a ruthlessness to surpass Apple.

This is a simple wear that focuses on fitness and lifestyle. The primary aim is to get you going and keep things convenient at all other times. You don’t have an interface for SWR30, and it also does not support any games for all those wondering about Sony and its Play station. You will either like it or you won’t. It is that simple.

SWR30 Pros and Cons

Pros

Cons

Lightweight and Sleek

Limited Capabilities

Simple and User Friendly

Not Good Value for Money

 

Lack of Heart Rate Sensor

 

Outdated

Smart Band Information

Name

Smart Band Talk SWR30

Brand

Sony

Year Of Release

2015

Generation

2nd Generation

Smart Band Specifications

Quick Highlights

  • 4 Inch E-Ink Display
  • 296×128 pixel Display Resolution
  • 24 grams Weight
  • 70 mAh Battery Capacity
  • 3 Days Battery Life
  • IP68 Water Resistance

Technical Specifications

Device name

Sony Smart Band Talk SWR30

Device type

Fitness Smart Band

Predecessor

Smart Band Talk SWR10

Successor

None

Released date

2015

Ideal for

Unisex

DESIGN

Shape

Rectangular with Curved Edges

Dimension

23.5×9.5 mm

Weight

24 grams (With Wrist Band)

Casing material

Plastic

Strap material

Rubber

Screen Protection

None

Water-Resistant

Yes, IP68

Swimming

No

Colours

Black

White

DISPLAY

Display type

E-Ink

Display size

1.4 Inches

Display resolution

296x 128 pixels

Pixel density

Input type

3 Physical Buttons

Always-on Display

No

BATTERY

Type of battery

Non-Removable Li-Polymer

Battery capacity

70 mAh

Battery life

Mixed Mode: 3 Days

CHARGING

Charging type

USB Charging

Charging time

1.5 to 2 Hours

Rapid charging

No

CONNECTIVITY

Bluetooth

Bluetooth v4.0 LE

Wi-Fi

No

NFC

No

GPS

No

Cellular Technology

No

CLOCK

Time and Date

Yes

Stopwatch

Yes

Alarm

Yes

NOTIFICATIONS

Email alert

Yes

SMS alert

Yes

Calls alert

Yes

Event reminder

Yes

Weather

Yes

Third-party apps

No

FITNESS TRACKING

Calories

Yes

Distance

Yes

Floors climbed

No

Heart rate monitoring

No

Sleep tracking

No

Steps

Yes

Swim tracking

No

SENSORS

Accelerometer

Yes

Ambient light

No

Barometer

No

Compass

No

ECG

No

Heart rate monitor (HRM)

No

MEDIA

Audio

No

Music streaming

No

Bluetooth music

No

Loudspeaker

Yes

Microphone

Yes

OTHER FUNCTIONS

Control camera

Yes

Music control

Yes

Find phone

No

Text response

No

MISCELLANEOUS

Payment system

No

Compatibility

Android 4.4+

Customizable watch face

No

Interchangeable band

Yes

Voice command

No

Box Contents

Sony SWR30

Wrist Band

Safety Information

Quick Start Guide

Warranty Card

Specifications Review

Display

Unlike the other smart bands, Sony SWR30 sports an E-Ink display. This is similar to your original kindle display to offer relativity. The screen size is bigger than average at 1.4 inches and the display resolution stands at 296x 128 pixels.

The display resolution is low by any standards. However, the silver lining to this is that a low display resolution does not matter that much when you are talking about an e-ink display. With LCD or OLED displays, such a low resolution will give you all sorts of trouble but with e-ink, the display is pretty good in terms of clarity and picture quality. An e-ink display uses microcapsules to make the image and as such a low resolution does not affect it much to get that grainy image encountered in other displays.

However, you have no backlit feature on the display. This means that you are completely at the mercy of the ambient light for display read. Even though the display needs only minimal light to give you a good read the fact remains that at night with no light around the display remains dark and you cannot read it.

Design

Sony Smart Band Talk SWR30 is a very bland sort of device. There is nothing that will stand up to grab your attention except maybe the chunkiness. It looks like a full gadget that has decided to come out for a walk. Once you see the peek it fades easily into the background.

It is a lightweight device at 24 grams. So much so that you might even forget it is on your wrist a lot of times. Very useful especially if you plan to wear it for extended periods. The worst thing about wearables is the weight that tends to drag your wrist down after the initial few hours.

You get a rubber strap with this one. The strap is quite comfortable but a silicone one is way better. Also, the rubber tends to further bow down the looks and makes the device look like a cheap knock-off. Considering the price you pay for this, such an impression is very annoying. Despite this, the band is pretty comfortable and the slight bend of the capsule makes for a nice fit on the wrist.

It is nice to get two straps with the original band. So, you can choose between the thin strap and the thick strap as per your looks. The straps fit seamlessly and you cannot tell how it comes apart at first or even a second glance. Also, the clasp is little metal studs to push into the strap holes. This gives a nice sporty feel to the band. All in all Smart Band Talk SWR30 is a very fuss-free and resilient device.

Input

The main mode of interaction with SWR30 is the three metal buttons on the side of the device. The screen is not touch sensitive but it is tap sensitive. Two strong taps on the display get the accelerometer going but this is the extent of it.

Of the buttons, one is a power button and another is the volume control. The power button switches the screen on and off. The other button helps you in navigation control and toggles the screen between pages for information.

The response of the SWR30 is pretty good. You will not find any lags or delayed responses happening with the device. You do miss the touch screen though and it is something that Sony should work on in its subsequent releases.

Fitness and Health

For fitness SWR30 hooks on to the Lifelog App. This is where you track all your fitness activities and get all the relevant data details. This app not only tracks activities but also keeps a tab on the pictures you have taken and how many hours you spend playing games. It’s a very handy device for time management.

On the activities supported you have limited choices to walking and running. It is water-resistant IP68 certified only. This means that you cannot take it to swim. But you can always take a shower with the device on your wrist and do not have to worry about rains as well. Just keep this device away from the salt and chemicals and it will do just fine.

You do not have GPS support connected or otherwise. And you also do not get an altimeter. So you cannot track the flights climbed or the hiking heights. You can set goals and have targets in this device but it does not support competition.

Performance Value and Lifestyle

It feels like you are wearing a device that is bumbling its way through the basics. Not quite there yet sort of performance factor. It is more of a fitness tracker than a smartband except that it shows the time and has a few “smart” features.

The interface is almost non-existent. The main screen shows the time and then you have your activity screen to get fitness metric data and that’s about it. There are no other screens to toggle and play around with.

SWR30 does allow for notification alerts and supports taking calls from the band itself. However, these little bits are there only in the moment and disappear just as soon without a trace. So, you have no way of actually looking for that call log or text that you received. The pairing with the phone or tablet is very simple and SWR30 uses the Bluetooth v4.0 for this purpose.

The band communicates with the phone using the Smart Band Talk app. With this, you can control the setting and other general widgets that you cannot access from the band. So you can choose whether you want the call and text alerts, setting the alarm clock, etc.

Battery Life

The good thing about an e-ink display is that it has minimal pressure on battery life. A colourful backlit display will eat into your battery but this sort of display will give you loads of run time before requiring a charge.

The SWR30 gives you 3 days of continuous use on a single charge. This is a very good number for the low battery capacity of just 70mAh that this device comes with.

Cross-Comparison

You should always compare any device with its predecessor and its competition. This gives you a fair idea about what you can expect from the device and the market in that price segment. Both these comparisons are given below:

Predecessor

Device name

Sony Smart Band Talk SWR10

Sony Smart Band Talk SWR30

Device type

Fitness Smart Band

Fitness Smart Band

Predecessor

None

Smart Band Talk SWR10

Successor

Sony Smart Band Talk SWR30

None

Release date

2014

2015

Ideal for

Unisex

Unisex

DESIGN

Shape

Rectangular with Curved Edges

Rectangular with Curved Edges

Dimension

23.5×9.5 mm

Weight

21 grams

24 grams

Casing material

Plastic

Plastic

Strap material

Rubber

Rubber

Screen Protection

None

None

Water-Resistant

Yes, IP58

Yes, IP68

Swimming

No

No

Colours

Black

White

Black

White

DISPLAY

Display type

None

E-Ink

Display size

1.4 Inches

Display resolution

296x 128 pixels

Pixel density

Input type

Tap Based

1 Single Button

3 Physical Buttons

Always-on Display

No

BATTERY

Type of battery

Non-Removable Li-Polymer

Non-Removable Li-Polymer

Battery capacity

70 mAh

Battery life

Mixed Mode: 180 hours

Mixed Mode: 3 Days

CHARGING

Charging type

USB Charging

USB Charging

Charging time

1 Hour

1.5 to 2 Hours

Rapid charging

No

No

CONNECTIVITY

Bluetooth

Bluetooth v4.0 LE

Bluetooth v4.0 LE

Wi-Fi

No

No

NFC

No

No

GPS

No

No

Cellular Technology

No

No

CLOCK

Time and Date

Yes

Yes

Stopwatch

Yes

Yes

Alarm

Yes

Yes

NOTIFICATIONS

Email alert

Yes

Yes

SMS alert

Yes

Yes

Calls alert

Yes

Yes

Event reminder

No

Yes

Weather

No

Yes

Third-party apps

No

No

FITNESS FEATURES

Calories

Yes

Yes

Distance

Yes

Yes

Floors climbed

No

No

Heart rate monitoring

No

No

Sleep tracking

No

No

Steps

Yes

Yes

Swim tracking

No

No

SENSORS

Accelerometer

Yes

Yes

Ambient light

No

No

Barometer

No

No

Compass

No

No

ECG

No

No

Heart rate monitor (HRM)

No

No

MEDIA

Audio

No

No

Music streaming

No

No

Bluetooth music

No

No

Loudspeaker

No

Yes

Microphone

No

Yes

OTHERS

Control camera

No

Yes

Music control

No

Yes

Find my phone

Yes

No

Text response

No

No

MISCELLANEOUS

Payment system

No

No

Compatibility

Android 4.4+

Android 4.4+

Customizable watch face

No

No

Interchangeable band

Yes

Yes

Voice command

No

No

Price

Sony Smart Band Talk SWR30 is pretty expensive at Rs. 3,909/- for a bare basics smart band. It does not offer a lot of features that other bands offer in the market.

Return and Exchange Policy

Sony has no exchange policy but it features a return policy. Under their return policy, you can return any Sonata product bought from their platform if you are unsatisfied for any reason. However, the product must be in an unused and same condition as you received it along with its original packaging. You must also send along the invoice for a refund.

You need to contact the customer support and request for return. Sonata then makes arrangements for the product to be picked up from your home through their logistics partner. You do not need to pay for the courier service. The refund is processed after the product is examined against the above conditions.

If purchased through a third party vendor like Amazon, then the return policy will depend upon that vendor.

Guarantee or Warranty Period

Sony SWR30 comes with a one-year manufacturer’s limited warranty. It only covers manufacturing defects and does not extend to accidents like scratches, drops, or other wearer damages. Also, the warranty does not apply to the strap.

You have the option to opt for an extended warranty at the time of purchase or any time after that by a third party vendor. This extended cover has numerous options for damage that you can choose from.

Buy Back Schemes

Sony doesn’t have any buyback schemes. However since Sony products are also sold through retailers in India, any buy-back scheme will depend upon the vendor from whom you purchase. Amazon is known to offer to buy back schemes during their big sale days. So keep an eye out for those.

Company Information

  • Company Name: Sony Corporation
  • Headquarters: Tokyo, Japan
  • Website: https://www.sony.co.in/
  • Contact Us Link: https://web.sony-asia.com/in/contact-us/
  • FB Link: https://www.facebook.com/SonyIndia/
  • Twitter Link: https://twitter.com/sony_india

Final Verdict

Sony SWR30 is a very basic fitness band. It does not aspire to cover anything more than bare essentials. It looks sleek and a little cheap with the rubber straps and can be worn in any situation but it lacks sorely on the efficiency and performance factor.

It is really hard to recommend this smart band to anybody except maybe for teenagers. Even for them, you can get a much better band with a lot more features at a better price point.

 

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