Hands on with the Sony Wena: a connected timepiece that can potentially turn any watch smart

Crowd-funded Sony wearable has brains in its bracelet

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This watch with smart bracelet from Sony is the second wearable to make it onto the company's own First Flight crowdfunding platform. It's an interesting device, with all the intelligent bits in the steel link bracelet rather than the watch face, rather like these devices from earler in the year.

The means you can dispense with the included face and insert your Rolex, Tag or Omega (or Swatch or Casio), so long as the strap is compatible. And voila: your traditional watch now has some connected smarts.

Could this be the piece of tech that watch snobs have been waiting for?

Before we get started with the specifics, let start with the name, which is indeed prounced "weiner". Stop chortling: Wena stands for 'Wear Electronic Natural', which sort of makes sense.

From looking at the face, you'd be hard-pressed to tell that this can do anything other than tell the time, there's not even a dial that tells you your fitness goal like the Withings Activite.

It's an elegant face designed with help from Citizen, which is perfect for those looking for something more traditional than the Apple Watches and Moto 360s of this world.

The smart band is maybe slightly chunkier than your average watch clasp, but it's not too noticable as it's located on the inside of the wrist.

The band packs NFC for contactless payments, an LED and vibration motor for smartphone notifications, and activity tracking, with a standard fitness tracking feature set, but in more-desirable-than-average packaging.A Wena smartphone app displays activity data and allows you to set up wireless payments and notifications.

The battery life of the watch face is five years, and the battery in the bracelet will last a week. Looking around the device it wasdifficult to see how the band is charged, there's no obvious charging slots or points, so I'd assume it's wireless.

The device is IP5/IP7 rated for water resistance, which means you can take it in the shower or for a swim, but not deep-sea diving.

Interestingly, and underlining that this is not a standard Sony device, the application is currently only available on the iPhone, one of Sony Xperia's biggest rivals, but we're told they're working to change this pronto.

Early Verdict

The Sony Wena is going to be a niche device, it costs around £300-£400 (western pricing is TBC), and isn't as functional as even the most budget smart watches out there.

However, it is an elegant, well-designed solution for those looking to add some modern tech to a classically handsome watch face.

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