Sony SmartBand Talk review: Hands-on

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The Sony SmartBand Talk packs an always-on e-paper screen

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The latest wearable from Sony is a mash-up of smartwatch, fitness tracker and er, e-reader. Take a look at our Sony SmartBand Talk hands-on

The Sony SmartBand Talk is the brand's latest addition to the rapidly growin g wearables market and was debuted at Sony's IFA press conference along with the Sony Xperia Z3 flagship smartphone and Sony SmartWatch 3.

Designed to work with Sony's Lifelog platform, which basically monitors everything you do, or at least everything you do on a Sony device.

Sony SmartBand Talk: size and build

The SmartBank Talk sports a similar form factor to the Samsung Gear Fit, with a slimline screen that's no wider than the strap. Controls are fairly basic and limited to a couple of buttons on the side.

The device is waterproof, so you'll be able to keep it on at the gym and also in the shower, which is good news for a device that's supposed to track your life.

The SmartBank Talk will be available in black at launch, with further colours available later in 2014.

Sony SmartBand Talk: Features

Along with the activity tracking tech that you'd expect, including an accelorometer and alitimeter, the Talk also has a built-in speaker and mic meaning that you'll be able to make voice commands and calls from your wrist as you can on the Samsung Galaxy Gear. Like most other wrist-worn smart devices, the Talk isn't designed to work on its own, but in conjunction with your smartphone.

You can also assign your own sounds to life bookmarks and use your voice to carry out specific smartphone operations

SmartBand Talk Voice Control will be available at launch, initially supporting Japanese, UK and US English, French, German, Italian and Spanish.

Sony SmartBand Talk: Screen

Rather than using an LCD screen, Sony has taken the unusual decision to go with a cruved e-paper display, similar to what you'd see on a Kindle or Nook or even the back of the double-screened Yotaphone.

This means that the screen is always on so that you can check the time at a glance, without using up too much battery life.

The display isn't a touchscreen, which has us slightly confused at the start as we intuitively tried to swipe through the display.

Sony SmartBand Talk: Battery

According to Sony , the Talk will offer a 5-day battery life. Obviously we haven't had a chance to test that out just yet, but we'll be taking a closer look as soon as we can get a full review model into the lab.

Sony SmartBand Talk: Verdict

The e-paper screen looks slightly unusual, even a little dated at first, but it's a nifty idea when it comes to conserving battery. We like the design and would be happy to wear the device so we look forward to taking it our for a full test run.

Sony SmartBand Talk release date: Autumn 2014

Sony SmartBand Talk price: 159 euros, UK price TBC