Menu
In smartwatches, Sony stays subdued while LG goes glitz

In smartwatches, Sony stays subdued while LG goes glitz

Sony's Wena smartwatch packs NFC in the clasp, while the LG Watch Urbane Luxe takes Android Wear to the heights of bling.

Sony has unveiled an understated smartwatch with technology in the wristband itself, while LG Electronics is showing off one with a gold finish.

The electronics rivals are taking different approaches, but both timepieces look more like conventional wristwatches than high-tech gizmos like the Apple Watch, which is also available with a gold finish.

The Wena Wrist is Sony's latest crowdfunding project on its First Flight website, which has also gathered funds for smart locks, Internet of Things (IoT) sensors and an e-paper watch.

The Wena looks fairly ordinary, with a round face, analog hands and a silver or black metallic finish. But its metal clasp contains an NFC (near field communication) module that can be used for mobile payments using Sony's contactless FeliCa standard. It can also count a user's steps and provide message notifications, in the form of vibrations or LED lights, when linked to an iPhone. Its battery lasts about a week before it needs recharging.

"The Wena project team leader used to wear a traditional analog watch along with different gadgets (such as smartwatches) on his wrist, but he felt uncomfortable with the clutter this caused," Sony spokeswoman Yo Kikuchi said via email. "He dreamed of developing a device that brings together the best of both -- the beauty of an analog watch face with the convenience of digital technology."

LG Watch Urbane Luxe LG Electronics
The LG Watch Urbane Luxe is decorated with 23-karat gold and will retail for about US$1,200.

The Wena ranges in price from ¥34,800 to ¥69,800, with some versions already selling out on the crowdfunding site. Sony hopes to raise ¥10 million (US$82,000) for Wena and is more than halfway to that goal. The watch will be exhibited at IFA 2015, which kicks off thisweek in Berlin, and is slated to ship in Japan in April.

LG, meanwhile, announced a limited-edition Android Wear smartwatch that ups the bling factor of its LG Watch Urbane unveiled earlier this year, which has identical functions. The Urbane Luxe also looks like a standard watch, albeit one with a P-OLED (plastic-organic LED) touchscreen housed in a case finished in 23-karat gold.

Designed with a U.S. jewelry company, the Urbane Luxe has an alligator leather band, a built-in heart rate sensor, and a hefty price tag of $1,195. Its 410mAh battery can power it for about a day before a recharge.

Customers can reserve one of the 500 units now, and they will begin shipping worldwide in October. The watch will also be shown off at IFA.

"Instead of a one-size-fits-all device, LG is trying a couple different things to feel out the wearable audience, using features, design and price as points of differentiation," LG spokesman Ken Hong said via email.

"Unlike some companies, we’re not looking for a mass-market device right now in wearables because we don’t think there is one."


Follow Us

Join the newsletter!

Or

Sign up to gain exclusive access to email subscriptions, event invitations, competitions, giveaways, and much more.

Membership is free, and your security and privacy remain protected. View our privacy policy before signing up.

Error: Please check your email address.

Featured

Slideshows

Leading female front runners of the Kiwi ICT industry honoured at 2019 WIICTA

Leading female front runners of the Kiwi ICT industry honoured at 2019 WIICTA

Reseller News has honoured the leading female front runners of the New Zealand ICT industry at the 2019 Women in ICT Awards (WIICTA) in Auckland. The awards recognised standout individuals across six categories, spanning Entrepreneur, Rising Star, Shining Star, Community, Technical and Achievement. Photos by Gino Demeer.

Leading female front runners of the Kiwi ICT industry honoured at 2019 WIICTA
Reseller News kicks off awards season in 2019 with Judges' Lunch

Reseller News kicks off awards season in 2019 with Judges' Lunch

The 2019 Reseller News Innovation Awards has kicked off with the Judges Lunch in Auckland with 70 judges in the voting panel. The awards will reflect the changing dynamics of the channel, recognising excellence across customer value and innovation - spanning start-ups, partners, distributors and vendors. Photos by Christine Wong.

Reseller News kicks off awards season in 2019 with Judges' Lunch
Reseller News welcomes industry figures for 2019 Hall of Fame lunch

Reseller News welcomes industry figures for 2019 Hall of Fame lunch

Reseller News welcomed 2018 inductees - Chris Simpson, Kendra Ross and Phill Patton - to the third running of the Reseller News Hall of Fame lunch, held at the French Cafe in Auckland. The inductees discussed the changing landscape of the technology industry in New Zealand, while outlining ways to attract a new breed of players to the ecosystem. Photos by Gino Demeer.

Reseller News welcomes industry figures for 2019 Hall of Fame lunch
Show Comments