Smartwatches are the new range of expensive devices (read: accessories) desperately trying to convince a consumer that they need it. And Sony is not new to the smartwatch arena, with the launch of Sony Smartwatch 3 running Android Wear, which made it an instant hit among Sony fans, despite its bland looks. It has its fair share of competition from better-looking smart watches, with Moto 360 being quite popular and LG unveiling their new luxurious smartwatch. Despite this, Sony isn’t afraid to introduce a new luxury smartwatch into the market, albeit crowd funded through First Flight, Sony’s very own crowdfunding platform, released exclusively in Japan.
The new premium pseudo-smartwatch announced by Sony has been smartly named WENA Wrist and has appeared at CEATEC 2015, Japan. Though a catchy name, it is an abbreviation for “Wear electronics naturally”. The new watch looks sleek, and looks like a traditional watch, much to the chagrin of smartwatches. It is a very different and impressive story waiting to be told under the hood, though.
The main features of this premium new device, will be activity tracking, receiving notifications in form of vibration and a chic new customizable new LED light located on the band itself, and payment using NFC wallet that is compatible with Japanese Felica standard. Considering new trends of payments methods through phones, and wearables using NFC, the last one is a significant addition. One point to note is that activity tracking works only with iOS, so that’s a disappointment for Android users.
The WENA Wrist will be sold in mainly two models, the chronograph model that has separate dials and hands representing hours, minutes and seconds. The next in line is the Three Hands model that sports a standard dial watch face, with three hands. The band houses a battery that would last seven days on a full charge. It comes with a cradle for charging. Reports suggest that the Three Hand Model would be equipped with a battery that lasts three years, and the Chronograph clock an additional two. Both the models measure 42 mm across, and looks sleek and premium. The watches feature IPX5/IPX7 rating and is waterproof.
It goes on sale carrying a price tag of USD 289.99 (¥34,800) going all the way up to USD 582 (¥69,800) for the most premium model, and depending on how much you are willing to spend, it will ship in April or March, 2016. The watch comes in premium black and silver as exhibited in CEATEC. According to the marketing team, a lot of non-Japanese customers are interested in the WENA Wrist but are unable to purchase it due to limitations in the crowd-sourcing platform First Flight, making it Japan-only. They also added that plans for adding the support international credit card payments are already in the pipeline.