Late last night, we brought you news of two of Sony’s new smartphones: the Xperia Z1S (which ended up being essentially a Z1) and the Xperia Z1 Compact (which is basically a Z1F – and also, the hardware we were expecting the Z1S to be). Both are very attractive phones, but that wasn’t all Sony brought to CES to show off: we also got to learn about the company’s new wearable, its SmartBand with Core.
Make no mistake, though: there’s nothing “smart” about the SmartBand; ultimately, it’s just a plastic housing for Core. That little white unit is the heart of this experience, and beyond including sensors for fitness tracking, Core has a vibrating motor to alert you of notifications on your phone, as well as a single hardware button. The button will let you mute calls when you’re on speakerphone, using Core as a remote, or can be used to set “life bookmarks,” which are basically timestamps for events you might wish to recall later.
Will shoppers respond to the modular nature of Core, or will they set their sights on more full-featured devices like proper smartwatches? We should learn in a few weeks, with SmartBand and Core set to go up for sale sometime this quarter. All we have for now is the European pricing, which works out to about $135.