Sony’s SmartBand 2 Wearable Gains Heart Rate Monitor, Still Lacks Display Screen

Sony on Thursday announced its second generation fitness wearable, the SmartBand 2. Described as a "multi-sensor lifelogger," the SmartBand 2 combines an accelerometer with new heart rate sensors that work together to monitor your pulse and heart rate variability so that you can gauge your excitement and stress levels throughout the day. It also provides insights on your sleep patterns.

Like the version that came before it, there's no display on the SmartBand 2. Instead, you're alerted to things like calls, messages, emails, Twitter updates, and other notifications through vibrations and three bright pulsating RGB LEDs. And though it doesn't have a touchscreen, you can control music on your smartphone or tablet by tapping to play, pause, and skip tracks.

Sony SmartBand 2

Not everyone's going to be jazzed about a display free fitness band, but if you're willing to go down that road, your reward is long battery life. It takes about an hour to fully charge the SmartBand 2's 58 mAh battery, and once it's at capacity, it will last for up to two days in normal mode and up to 5 days in stamina mode, Sony says. If you enable the heart rate monitor, it will last for up to 10 hours.

The SmartBand 2 is also a bit rugged. It sports a durable silicone casing and is waterproof (IP68) even though there's no cap on the microUSB port.

Inside the SmartBand 2 is an ARM Cortex-M0 32-bit processor, 32KB of RAM, and 256KB of embedded flash memory. It supports Bluetooth 4.0 LE and NFC for pairing, and works with Android 4.4 or later and iOS 8.2 or later devices.

The SmartBand2 is launching across 60 countries for around 119 euros (about $133 in U.S. currency).