Garmin sat-nav app finds its way to Sony Smart Watch 2

Set yourself a walking route on Garmin's sat-nav app and, if you have Sony's smartwatch, you can follow it on your wrist.

Garmin's Xperia Edition app works across Android phones and Sony's Smart Watch 2. Nick Hide/CNET

BARCELONA, Spain -- Garmin's teamed up with Sony for a killer feature so far missing from smartwatches: navigation.

The Garmin Xperia Edition app for Sony smartphones has an extension for the Japanese company's Smart Watch 2. It means you can set yourself a route for a relaxing walk or an invigorating run and not have to keep looking at your phone -- just glance at your wrist.

Also included in the app are premium navigation features such as lane guidance, speed warnings, traffic tracking, and social media integration. Out in March, it's free for 30 days then $2.95 per month.

The navigation all happens on your phone, with the watch effectively a dumb screen getting data over Bluetooth. You can zoom in and out, but that's about it.

The app streams all its data over Bluetooth, but you can zoom in and out on the watch. Nick Hide/CNET

"Garmin Xperia Edition boasts a comprehensive navigation feature set not available from other apps," said Joern Watzke, vice president worldwide mobile business at Garmin. "The unique integration with Sony Smart Watch 2 provides users a seamless experience that extends smartphone navigation in the car to displaying pedestrian directions on the user's wrist."

A Garmin rep here at Mobile World Congress told me more smartwatches -- such as Samsung's new Gear 2 and Gear 2 Neo, perhaps -- will be supported in due course, but didn't give any specifics.

The $200 Smart Watch 2 didn't satisfy Brian Bennett in his full CNET review, with its poor battery life and unfriendly approach to non-Xperia phones proving disappointing. Perhaps handy new features like this will help to make up for some of its shortcomings.

 

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