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Sony SmartWatch launches, delivers 'Android power' to wrist

The watch lets wearers read social updates, handle text messages, and manage calls directly from their wrist. It retails for $150.

Sony's SmartWatch works with Android smartphones.
Sony's SmartWatch works with Android smartphones.

Have you ever wanted a watch that can communicate with your Android phone? Sony sure hopes so.

Sony today launched its SmartWatch, a timepiece for the wrist that allows owners to read text messages, social updates and e-mail, manage calls, and control music. The SmartWatch connects to an Android phone via Bluetooth in order to deliver its functionality and capture what Sony calls "Android power."

The SmartWatch might be useful for those who don't want to continuously pull their smartphone out of their pocket, but it certainly won't win a fashion contest. The device's strap is rubber and comes in several colors, including white, pink, mint, and blue. However, the black strap comes standard, while the additional colors must be purchased separately. Sitting atop the strap is the watch's touch-screen OLED display measuring 1.3 inches. To alert users to an event or an incoming call, the timepiece vibrates.

Sony announced the SmartWatch at the Consumer Electronics Show in January. The company said at the time that the watch would work with Android phones from Sony, HTC, Motorola, Samsung, and others. Sony says the handset can run four days on a single charge and is both dust and splash proof.

This isn't Sony's first foray into the watch business. Back in 2010, the company launched LiveView, another watch that interacted with Android phones. Although it floundered after launch, the device is still for sale on Amazon for $54.99.

Sony's SmartWatch is available now for $149.99 on the company's online marketplace and in its stores. Sony says that it will "soon" announce availability at other retailers.

Update 6:34 a.m. PT to include more details.