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Sony unveils new SmartBand 2 with heart rate monitoring

The company's latest activity tracker aims to outdo the original by monitoring your heart rate and stress level.

Sony will launch its new SmartBand 2 activity tracker next month. Sony

Sony has officially unveiled its latest smartband designed to monitor your health and fitness.

Dubbed the SmartBand 2, the new tracker includes a heart rate monitor that can keep tabs on your ticker all day. By constantly checking your heart rate, the band can determine which activities raise your rate and which ones return it to its normal resting state.

The SmartBand 2 will also check your overall activity and movements, your sleep and even your stress levels, according to Sony, so it can tell you if your day is a tough one, even if you're not aware of it. The band also can pair with both Android and Apple smartphones and will vibrate and light up an LED to alert you of incoming calls, emails and text messages.

Though it offers several useful new features, Sony's new SmartBand 2 faces competition from a range of other activity trackers in an increasingly crowded market. Such companies at Fitbit, Jawbone, Garmin and Misfit offer various bands with exercise tracking, heart rate monitoring, sleep monitoring and smartphone pairing. Even Chinese mobile phone vendor Xiaomi has gotten into the act with its $30 Mi Band . And of course, many smartwatches, such as the Apple Watch and the Microsoft Band offer their own fitness tracking features. The SmartBand 2 supports both Apple's iOS 8.2 and Google's Android 4.4 software for alerts and notifications, so that's one item in its favor.

Sony offers an app called Lifelog, which works with its Xperia phones as well as Android phones. The purpose of Lifelog is to record your activities, heart rate, stress levels and other factors to compare how they fare over time. The app can also track the places you've been when you go on your daily jog and how active you were over a certain period of time. iOS users can also download an app that analyzes and records your activity and heart data.

The device will go on sale in September across 60 different countries for around €119. A Sony spokeswoman said the product will be available at select retailers in the US but the specific timing is not yet available. The SmartBand 2 will initially be sold in black and white and then expand its color options to pink and indigo shortly after launch.

Update, 10:08 a.m. PT: Adds availability and comment from Sony.