A few years have passed since Sony released a typical smartwatch or fitness tracker. Instead, the company has decided to open its own path, adopting a more unique approach to its wearable devices. Enter the Sony Wena Wrist Pro, the latest smart watch from the company that follows the original Wena strap from 2015.
The pace of the lift is that it moves the intelligent functionality away from the watch itself, and instead incorporates it into the strap. This allows you to add smart features to a timepiece that you may already have or take with you when you decide to change the clock altogether.
Read this: The best hybrid smartwatches
If you have a case full of luxury watches that you don't want to replace with a modern smartwatch, the Wena watchband concept is pretty good. Similarly, if you want to have smartwatch features in a more discreet design, most people will not notice the technology added to the interior.
But is the Wena Wrist Pro worth the $ 399 price it costs to have one on your wrist? We are testing it to find out. Here is our complete verdict.
Sony Wena Wrist Pro: design and screen
Wena Wrist Pro is available either as a smart strap alone, or bundled with a range of different watches, defined by Sony "heads". These heads range from £ 100 to £ 400 in the UK, potentially doubling the price. If you have an existing watch that you want to enhance with a Wena strap, it supports 18mm, 20mm and 22mm watches with lug adapters.
We won't dwell too long on the head provided with our review model, but it's the Wena Wrist Chronograph Head (around £ 200) for anyone who asks. Not surprisingly, it goes well with the Wena Wrist Pro in black.
As for the same Wena Wrist Pro strap, it is available in black, black stainless steel or silver stainless steel. It has an elegant design not unlike any other steel strap, and that's the point.
At first glance, you won't notice anything special or out of the ordinary on the Wena Wrist Pro. If it has a distinct advantage, it's its subtlety. The only indication that this is more in this strap is when you notice the splinter of a display towards the buckle.
Having said that, since the display is black, it blends naturally more with the black straps when it is on standby than the silver option. The OLED display is large enough to display two lines of text, which may not be the rich level of information you're used to.
There are three brightness levels you can set in the complementary app, but no automatic brightness adjustment. You will need to increase the brightness to maximum when used outdoors on a sunny day, but even then we still have difficulty viewing the screen.
The display supports gestures to reactivate it when you rotate your wrist, and this is more consistent than many other smartwatches and fitness trackers we've worn. This is useful because you tend to rotate your wrist more pronounced if the display is on the lower side.
Above the display is a small physical button that you can use to jump between different screens and disable Bluetooth and turn on and off the Wena Strap Pro. There is no touchscreen here or any other way to interact directly with the strap.
With this being a steel bracelet, resizing means removing or adding links, which could mean a trip to the local jeweler unless you have a home sizing kit. Fully aware that this will probably be a unique experience for us, we have not been able to really find a suitable size for our wrists.
Only some of the connections are removable, marked with an arrow. This left us an irregular number of connections on both sides of the display. Since the display has a length of about three meshes and is not flexible, this means that one side of the strap would dig more into the wrist than the other.
Once again, not everyone will have the same experience, but we would like there to be a little more flexibility in resizing. It is something to be aware of if you have particularly small wrists and need to remove many connections.
The Wena Wrist Pro is water resistant to 50 meters, so it is safe to swim or shower, which is always convenient. However, there is no real monitoring of swimming.
Sony Wena Wrist Pro: fitness tracking
Tracking your fitness on the Wena Wrist Pro is very simple. Think of the step count, calories burned and sleep monitoring. This is basically. There are fitness trackers that cost a fraction of Wena Wrist Pro that can do more.
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If you want any kind of real sports tracking, you need to look at the Wena Wrist Active, which has a built-in GPS and a heart rate monitor.
The Wena Wrist Pro does not even have motion alerts. They are the gentle drops that you get even from the simplest Fitbit, from the Garmin, or practically from any fitness tracker on the market, to take a few more steps every hour if you're sitting for too long.
Tracked fitness comparison: Sony Wena Wrist Pro (left) and Fitbit Charge 3 (right)
We don't even trust the Sony step counting algorithm, which often comes very close to the steps counted by a Fitbit Charge with which we compared it. While everyone tends to count steps a little differently, at least trust Fitbit to consistently count. But unfortunately, the difference between the two counting points varied wildly from day to day.
Read this: The best fitness trackers
All this information is included in the Wena app but is not presented in the most attractive way. It's a rather gray gray affair.
Sony Wena Wrist Pro: notifications and extras
Beside the Wena Wrist Pro OLED display is a small LED status light, which can flash in a range of different colors. You can associate it with different apps in the Wena app, so you can immediately find out which app sent a notification to your wrist. This is the kind of discreet notification that the Wena Wrist Pro does well.
Regarding the display of any information from your notifications, the small display limits how much can actually be shown. However, you don't want to read an entire WhatsApp message from this screen, not that you could, since there is a limit to the length of a notification before it is interrupted.
It's a little annoying not being able to adjust the scroll speed as it may take a long time to get useful information. Get a WhatsApp message as an example. It will show the sender's name, then the group name, before actually displaying the message that was sent, while you are waiting for it to scroll horizontally.
Returning to the notifications screen, Wena Wrist Pro only shows the last notification received. There is no way to scroll back the notifications passed on the strap. We hope that the screen is a touchscreen so you can scroll it.
One thing I like about the Wena Wrist Pro is its firm vibration to indicate when a notification has arrived. Maybe because your inner wrist is more sensitive, but it's difficult to miss an incoming notification. There are three levels of vibration that you can set in the app but the average level is already quite firm.
But there was an unexpected problem with these tactile sensations. Imagine being regularly seated at a desk, hitting a keyboard with your wrist resting on a surface. You may have already guessed what the problem will be. Well, those vibrations can go right into your desk and make a lot of annoying noise if you're not careful with wrist placement. We had to move the keyboard closer so that the wrist was not in contact with the desk, which is not preferable.
In addition to notifications, Wena Wrist Pro also supports contactless payments thanks to an NFC chip inside. Contactless payments can be an obstacle for anyone other than Google or Apple, because you need banks on board to support your payment system. Take Fitbit Pay and Garmin Pay as examples; in the UK some of the big banks are supported, making the function irrelevant to many.
But the real kicker is that after the first three months, there's a monthly charge for using Boon. In the United Kingdom it amounts to £ 1.49. So you're paying a subscription for the chance to spend your money.
Even then, we found Wena Pay frustrating to use. You need to re-enter the PIN in the Wena app on your phone to activate it first. So when you want to go pay, press the button on the belt a few times to go to the payment prompt, after which you have 60 seconds to make the payment. Depending on how the screen options are set, you can press up to four buttons before you are ready to pay.
Also triggering your Wena Wrist Pro for contactless payments is a frustrating experience, as sometimes our PIN would not be accepted by the app, claiming it had no network connectivity or other errors.
This need to re-enter the PIN problem is exacerbated because the Wena Wrist Pro also has the habit of losing Bluetooth connectivity with my iPhone, which means you have to completely switch off and on again to reconnect. This again shows the need to re-enter a PIN.
Sony makes a big deal of contactless payments on Wena Wrist Pro that are more natural due to positioning. This is generally true if you're using a horizontal contactless payment reader like on a turnstile, but using it on a vertical reader and it's just as embarrassing as using an Apple Watch, just the opposite way. The rotation of the wrist is not that difficult, Sony.
Sony Wena Wrist Pro: battery life
Sony evaluates the battery life of the Wena Wrist Pro up to a week, which we would have expected to a minimum considering its small display and basic fitness tracking. Unfortunately, we have only seen more than four days and sometimes even three, depending on the number of notifications you receive. This is really disappointing, considering that there are not even the characteristics of power of power.
Charging the Wena Wrist Pro takes about an hour and a half and uses a refill clip. It is a bit difficult to connect the first few times, but in the end you will get confidence.
Sony Wena Wrist Pro
There really is no way to avoid how expensive the Wena Wrist Pro is considering the functionality it provides. Composed that with how simple it is the smartwatch and fitness tracking, it appears as an incredibly low value. You can get an Apple Watch for the same price or three Fitbit Charge 3 trackers. Then there's the lackluster contactless payment implementation and low battery life. Overall, there are not many reasons to recommend the Wena Wrist Pro. Unless you have a favorite watch, you must also add some smart features or have more money than sense, the Wena Wrist Pro lacks the target.
- Discreet and premium design
- It may reflect any notification
- Strong vibrations for notifications
- Low battery life
- Subscription fee for payments
- Basic fitness and sleep monitoring