Most people keep their phones about their person. Right now, your phone’s probably in your pocket. It is, isn’t it?
Even if you’ve got your handset within your grasp, sometimes the idea of being able to check your watch for calls rather than rummaging around in your pocket to see who’s calling is a pleasant one.
You might be in a meeting, where the slightly impatient-looking watch move is still far better than the downright rude grasp for your phone. Or perhaps you’re in a cinema, where the tiny bit of luminescence from a watch display won’t win you those hate-filled looks that a room-illuminating phone screen would.
At the top of the range model in Sony Ericsson’s Bluetooth watch series is the MBW-200.
You’d never guess the metal-strapped watch was Bluetooth-enabled without delving into its menus or scrutinising the couple of millimetres of extra girth it has around its back.
Although it took us a while to figure out to sync the MBW-200 to the phone, primarily down to our stubborn insistence on not reading the manual, after figuring out exactly which button to press, it worked like a dream. The watch automatically searches for the nearest device so, as long as that’s your phone, all you have to do is confirm a few pop-up requests on the phone itself.
Once duly sync’d, calls and texts will cause a light vibration in the watch, and the caller’s number or name, if they’re in your phone book, will appear in the one-line LCD display. Not only is this a great application of Bluetooth functionality, but it’s certain to impress your friends too.
This would be enough to justify the MBW-200s existence, but you can also control your phone’s music player from the watch’s buttons too. The three buttons to the left of the watch’s face take on these duties. The middle one acts as a play/stop button, while the others boast dual functions. Quick taps on them change the volume on your phone while more prolonged presses change tracks.
The most impressive factor of the watch is that it manages to include all these features without ever doing so conspicuously. Aside from the small OLED display, the MBW-200 looks and feels much like a standard high quality, tasteful mens’ watch. Well, that and the fact that Sony Ericsson is written on the fascia.
Thanks to the power-draining Bluetooth features, the battery in the watch won’t last anywhere near as long as a normal watch- with a claimed 7 days of constant use- but charging it is easy enough. The MBW-200 comes supplied with a clip that attaches at one end to a pair of connectors under the watch, and a standard Sony Ericsson charger at the other. Unless you’re the kind of person that literally never takes off their watch, it shouldn’t pose a problem.
Impressed as we were with the MBW-200s Bluetooth functionality, at £199.99 it’s up against a lot of quality watches from several names that are much more renowned in the watch world than Sony Ericsson- Tissot and Rotary to name but two. Wisely, Sony Ericsson has made the designs of the three MBW-200 variants attractive but relatively unassuming.
The metal-strapped Contemporary, which we looked at, has a largely unadorned face, apart from its surface pattern. The black, leather-strapped Evening Classic is arguably even simpler. We’re a little less convinced by the italic font used on the women’s version, the Sparkling Allure, though.
The MBW-200 is arguably a lot more useful than your normal watch. It’s a remote for your media player, and a discreet way to keep up with your phone. We can imagine it quickly becoming indispensable for anyone that gets on with its Bluetooth features.
Sony Ericsson MBW-200 Info
Typical price: £199.99
Displays caller name
Also controls phone’s music player
Good build quality
Not as good-looking as some similarly priced non-Bluetooth rivals
Verdict: It may sound like a gimmick, but if you get used to the MBW-200’s features it could become an important part of your everday routine.
More info: Sony Ericsson Website