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Sony unleashes 1.6in Android 'second screen' SmartWatch 2

Sony has expanded its wearable tech lineup with the launch of the SmartWatch 2 (SW2), which it characterises as a second screen for your Android device.

"Combining form and function in a sleek design, it serves as a multi-functional watch, notifier, Android app interface and phone remote control, all-in-one," Sony said.

The NFC-enabled SmartWatch 2 includes a 1.6in, 220 x 176 colour display that users can swipe through to read, even in sunlight. It's splashproof (and dustproof); it will survive a rainstorm, but don't take it in the shower or pool.

Sony framed the SmartWatch 2 as an easy way to complete tasks when your smartphone is out of reach: answer a call with the touch your wrist; take a photo remotely using the camera app; adjust the volume or track on your music player; or use it as a fitness tracker in conjunction with apps like Runtastic.

Users can also access Facebook and Twitter, and scroll through missed calls or texts.

Sony's smartwatch will be compatible with devices running Android 4.0 and later, as well as Bluetooth 3.0.

Sony said the SW2 will provide the longest battery life of any smartwatch on the market, with five to six days for low usage and three to four days on typical usage.

The release comes amidst rumours that Apple is also pursuing a smartwatch, dubbed by some as the iWatch. Microsoft is also reportedly developing a similar product. Sony was quick to point out that it offered a Bluetooth watch back in 2007, so it's well ahead of the game.

"Competitors are only now launching first generation devices, while we are already launching a 3rd generation device with all the insight gained from over half a million customers combined with Sony's wealth of technology expertise to create the best ever smartwatch experience," said Stefan K. Persson, head of companion products at Sony Mobile Communications.

Sony said the SmartWatch 2 will be available worldwide starting in September 2013. Pricing was not disclosed.

Sony also unveiled the 6.4in Xperia Z Ultra - the world's thinnest full HD smartphone - which we managed to get our hands on.