Will the Sony SmartBand shake up the wearable fitness market?

The Sony SmartBand SWR10 fitness tracker launched in the US this week and some industry commentators are suggesting it could blow the rest of the wearable competition out of the water.

The device was first announced at CES 2014, but up until this week we’ve heard a relatively small amount about its specs or availability. If you need a bit of a refresh, the SmartBand looks very similar to the Fitbit Flex and can track standard metrics, like your steps and sleep cycle, but also incorporate smartwatch-style notifications.

It connects to your smartphone via Bluetooth or NFC and although the tech giant would like you to use a Sony handset as well, it can hook up to any other device running on Android KitKat 4.4.

You’ll need the Sony Lifelog app to get you started and you’ll then be able to control audio, track your movement and sleep and get a buzzing notification when you receive calls, texts or emails, get likes and receive tweets. Now admittedly you only get a small vibration when something happens on your handset, but it’s still an additional feature that isn’t touted by other wearable trackers and could set the band apart in an increasingly competitive space.

The SmartBand will also vibrate if you get a bit too far away from your phone, which may seem a bit redundant if you’re careful and a life-saver if you’re prone to forgetting things!

We know looks aren’t everything, but we’re glad that the Sony SmartBand comes in such a wide range of colours. We’ve got our eyes on the white and navy blue, because they’re likely to go with most shades, but the lime and orange might look good over the summer months too.

If you’re based in the US, the SmartBand will be available from Wednesday at Sony Stores and online for $99.99. We’ll keep you posted about when to expect the band on this side of the pond.

Becca Caddy