Sony Shipping Android SmartWatch to the U.S.

Sony Mobile said on Thursday that it's now shipping the Android-powered SmartWatch to North America. This wearable device connects to an Android phone via Bluetooth and retrieves information like incoming calls, text messages, email, Facebook and Twitter updates without the user having to interact the phone itself. With just a tap, touch, and swipe, SmartWatch turns from a watch displaying the time to a remote information center for an Android smartphone.

"SmartWatch is the first of many Smart Extras that seamlessly connect and expand the smartphone's reach and user experience," said Paul Hamnett, President and Head of Customer Unit, North America, Sony Mobile Communications. "Designed to break free from the single screen experience, SmartWatch provides access to live content and entertainment on the go."

The Android watch features a 1.3-inch OLED multitouch display with a 128 x 128 resolution. It's compatible with Bluetooth 3.0 and Android v2.1 "Eclair" and above. It even offers up to 4 days of battery life, charged via a standard USB connection. Notifications can be displayed on-screen, or by vibration.

Installed apps and widgets include the following:

* All events (displays in chronological order)
* Messaging (SMS/MMS)
* corporate E-mail (for Sony and Sony Ericsson Android phones)
* Gmail (for all other Android smartphones)
* Calendar Notifications
* Facebook
* Twitter
* Music Player
* Call handling (call, mute, reject, or answer and send pre-defined SMS)
* Battery strength
* Find phone
* Weather widget

"A growing number of apps are available for download through Google Play – including those for social updates, workouts and music – all customized for the 1.3-inch OLED SmartWatch touch screen," the company said. "While SmartWatch works with these existing apps, Android developers can create apps specifically for the device."

"Perfect partners" that are in tune with the SmartWatch include fifteen Xperia handsets. However a list of other non-Sony compatible brands can be accessed here which includes several from HTC, Motorola and Samsung.

At launch, SmartWatch has a suggested retail price of $149.99 and will be available at http://www.sony.com/smartwatch and Sony stores. SmartWatch availability at additional retailers will be announced soon. The SmartWatch ships with a black band, but additional bands will be available in pink, white, mint, grey and blue. So pretty, but no purple?