Hands-on with Sony's life-logging SmartBand SWR10 fitness band

It does much more than just track your activity, although you might not need it to

It's no longer sufficient to just be an activity tracker.

Like Samsung's Gear Fit, the £80 (about ₹7800) SmartBand SWR10 goes far beyond just monitoring your movements via its built-in accelerometer and gyroscope. Unlike the Gear Fit, though, it doesn't do this with extra hardware - it wraps the SmartBand SWR10 experience in a rich device-agnostic Android app that keeps tabs on the rest of your life's goings-ons, and uses its built-in hardware to interact with your phone in clever new ways.

It's an intriguing extension of those standard fitness band capabilities. But it also seems just a little bit much for the likes of us.

There's even an additional accessory - the small, lapel-worn LifeLog Camera, a prototype about which details are scant - which will capture images of your life as you go about it and feed them to the LifeLog app.

Yep, that does sound quite neat, but we're not completely convinced that's we'd actually use it. As a way of investigating and changing your habits, it's the most powerful and natural consumer solution we've seen so far, but if you're not planning to change the way you live, the novelty could quickly wear off. Fitness tracking makes a great deal of sense - it gamifies a normally boring pursuit - but we're not sure every aspect of life needs to be incentivised with achievements.

Although, frankly, that doesn't really matter - ignore the additional logging elements, and the SmartBand SWR10 is still a cut above most fitness bands functionality-wise, and doesn't dispense with any of the key functionality of rivals (Gear Fit accepted).

Initial verdict

Sony's come up with a smarter a more versatile fitness band than most rivals. You'll pay a premium for it - it's double the price of a Fitbit Zip, and three times a Fitbug - but it introduces notifications and neat features such as water resistance and NFC pairing.

The LifeLog app feels like overkill for us, but we're not going to hold it against the SmartBand SWR10 - you can ignore most of its functions after all. If it can justify that lofty pricetag, there's good reason to think Sony will be a fitness band force to be reckoned with.