Sony hasn’t done much in the smartwatch space since its last Android Wear watch it unveiled in 2014, but the company is back with a new way to bring smart features to your wrist.
In a similar vein to a hybrid smartwatch, the new Sony Wena straps allow you to connect your existing watch to a band that allows for contactless payments, basic fitness tracking and notifications from your phone.
The strap comes in two different styles with a silicone option designed for fitness fanatics – that’s called the Wena Wrist Active – while those looking for a more premium design will likely prefer the metal strap called the Wena Wrist Pro.
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In the UK, you can pre-order the straps from today, but the company has yet to reveal a proper release date. We don’t currently know if – or when – the company is planning to bring this tech to the US or Australia.
The metal strap is designed to attach to your high-end traditional watch. It’s a 20mm band, but it’s compatible with watches that have 18, 20 or 22mm lugs so it’s likely to work with your existing classic watch. You’ve got the choice of either silver or black.
This version is water resistant under to 50 meter and sports simple activity logging alongside a good looking display for your notifications on the rear of your wrist.
There’s also contactless payment technology on both straps that’s made possible by Wirecard’s Boon app for Android and iOS. This won’t connect to Google Pay or Apple Pay technology.
Notifications also appear on the rear of the strap in the black box that you can see in the image below.
If you’re looking for something more fitness led device, you may prefer the Wena Wrist Active that comes with a silicone band and more health features. As well as boasting step tracking like the metal strap, this comes with GPS and a heart rate tracker.
All of this data will then be able to sync with Apple Health or Google Fit depending on which type of phone you’re connecting to your strap. The band is again 20mm with the lugs to match 18, 20 or 22mm faces.
There’s a display on the rear of the strap so you can see your notifications directly on your wrist.
If you don’t own a traditional watch face to connect this to, Sony is also releasing three watch faces that you can connect to the straps. None of these have smart features, so you’ll have to get one of the smart straps to get those features.
These come with a variety of designs called Mechanical, Solar and Quartz.
The Wena Wrist Pro is £399 (about $510, AU$725) while the Wrist Active is cheaper at £349 (about $450, AU$630). The watch faces themselves start at £100 (about $130, AU$180) and head all the way up to £450 (about $580, AU$820), but they can also be purchased bundled with one of the Wena straps too.