While some were waiting eagerly for the Apple Watch, and others got assimilated, there are still those who prefer traditional watches. That’s the market Sony hopes to appeal to with a new hybrid watch called Wena (which apparently stands for ‘wear electronics naturally’), which it’s pitching on its Japanese crowdfunding site First Flight.

It’s mostly a traditional analogue watch, but a link to an iOS app gives it limited smartwatch functionality. On the smartwatch side, you get fitness band functionality, and notifications are echoed to the watch in the form of an LED and vibration … 

There’s no digital display, though, so you still need to check your phone to find out what the notification was – possibly handy if you frequently miss alerts on your phone in noisy environments, but otherwise likely to be annoying.

Frustratingly, contactless payment is supported, but only the Japanese FeliCa standard, not Apple Pay.

What you will get is battery-life. The watch itself will run for either three years (standard model) or five years (chronograph), while the smart functionality built into the band will last around a week between charges.

If it gets funded, pricing will range from a little under $300 to around $580.

While it’s an interesting idea, I’m not quite sure who it’s aimed at. Gadget lovers will want the full functionality of the Apple Watch, while I’d have thought watch guys would want to wear their own collection rather than a Sony model, but perhaps I’m missing something? Take our poll and let us know.

IDC recently estimated that Apple sold 3.6M Apple Watches in Q2, amounting to 20% of all wearables.


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About the Author

Ben Lovejoy

Ben Lovejoy is a British technology writer and EU Editor for 9to5Mac. He’s known for his op-eds and diary pieces, exploring his experience of Apple products over time, for a more rounded review. He also writes fiction, with two technothriller novels, a couple of SF shorts and a rom-com!

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