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This review is from: Sony SW2 SmartWatch 2 Black
Pros: I liked the fact that the watch didn’t weigh much. That was my #1 concern looking at it. It really doesn’t feel like you’re wearing something as large as it is. It was comfortable and readable with winter gloves on and didn’t get very cold. It survived 12 hours in -20F temperatures so that’s promising.
Being able to see Facebook updates and texts and calls without constantly taking my phone out of my pocket was VERY nice and that’s the whole point of the phone. Also, the vibration is hard to miss, which is more than I can say about my phone. I browsed some of the 3rd party apps and games that can run on the watch and they’re pretty neat and would save batteries in your phone by not having to have its screen turned on.
The touchscreen was spot on and nothing I had to touch was too small for my fingers despite the small screen. Everything was clearly readable due to the decent resolution as well.
Cons: As soon as you see how the item was packaged, you will wonder what Sony was thinking. One corner of the watch repeatedly impacted and rubbed against the front plastic causing minor damage to the watch itself. If they would have made the box a quarter inch bigger, it wouldn’t have done that.
I feel like it would be very easy to damage the screen by whacking the watch on various things you may encounter during a day. If you start to have an awareness that it’s there, it may alleviate the problem but the device is still large enough to get caught on just about anything.
As for the setup, it was very confusing and unusual. It wasn’t clear which app to use in the app store or whether I should connect it via Bluetooth first then install the app then use NFC or any other order. Once I got it working, it kept working though.
As far as the build quality itself, it’s fine except the strap. It’s made out of what seems to be a silicone based rubber which attracts dirt and dust like a magnet and irritates the skin a bit. That was an extremely poor choice of materials on Sony’s part but many replacement straps exist.
Some of the basic functionality was apparently broken, according to other users, by the latest version of the app that controls it. I did notice some strangely non-functional features that hopefully they’ll fix quickly.
The app itself requires you to download a different app for each function you want the watch to perform. I actually didn’t hate that setup but if your phone already has trouble with too many app updates, this will make it much worse.
I also noticed a drop in phone battery life by having to leave wireless communications open constantly.
Overall I had to take off 1 star for the horrid strap and another for the inconsistent setup and performance and strange app setup. This is definitely not a completed product unless they put a bit more work into it.
Other Thoughts: I’m writing this review in the context of how the device performed, not whether or not I think smartwatches are a good idea in general. I don’t particularly love them but in the mindset of someone who was in the market, I thought it was pretty cool in general. I did enjoy not taking my phone out of my pocket constantly but having a 2nd battery to worry about was very annoying. Having to take the watch off to charge it wasn’t great either and that will universally annoy anyone. I would recommend getting a longer USB charging cable and keeping a standalone battery charger in your pocket so you can charge on the go as an alternative to Sony's solution.READ FULL REVIEW
Pros: This drive is pretty impressive compared to its predecessors. It is pretty quiet, unlike the other recent 1TB WD black drives that sounded like a typewriter while operating. It’s still audible but in an average case, it shouldn’t be annoying.
To start with the basics, the casing was solid, the screw holes were threaded well, and the holes were in the correct location. The same can’t be said about other drive models I’ve handled.
I noticed some reviews have inaccurate testing methods which suggest the drive is slower than it really is. So I went out of my way to ensure accuracy. I ran a multi-pass benchmark of the drive while 100% empty but formatted and mounted as a secondary drive on a SATAIII AMD A85X chipset’s controller. The system had the fastest Richland A10 ever made and 8GB of memory.
This test resulted in a sequential read speed of 191.2MB/s and write of 185.9MB/s. That blows away any 7200 RPM drive from a year or two ago. Its 512K read was 62.5 MB/s and write was 121.3 MB/s which demonstrates just how important the 64MB write buffer is. The 4K unaligned read speed was a not so great 0.723 MB/s and write was 2.159 MB/s. Aligned wasn’t much better.
I haven’t tested competitors’ drives under the exact same conditions but this drive’s actual results tied or beat the best “on paper” speeds out there for the same size and spindle speed drive models. In other words, this is one of the best drives you can buy.
I checked and all the SMART data indicated the drive was healthy. I also ran a chkdsk scan and found zero bad sectors.
The operating temperature was on the low end compared to the average drive in my extremely ventilated case.
Cons: This drive weighed in at a fairly heavy 15 ounces but some of the older models are much heavier. It could also stand to be a tiny bit quieter.
Other Thoughts: To put things in perspective, a moderately fast SSD tested around 500x faster at 4K reads than this drive and more than doubled its sequential read speed. If you absolutely need the space, this is a fantastic choice for your main operating system’s boot drive. Otherwise an SSD is vastly superior in speed. This would definitely make a nice secondary storage drive as well.READ FULL REVIEW
Pros: I've bought Vertex 4 drives a lot and this one didn't disappoint. It made my laptop A LOT faster, especially since the former hard drive was a very low performance one even by laptop standards. My battery life increased due to the lower power usage and the temperatures dropped.
Overall, it was a great decision and the 256GB were enough room to have it remain a gaming laptop without having to remove a ton of games.
Cons: Unfortunately, my laptop only had a SATAII controller. This drive seems to slow down a lot more than others when not connected to a SATAIII port. It definitely was a worthwhile upgrade regardless.
Other Thoughts: I wouldn't touch a refurbished SSD except for the fact that I know the history of these. OCZ released series 3 and 4 of their SSDs with non-working firmware that would make them disappear from the BIOS drive detection list on most motherboards. A bunch got returned since people didn't know to flash the firmware so all they did at the factory was flash it and resell it. It's basically guaranteed to be a new SSD with zero defects so ignore the "refurbished" part.
If you don't believe me, buy one and look at the firmware version listing on the drive. It's crossed off and re-stamped. That's ALL they did to fix it.