My opinion on smartwatches hasn’t changed; while their mission statement may be to show you phone notifications on your wrist, I still firmly believe that their killer feature is the ability to customize your watch face to match your band, clothing, mood or whatever. This monochrome watch, spied by yours truly at Tokyu Hands in Osaka, Japan, takes that customization up a notch with an e-ink band to complement its e-ink display.
It’s called the FES Watch, which I can only assume is an acronym for Fashion Entertainments and Sony. There are currently two separate product lines, the regular FES Watch available in either black or white, and the more premium FES Watch U, which I’m guessing stands for “Unlimited”, and here’s why: the regular FES watch has 24 separate watch/band combinations which can be cycled through with repeated presses of the watch’s only button. The FES Watch U has a companion app for Android and iOS that can sideload and customize many more faces and bands via Bluetooth. Here’s a demo of how that works:
It even looks like you can use a photo taken with your smartphone as a background for the watch, making me really wish I had brought one home with me. Then again, there doesn’t seem to be any ability to display notifications from your phone. If Sony ever decided to add that functionality it would instantly make the FES Watch U a pretty compelling smartwatch.