Joining the popular Zepp tennis edition which has been well publicized and reviewed over the last several years, Sony is looking to add some competition and join the fun.
So, since we are all aware of the Sony and brand and its general high quality, we wanted to see if it would live up to the hype and how different it was from the Zepp tennis model that is currently on the market.
In case you haven’t seen the Sony Smart Tennis Sensor, it’s an attachment that you place on the butt end of the racquet and it provides the sensory information to a smart app in your phone.
This is the same way in which the Zepp tennis sensor works, but it comes with a slightly different design and works with specific racquet manufacturers at this time including Wilson, Yonex, Prince, and Head.
Once you begin to play with the Sony Smart Tennis Sensor it will log information about different elements of you swing. It will determine what type of swing (Forehand, Backhand, Overhead/Serve), swing speed, ball speed, and ball spin as well as other data.
You can also combine the data with a video that is built into the app on your smartphone (either iPhone or Android devices)
Well, it all sounds great based on their marketing materials and website, but we wanted to find out what it was REALLY like.
We got one and tested it out and here’s what we came up with from our experience:
Speed of Results
By attaching the Smart Tennis Sensor to your racquet, all of your shot data is recorder and then can be displayed in real-time on your smartphone.
This works using Bluetooth technology and then you can use the app to find the ball speed, swing speed, ball spin, and ball impact spot among other data pretty easily.
This is another training aid that is primarily focused on building your game from the feedback you get when using it.
On this front the beneficial quality of the data is a little mixed and it is good to cross-reference with a program that gives you knowledgable information about hitting with proper technique or sharing it with your local teaching pro.
On the positive side, it seems to work very much like the Zepp Tennis sensor and we again were pleasantly surprised to see that it was accurately recording the data on our swing path, speed, spin, and shot type.
It’s obvious how it would be helpful to take this information and get further instruction on how to change your strokes or your gameplan based on where your strengths and weaknesses were during any given practice session or match.
The app is very nicely formatted and can collect a significant amount of data for you to review. One of the nice features was the ability to record in the live video mode and add that to the data that you collect as well.
It gave us a more well rounded picture of what the data meant in terms of us improving our strokes and our game.
On the negative side, we found that it wasn’t 100% reliable at recording every stroke just like the Zepp tennis sensor so sometimes you aren’t getting the total picture, but it’s pretty damn close.
Overall like our assessment of the Zepp Tennis Sensor, we were wildly impressed with the Sony Smart Tennis Sensor and loved it’s ability to add the live video mode to our post match analysis.
It is a little different than Zepp because it works only with compatible models of each racquet brand, where the Zepp attaches to any racquet, but that will not bother some people.
It’s just something to keep in mind when purchasing. and the attachment definitely encourages some positive swing habits and promotes awareness of where you’re lacking, but it is not going to cure your stroke problems.
What it does do though, is it gives you a really nice peak into where you need to be looking to improve on each of your strokes, and would definitely be of even greater use when a player adds it to a top stroke technique course or shares it with their private coach as we mentioned above.
Easy to Learn
The Sony Smart Tennis Sensor is very easy to use… you simply remove the logo cap at the butt end of your compatible racquet, turn it on, and begin to swing, it will automatically begin to record the applicable data points during practices or matches.
Sync the Sony Smart Tennis Sensor apparatus to the iPhone or Android application and you’re ready to go.
The Zepp is currently compatible with the following operating systems:
- iOS: iOS 7.0+, iPhone 4S+, iPod Touch 5th Generation+, and iPad 2nd Generation+
- Android: OS 4.1+
There aren’t a lot of customer review out there yet, since the product is still in the early stages of promotion. You can find some reviews on the Sony website and if you google hard enough you can find some other previews, but at this point there isn’t a whole lot of customer review stop rely on.
We could expect to see some of the same complaints that we see with Zepp though, including customer service, response time, and the lack of reliable data the sensor provides during training sessions.
These are hard to forecast and like we have detailed above it is a pretty great product, so the issues shouldn’t be to concerning in our opinion.
The Sony Smart Tennis Sensor attachment is expected to sell for around $175.00. One of the more expensive options for a training aid that only addresses certain data on certain strokes, although it does provide an easy to use interface with valuable information.
The Bottom Line
The Sony Smart Tennis Sensor is good for training your swing path on the serve, forehand, and backhand. It’s also a great source for getting data on your swing and ball speed, power, and the spin on your shots, but there is an opportunity to improve the app and sensor going forward.
It leaves many aspects of the different swings unaddressed… If you do decide to give it a try, remember you are dealing with a typical application and/or technology company and any problems could have a delay in being addressed or fixed
To learn more about the Sony Smart Tennis Sensor or make a purchase, visit their website here.
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