This here is the Sony SmartWatch 3. That may make it sound like it is the 3rd iteration in a line of gadgets, however really, it is the 1st. That is because even though this is Sony’s 3rd smartwatch (4th if you count the Sony Ericsson LiveView), it is actually Sony’s 1st that comes with Android Wear. Each the original SmartWatch and the SmartWatch 2 ran Sony’s personal proprietary platform, which while Android-friendly, did not have nearly the identical reach as Google’s Android Put on. It is nice that Sony has lastly seen the sunshine however, the SmartWatch 3 has arrived remarkably late to the social gathering, letting rivals like Motorola, LG and Samsung achieve floor. Alternatively, the SmartWatch 3 is at present the only Android Put on option with a built-in GPS radio, permitting for extra precise workout monitoring. Which, as it turns out, might be sufficient to help Sony stand apart from the pack.
The Sony SmartWatch 3 is not exactly breaking any new ground with its aesthetics. It takes its design cues from the rubber strapped GPS running watch brigade and unsurprisingly appears extra sporty than fashionable.
The rubber strap, black or yellow as commonplace however with further accessory straps out there, features a good adjustable clasp – permitting you to get an ideal fit – and you may merely pop the smartwatch module out and into combine and match straps.
It is a comfortable, light-weight design if a bit bland. It is a smartwatch that fits a pair of joggers and trainers greater than it does your smartest chinos and loafers.
One factor that we did notice about that strap – it appeared to collect dust and dirt like no watch we have ever seen earlier than as if it is some type of fluff magnet. You will see what we mean within the hands-on pics.
The stainless steel version provides a bit of style to the mix and individuals who like the weighty assurance of luxury metallic watches would not be disappointed by the feel.
This version uses the traditional link system, so you may adjust it to get a comfortable fit. It is probably best to let a watch shop do that though, as it is not simple and you could damage the straps trying to get the pins out.
The display is a 320 x 320, 1.6-inch, LCD affair, which lags behind the AMOLED tech found on the newest Samsung and Asus smartwatches. And it is a deficiency that is actually noticeable with the display providing very little vibrancy, appearing pale and faded.
Viewing angles additionally are not great and, even with the brightness turned up full whack, you are not going to be blown away. Let’s hope the next SmartWatch follows the lead of the Xperia smartphone line by tapping into the tech giant’s years of display heritage.
The Sony SmartWatch 3 isn’t solely the 1st Android Wear device to pack GPS skills, it is also got NFC and Wi-Fi connectivity inbuilt – although there are not yet any features taking benefit of this hardware yet. However, there is a good chance that future Android Wear updates will add functions that make use of this connectivity – Google Wallet could be nice – so the Sony smartWatch 3 is fairly future proof.
The SmartWatch 3 has 4GB of space for storing – pretty standard for an Android Wear smartwatch – and is powered by a quad-core 1.2GHz Arm A7 processor, which appears a bit like overkill within the early days of Android’s latest ecosystem.
You would not find an application that makes the Sony SmartWatch 3 stutter – although that is additionally the case with other Android Wear units with a lot less highly effective processors.
One thing the Sony SmartWatch 3 lacks, compared to a few of its operating system brethren, is an optical heart rate sensor however, given the wrong bpm information we have seen recorded from the likes of the Gear Live and the Moto 360, that is no great loss.
With a 1.2GHZ quad-core ARM Cortex-A7 processor together with 512MB of RAM, the Sony SmartWatch 3 performs beautifully. I experienced little to no lag when navigating across the watch, and voice commands took no time at all to register. As I discussed earlier, the accelerometer did appear a little slow to act when making an attempt to light up the watch with an elbow raise, however on the entire, performance was good.
Battery life, however, is where the Sony SmartWatch 3 really glow. It packs in a 420mAh battery, which is the biggest battery we have seen yet in an Android watch. The rated longevity is somewhere around 2 days. In practice, I found this to be largely accurate. I left notifications on for Facebook, Twitter and my calendar appointments; used GPS to trace the occasional walking route; listened to some songs on repeat (which I loaded onto the watch via Play Music); and used voice commands extensively throughout the day. The watch kept trucking along for about a day and a half earlier than it began begging to be plugged in. When I kept the display off and switched over to Airport Mode for the rest of the day, it lasted almost a full 48h. Under what I would think about moderate to heavy use, that is quite impressive.
Sony SmartWatch 3 Review: Specification
- Body: 36 x 51 x 10 mm
- Weight: 38 g
- Display: 320 x 320 pixels, 1.6 inch
- Memory: 4 GB, 512 MB RAM
- Processor: Qualcomm Snapdragon 400
- Battery: 420 mAh
The Sony SmartWatch 3 might not be the best-looking Android Wear device thus far that honor belongs to the LG G Watch R however it is by far the most useful. Its design may be the display is fairly mediocre and pretty uninspiring but the functionality afforded by the GPS is unrivalled within the Google smartwatch arena and the battery life is much better than we have seen on any of the Sony rivals. Let us just hope that app developers spruce up their choices quickly to make the most of the Sony SmartWatch 3’s USP.