Sony Smartwatch 3 (SW3) is much better than its predecessor the Sony Smartwatch 2. In fact, the Smartwatch 3 is one of the best, if not the best, Android Wear smartwatch as yet.
When it comes to features, it beats all the competitors hands down mainly because it’s the first and only Android Wear smartwatch so far to offer GPS tracking. It also offers the best dust and waterproofing in its class. Its run-of-the-mill design, however, is no match for that of Moto 360 or LG G Watch R.
Sony has gleaned fair bit of experience regarding wrist-based devices over the past few years, and now they have brought it to the Android Wear party. Let’s take a quick look at the main specs and features of Sony Smartwatch 3.
- Display : 320 x 320 resolution 1.6-inch transflective display
- Compatible with : devices running on Android 4.3 and later
- Battery: 420mA (up to 2 days normal use)
- Operating system : Android Wear
- Chipset : Quad ARM A7, 1.2 Ghz
- Memory : 512 MB RAM
- Weight : 45 g (core unit)
- Connectivity : Bluetooth® 4.0, NFC, Micro USB
- Sensors : Ambient light sensors, Accelerometer, Compass, Gyro, GPS
- Colors : Black, Yellow
In-depth Review of Sony Smartwatch 3
As for the user interface, the SW3 offers ostensibly the same experience as the LG G Watch or Samsung Gear Live, as there’s not a lot that manufacturer can do to change Android Wear at this point of time. So let’s just skip to the specs and features that Sony had more freedom to flirt with.
The smartwatch comes with a 1.6-inch transflective display with 320 x 320 pixels. While we can’t call it great, but it is not horrible either. In fact, the less flashy display will be kinder on battery power. Sony also claims that it will offer much better daylight visibility as compared to other Wear watches.
The watch comes equipped with Quad ARM A7, 1.2 Ghz processor coupled with 512 MB RAM and 4 GB internal storage. So, it’s a powerful enough combination to control even an in-car entertainment system.
The watch looks solid and sturdy. The most interesting feature is that the watch’s main body is just a square block which can be popped out and into the straps. This is a nice touch, but the downside to it is that you can’t use a standard 22mm strap.
Sony has preferred a sporty look for their latest smartwatch. Unlike the Moto 360, it prioritizes ruggedness with a steel case, and interchangeable silicon straps. The watch looks bulky and somewhat unrefined on your wrist.
Let’s be realistic, circular smartwatches look much better but most Android Wear smartwatches are a square piece of glass fixed in a rubber strap.
So, the overall design is far from impressive and this is where the SW3 lags behind.
Charging and battery life
Another great thing about the SW3 is that it has a micro-USB port for charging, so you don’t need any proprietary charging dock.
It comes with a powerful 420 mAh battery, which is boasted to last for up to five days. However, a realistic use will consume the battery within two days. We must give the watch full marks for decent battery life and hassle-free charging mechanism.
Dust and water resistance
The watch is rated IP68. In other words, the watch is dust as well as waterproof. Technically speaking, IP68 means a device is completely dust proof and is suitable for continuous immersion in water under conditions as specified by the manufacturer.
So, better dust and water proofing mean that sporty look and GPS are not the only reasons for the SW3 to be an ideal choice for runners, swimmers and other sportspersons.
As said earlier, the GPS tracking functionality sets the SW3 apart from the rest of the pack. Sony has also added a Walkman app to their smartwatch to make use of the newly-added offline music capability. Needless to say that the watch can be connected to Bluetooth headphones for on-the-move listening.
If you have a Sony smartphone or QX10 lens camera, the Smartwatch 3 also lets you take pictures remotely. It can also act as your TV’s remote control, thanks to the built-in IR.
Another notable feature is the watch’s ability to sync with Sony’s health and lifestyle tracking app Life-Log, which not only acts as an activity tracker in conjunction with GPS, but also keeps track of what kind of music you listen to, what genre of movies you prefer, how long you sleep and what photos you took and where… it’s a complete life log, just as the name suggests.
Standard features of Sony Smartwatch 3 include search, weather, travel, notifications, reminders, commuting, and then you can choose from a variety of third party Android Wear apps.
Priced at $249.99, the Sony Smartwatch 3 isn’t cheap but considering the bundle of features it brings to your wrist, it isn’t too expensive either.
All in all, the SW3 is a major improvement over its predecessors, supports interchangeable straps, and runs the ever improving and ever expanding Android Wear.
Unlike Motorola and LG, who are trying to hide their watches in the guise of a traditional watch, Sony has gone for a life-logging fitness oriented smartwatch.