I’m a big fan of wearables so I was more than happy when the good people from Sony sent me the Sony Smartwatch 3 to review. Released in 2014 and with no sign of the Sony Smartwatch 4 on the horizon, does this smartwatch meet your needs in today’s market?
Among the first smartwatches to appear in the shops, the Smartwatch 3 may now appear a bit dated compared to what is available from the likes of Samsung, Withings, Apple and Fitbit. This doesn’t take away from the impressive features packed into this watch.
Powered by Android Wear – SmartWatch 3 runs on the Android Wear platform which brings you information and notifications at a glance. It could be flight details, tips, messages, weather and more. Android Wear is intuitive so it gives you what you want, when you want it. Or, if you need to know something specific, just use voice commands to ask.
Voice commands – Use voice commands to search for what you want.
Weather Updates – Get up-to-the-minute weather reports.
Travel – Receive your travel information at a glance.
Notifications – Stay in touch and see messages at a glance.
Reminders – Never miss a thing. Get calendar and other reminders.
Commuting – Plan your journey and find your way.
In addition to these features there are plenty of applications to suit your lifestyle and everyday needs. These range from fitness apps, task managers, flashlights and you can even manage your Smart Home with the Nest app. With the update to Android Wear 2.0 there are all sorts of useful apps to make your life easier.
Available in five different colours, I found the performance of the watch to be excellent. The built in GPS is a key selling point for the watch and allows for integration with numerous fitness apps to track runs. This brings the smartwatch into the market as a pretty good fitness watch. Although there are more stylish alternatives from Fitbit, Garmin etc. the Sony Smartwatch is a cheaper option with perfect functionality.
The battery life will last anywhere from 1 to 2 days depending on how much you utilise the GPS as this tends to run the battery down quicker. This isn’t too much of an issue as charging is quite easy through the provided Micro USB cable.
Today the Sony Smartwatch 3 is quite affordable and will cost you anywhere between €60 – €150 from various online retailers. If you want a smartwatch and are on a tight budget then this is the watch for you.
The Not so Good
There are obviously a few downsides to a 3 year old smartwatch. It’s not the most stylish watch on the market and if this is something that matters to you then you may need to wait on the Smartwatch 4 or choose another supplier.
The screen, while adequate, is not that impressive. Granted the display can be changed to suit different styles and it is clear when reading your text messages or E-mails, I did find that there was room for improvement particularly with the screen size and resolution and this is something that Sony will no doubt deliver on with their next release.
Many wearables today also come with a built in heart rate monitor as standard and this was also something I would have liked included on this watch. With the capability of integration with apps like RunKeeper it seems a shame that this was omitted from the watch.
The design and appearance aspect aside, I really liked the Smartwatch 3. It has tons of user friendly apps, it has built in GPS that integrates well RunKeeper and is very affordable. While there is room for improvement, as expected with a 3 year old smartwatch, I would happily spend my hard earned money on this watch. The smartwatch 3 has stood the test of time, which is some achievement in the world of wearable technology. If Sony do commit to releasing a Smartwatch 4 I would be top of the queue to purchase.
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