Sony’s latest smartwatch will not be for everyone, what with its dull design and display that is muffled. However, this really is now the only Android Wear apparatus with a built-in GPS radio, which makes it a smart choice for runners and other athletes interested in monitoring their rate and space.
This here is the Sony SmartWatch 3. Actually, it’s the first, although that might make it seem like it is the third iteration in a line of gadgets. That is because even though this is Sony’s third smartwatch (fourth if you count the Sony Ericsson LiveView), it’s really Sony’s first that comes with Android Wear. Both the SmartWatch 2 and the original SmartWatch ran Sony’s own proprietary platform, which, while Android-favorable, did not have practically the same reach as the Android Wear of Google. It is great that Sony has finally seen the light, but the SmartWatch 3 has arrived remarkably late to the party, letting competitions like Motorola, LG and Samsung gain ground. On the flip side, the SmartWatch 3 is currently the sole Android Wear option with a built-in GPS radio, allowing for more exact work out tracking. Which, as it turns out, could be enough to help Sony stand beside the pack.
- Built in GPS is perfect for runners and other sportsmen
- WiFi and NFC make this more future-proof than other Android Wear apparatus
- Comparatively long battery life
- Screen is simple to read in direct sun
- Drab layout
- Display is not as vibrant as on some other smartwatches
- Not many Android Wear apps now use the GPS, WiFi or NFC
Rather than choosing a watch face that is annular that is much more conventional, such as the LG G Watch R, the SmartWatch 3 has a square face. Along with the rubber strap, which meets with the glass of the screen, this makes it look much more like a fitness device when compared to a routine watch. It certainly does not have the same luxury charm as leather G Watch R. and the metal
Black rubber strap and the plain square face are a little boring, although it is not unattractive as such.
It’s not the type of refined watch you had wish to keep on while all dressed up in your best party ensemble — whereas the G Watch R didn’t look at all out of place and stayed on my wrist in my finest suit at a birthday bash.
The flexible rubber strap is comfortable to wear, even though the watch unit is quite chunky and a little on the hefty side. I definitely did not want to keep it on while I slept. Part of the reason the watch is very chunky is that there’s a micro-USB port for charging built into it. It enables you to plug the charging cable into it, without having to utilize something that’s required on all other Android Wear watches, a separate charging cradle. This really is really a bonus, as I locate the cradles an enormous hassle — you need to consistently remember to take it with you if you are going away.
Powering the SmartWatch 3 is a 1.2GHz quad core ARM A7 CPU with 512MB RAM, typically seen inside low end smartphones and tablets. It’s on level with all the Snapdragon 400 CPU located in the LG G Watch R and much less old as the Texas Instruments CPU.
There’s 4GB of storage to cater for programs that are installed and the applications, but also to store music to play offline when you’re away from your phone. Right now, to get music onto the SmartWatch you have to do it through the Google Play Music mobile program. Luckily, you don’t need to truly have the superior subscription to do it, but while it should be a simple procedure for choosing the apparatus in the Play Music settings to transfer music, it doesn’t play out like that. Despite upgrading the app, the choice to sync with our watch never appeared, so we were not able to put it to the test.
For connectivity, there’s Bluetooth 4.0 to sync with Android phones running Android 4.3 Jelly Bean or preceding. There’s built in GPS, however only a few apps are able to make use of it. Now, there’s Google’s own Runkeeper and MyTracks program.
As an operating system, Android Wear is a good deal like Android when it arrived on phones. It still needs refining and Google has to be eager enhance and to update it as consistently as it does with its mobile OS. Android Wear 4.4 W was the first version to send with the G Watch and Gear Live, and within a year Google has delivered the first big upgrade to Android 5.0.1 Lollipop.
Lollipop on Android Wear has Google and Google Voice Search Now with access to the Android Wear app store to download programs, at its center. It won’t give you all the information you actually want right away, but over time, when the operating system has had time to learn your habits, then tellings and info become useful to peek at. Finally, though, there was to convince us to keep the SmartWatch 3 around our wrist.
Android Wear is going towards something which feels like it can power a standalone device, but there work to be done although with new functionality and some fine cosmetic changes.
The very first big change for Android Wear is the Material Design makeover – although makeover is likely too strong a word. That’s about it, although the icons are more daring and larger. It simply doesn’t have the same impact as the Lollipop UI overhaul on tablet computers and cellphones.
Amazing news – there is a 420mAh battery inside the SmartWatch 3 – which is the largest we have seen on an Android Wear smartwatch to date, and also you ought to have no annoyance achieving the quoted life of two days.
It is also amazing that Sony’s newest smartwatch charges via Micro USB as there’s no need to carry around another charging accessory. With the stainless steel version, as there is not much room to go in the rear together with the sealed strap, it is unbelievably difficult to get the charger in, however.
The SW3 ups the ante when it comes to waterproofing. All the other Android Wear versions, aside from the Asus ZenWatch (which could just handle an IP55 rating), are IP67 rated – meaning they are able to continue 30 minutes in water at a depth of 1m. In order to go twice the depth for the time without damage, that will hopefully empower swimming features, later on, Sony’s attempt has an IP68 rating.