Sony was one of the earliest players to enter the wearable space when it had launched its first smartwatch in 2012, followed by a second version in 2013. However, the first and second iterations of Sony's smartwatch didn't exactly set the market on fire, as they failed to stand up to the intense competition in the smartwatch category due to various shortcomings. The Japanese company has now launched Sony SmartWatch 3, which runs on the Android Wear platform, Google's operating system that works exclusively with Android smartphones, resulting in improved features as well as functionality.
Not much has changed in terms of design and the Sony SmartWatch 3 still uses this same square design, but appears rectangular due to the thicker bezel below the screen. A matte steel finish and shiny steel clasp lend the Sony SmartWatch 3 a professional and premium look. A power button on the right side of the watch can also be used to switch on the display light with a short press, as well access the settings menu with a long press.
The Sony SmartWatch 3 features a 1.6-inch 320x320 pixel 'transflective' LCD touchscreen display, which can emit light as well as reflect light, allowing the user to read the display in well-lit situations without activating the back light and save power. The Smartwatch 3 is powered by a Qualcomm Snapdragon 400 chipset running at 1.2 GHz, paired with 512MB of RAM. Sony's wearable offers 4GB of storage, Bluetooth 4.0, NFC, an accelerometer, compass, gyroscope, GPS, and an ambient light sensor. The Smartwatch 3 is also IP68-certified, making it dust- and water-proof, while a 420mAh battery housed inside can easily provide 36-40 hours of use before requiring a charge.
The Sony SmartWatch 3 is currently running the latest version of Android Wear, 5.0.2, and needs an Android smartphone running version 4.3 of the OS or above with the Android Wear app installed. The Sony Smartwatch 3 Steel edition is available at a price of $350, while the regular model costs $250.