Sony Smart Watch 3 Quick Review
Brief: Sony shows why screen tech matters
Price: £105 for a rubber strap one but £195 for metal.
Specifications: OS Android Wear, Display Resolution 320 x 320, Colors 16 bit, Diagonal Size 1.6″, Transflective TFT LCD, Dimensions 36mm x 10mm x 51mm, Weight Watch Module 38g, Sport armband 36g, Battery 420mAh, Processor 1.2 GHz, Quad-core ARM® Cortex™ A7, Water and Dust Resistance IP68, Memory 4GB eMMC with 512 MB RAM, Ports & Connectors Micro USB, Connectivity Bluetooth 4.0, WiFi ready, Sensors Ambient Light, Accelerometer, Magnetometer, Gyro, GPS, Vibration Motor, Microphone
Accessories: Err you can change the bands but they are over £30, oh hell no! The metal, the one I wanted to get has never been separately available so boo to Sony. What’s more, curiously there is very little in the way of accessories on eBay too. Basically the strap you get with the watch had better be a colour you can live with. (Cough, fluorescent yellow, cough.)
Build Quality: Very snugly put together and I really can’t fault the construction, the design of the charging flap I could but the construction of everything is very nice.
Aesthetics: Sigh. For some reason the metal one is massively more costly than the black one and despite Sony saying the metal strap would become available, it has not. The metal one looks so pretty in pictures. Still, my black one isn’t ugly. It is very plain, functional, utilitarian even. Not sure the yellow or pink ones I’d love so much but black is pretty inoffensive to most.
UI: Works very well, Android Wear is clearly at its best on a rectangular screen. Obviously Android Wear is Android Wear regardless of the device but rectangular screens are just plain better at fitting in data than round ones are, it is that simple. As such it was a joy to use on the 3.
Functionality: The lack of a heart rate sensor will be missed by some but its traded for an inbuilt GPS receiver. So if you run or cycle a lot I’d think that GPS would be more useful than the odd look at your heart rate. Still it is odd that it’s not there. Qi is also missing and that I really missed a great deal. However you do get that screen, a screen you can actually use in sunshine, with ease too. That is a pretty massive boon.
Battery: Mostly fantastic. It’s a little bigger than the 360 but mostly it’s that screen. The transflective nature means it doesn’t have to power up the backlight to make it visible, so it saves a ton of power unlike normal displays.
Connectivity: Bluetooth 4.0 naturally, Micro USB, NFC and Wi-Fi. Bluetooth is the main one for speaking to your phone. Wi-Fi for when your phone isn’t near, it can use Wi-Fi for data, streaming music say or to still speak to your distant phone. Micro USB for err charging really. Lastly NFC, I’d like to say Google Pay use is coming but given Google Wallets hatred of all non Americans I won’t hold my breath. Really, it’s just there to pair easily to your phone or headphones.
Value: For £105 just buy one. No Qi is a pain but for that screen, it makes it useable in way no other Android Wear devices are. Bargain.
Pro’s: That screen. Screen gives great battery life. Screen actually visible in sunshine.
Con’s: Utilitarian aesthetic, not very dressy. No Qi charging. No heartrate monitor.