There are still many people who keep asking “what is the point of Smartwatches?” First impressions of the Sony Smartwatch 3 is that it will blow those ideas out of the water. It is helpful with day to day tasks, at work, in the car and pretty much everywhere. The Smartwatch 3 shows that Sony has been in this game for a long time and has learnt from its previous models. They encourage you to ‘leave your phone behind’ and have your life at a glance, making things simpler and smarter.

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Sony Smartwatch 3 Review

Design

If you are after a sporty watch with a stylish silicone strap the Sony Smartwatch3 will fit the bill.  Other smartwatches seem unpractical for exercise. Not this one though, it is the perfect partner. It looks slimmer from the sides, due to the curved design. The watch is light and it is comfortable to wear. If you want to frequently change the bands, this has one of the easiest mechanism. There are no pins involved, you push the core watch and then insert it at another band. (Bands are only made by Sony). The band also does a great job of protecting the watch from knocks and bumps and is currently the only Android Wear smartwatch with a full IP68 rating, meaning that it’s the most waterproof of the bunch.

The readability of the screen itself also gets a massive thumbs up. it’s the easiest watch to read when the backlight is off because it reflects light much like an e-ink display. Meaning you can be in any light environment and still be able to enjoy your favourite apps, music or reading.

The colours/styles that the watch is available in are the following  :

White
Black Leather
Black Sport
Brown Leather
Lime Sport
Stainless Steel

Features

  •    Powered by Android Wear
  •    Wi-Fi
  •    Google Now- Voice Recognition
  •    Display
  •    Notifications
  •    Travel

Android Wear is the platform used on the Sony Smartwatch 3. This brings you information and notifications at a glance. Keep up to date with all your essentials like flight details, tips, messages, emails, weather and more. The information you need, when you want it. Or, if you need to know something more specific you can use the voice assist. The functions of the Android Wear, in a nutshell, include receiving emails, text messages, and things on your wrist, and reply to them with your voice. There are even apps on the Play Store that provide a keyboard to reply with, but the voice recognition is outstanding (albeit, provided you have a signal from Bluetooth or Wi-Fi).

Google Now app pushes information “cards” onto the watch display with things like traffic information for your journey home, or weather reports for your current location, or even things like shopping lists if you set a location-based reminder at your local supermarket. It really is impressive and Google has opened its Now cards up for other companies to feed info into it, so its usefulness will only increase as more companies get onboard.

Wi-Fi
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. Lastly, we’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.

Google Now
Use voice commands to search for what you want. It’s surprising how well the voice command works. It is actually just as good as any smartphone. Some of the most common uses for the voice commands are : ‘ Set the timer for … minutes’ , ‘ Reviews for ….movie’ , ‘ Navigate to … ‘.

Display
The transflective screen makes it great to look outdoors at direct sunlight. Indoors and outdoors, I never felt that the screen is not bright enough ( in Settings it is on Auto-brightness). Still, color accuracy, contrast, pixel density etc cannot be compared with the smartphone’s screen. And due to the fact that you look at both every day, comparisons are inevitable. Colorful cards from Android Wear look washed out.

Notifications
Here I have used my watch as the only notification centre, I have turned off notifications on my phone and I am using my watch all the time for this. It allows me to be much more efficient with my notifications and also not constantly be checking my phone for an email or text. Also sending texts is really easy as it recognised names that are not English names and it also picked up my voice very well with no problems voicing what I wanted to text.

Travel
Stay ahead of your day with the travel features. Receive your travel information at a glance.Get up-to-the-minute weather reports. Plan your route and find your way. See your message at a glance , never miss a thing. Get the calendar and other reminders.

Apps

The Sony SmartWatch 3 has an app for everything. Powered by a forever expandable Android Wear. Developers continue to create multiple ways for you to customise and enjoy the Android Wear experience, meaning the SmartWatch 3 becomes increasingly personalised to your every taste.

There are tons of apps you can download. The set of base apps you can begin with are as follows: Todoist, Endomondo, Lifelog. Golfshot, iFit, Camera Remote Control. You can get a Twitter app, a web browser, a calendar, a calculator, Google’s useful Keep app, sports and fitness apps, Google Maps Navigation, WhatsApp, facebook, and facebook messenger. To name a few…

There are apps for keeping up with the weather, keeping up with friends.If you find you miss phone calls all too often, you’ll find the haptics on the watch will save you. A special shout out goes to the Translate app. It is phenomenal. Translating  your spoken phrase to the alternative language, the bonus is if you tilt the watch to the person sitting opposite you, it reverses the phrase in big font so that they can read it. A stroke of genius.

Battery

The Sony Smartwatch 3 has a big battery and can last up to 2 days with the following Settings ( Auto brightness, Gesture moves ON, Screen ON all the time, WiFi ON, Location ON). It charges very quickly in comparison to that of a smartphone. It can be full in less than an hour

The device gets better with each software update. Longer battery life, faster, easier to use and with more intuitive control.

Fitness

The Sony Smartwatch 3 poster fitness apps are Endomondo and iFit.(There are others you an use as well though). Sony has sacrificed an inbuilt heart rate monitor for that of a GPS tracker. In a nutshell, the GPS works fine. It is quick to find a signal(typically seconds after you have left a building) and can be used in conjunction with apps like GhostRacer and Google Fit. The watch can be useful for people not into intensive sports activities, but for those just checking their daily steps. When out and about, the watch using Google Fit app shows cards with motivational phrases and minutes walking until reaching daily goal. The step counter and Strava fitness app for cycling, do pretty good jobs too with a good accuracy rate. It will not replace the dedicated fitness watches but still stands up tall amongst them. The lack of a heart rate sensor will be missed by some but the inbuilt GPS receiver will be cherished by those who cycle and run a lot. It is more useful for them.

Out of the Box

  • Sony SmartWatch 3
  • Strap
  • USB Cable
  • User Documentation

Cost

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What We Like

  • Light Weight
  • Size is Perfect for a Smartwatch
  • Inbuilt GPS Function – Perfect for Mountain Bikers, Runners or Cyclists
  • Very stylish, easy to use, doesn’t stick out
  • Great Build Quality
  • Haptic Function Improved Over Predecessor
  • Simple to adjust and works well with fitness apps, social media, counts steps, changeable watch faces, changeable straps, stores music, changes music etc…

What Needs Improvement

  • No heartrate monitor.
  • Fitness app is limited due to no heart rate monitor
  • Only shows recent contacts when texting or calling

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Sony Smartwatch 3 Score

A Review of the Sony Smartwatch 3

Design
Features
Apps
Battery
Fitness
Overall