With Sony's launch event we had the occasion to see their first Android Wear device. Sony presents the SmartWatch 3 and the SmartBand Talk wearable device watches. 

The SmartWatch 3 sports a 1.6" 320x320 TFT LCD run by a 1.2 GHz quad-core ARM Cortex A7 SoC and powered by a 420mAh battery. We find 512MB of RAM and 4GB of system NAND. 

The device is IP68 certified even though it is charged by a standard microUSB port. There's not much to say about the specifications of the watch as Sony has kept it pretty simple. Since Android Wear is not customizeable by OEMs, there is no differentiation between it and previous square Wear smartwatches.

In terms of design, there's only one way I would describe it: rubbery. With the rubber armband extending over the sides of the watch, we're talking a lot of rubber. It feels like one of those child-watches that I remember keenly, only that it's not coloured bright orange, which is kind of ironic because Sony will offer some gaudy colour options such as lime later in the wear. We only had black and white models available at IFA and the black one was already kind of odd looking.

I also found the device too be a bit too big for my taste, but then again I was never fan of big watches. The microUSB port is protected by a little cover which you need to keep lifted up while trying to plug in the cable. I found this very annoying as I couldn't make the cover stay on the side while plugging the cable in - it's so small and fiddly that it took me a good 20 seconds to connect it.

The other wearable is the SmartBand Talk. Sony markets it as a "lifelogger" device which tracks your movement via gyroscope and accelerometer and saves the data. The device also allows to be used pretty much as a bluetooth headset, just that it's not a headset. You can talk to it and it has a little speaker. It has a 1.4" curved narrow e-paper display that allows it to extremely power efficient. The band sports a tiny 70mAh battery.

Frankly, I'll admit that I didn't spend too much time with the SmartBand because I simply did not see any use for it. It kinda perplexes me and seems like some little gimmick gadget that you could just skip and get the real deal in the form of a full-fledges smart-watch.

All in all, Sony's new wearables don't seem to be any new groundbreaking inovation. It adds to the wearable ecosystem and I'm surely happy for that - but when it comes to actually buying one, I think people will find better options in devices from the competition.

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  • Andrei Frumusanu - Thursday, September 4, 2014 - link

    I'll be doing the Z post tomorrow as I'm going to bed now. Reply
  • ridhobtmn - Thursday, September 11, 2014 - link

    where's the promised article. man? Reply
  • 55Tan - Tuesday, December 9, 2014 - link

    The Sony Smartwatch 3 is nothing like the other smart watches on the market (I'd recommend seeing a ranking like http://www.topreport.org/wearable/ instead). Reply
  • Cleargrey - Thursday, September 4, 2014 - link

    The fact that it is (from what I've seen) the first Android Wear device with functioning GPS seems to get swept under the carpet and I have no idea why. Reply
  • andy o - Friday, September 5, 2014 - link

    Also, the only one with transflective display. It's weird, very few media outlets even mention it, let alone make as big of a deal as it deserves. This is hands down the best sports Android Wear watch just because of those 2 features, and it's waterproof enough to go swimming with it. Reply
  • cine229 - Wednesday, September 10, 2014 - link

    I keep thinking the same thing. Samsung now has the Gear S which I think has a built-in gps? It's hard to tell because so little is said about that. And the Apple Watch, which was the one I was waiting for, thinking it would finally have both a GPS and a HRM does not have built-in GPS and starts at $350(?!). I can't believe that the bloggers and media do not understand that some of us out there DO NOT WANT TO ALSO CARRY A PHONE WHEN WORKING OUT. What I do is carry an ipod Nano and then I have the Garmin 210 which has GPS and HRM, but I have to wear the strap. The holy grail, which I thought Apple would unveil yesterday, has all of these things (Music stored with bluetooth headset functionality would be great too - no nano then either). It seems like the Gear S and now this Sony watch are the ones I'll be looking at. Reply
  • darth415 - Friday, September 5, 2014 - link

    The rubber build leads me to presume it will be quite durable. Was it really that disappointing? Reply
  • Valantar - Friday, September 5, 2014 - link

    Wow, this was disappointing. Not the devices, but the article. As Cleargrey mentions, this is the first Android Wear device with built-in GPS, which is a huge improvement to its usability. And you don't even bother to mention it? That's just lazy journalism. And is it really any larger than competing devices? Sure, it's not as stylish as the Moto 360, but it looks better to me than the Gear Live and the G Watch.

    The Smartband Talk on the other hand is first and foremost an activity tracker (step counting and so on), and as such the addition of an e-paper display looks awesome. As an owner of the original Smartband (it came bundled with my Z2) I can say that adding a small, low-power display to a device like this, without taking it into full-on smartwatch territory, sounds great (especially when combined with the clever remote control features that Sony tends to put into these things). I'm more sceptical of the mic/speaker, as I don't see the need, but then again others who call more than I do might have different opinions.
    Reply
  • East17 - Friday, September 5, 2014 - link

    I'm actually disappointed with the fact that Android Wear is really less capable than SONY's SmartWatch 2 firmware.

    SONY SmartWatch 2 is able to do soooo many things with so modest computing power and also has a multi-icon menu.

    The battery life is over a week if you shut it down in the evening, when you get home and you actually don't need it until the morning when you leave.

    Android Wear is such a disappointment at its current stage. and I'm amazed by the fact that SONY didn't continue to develop its own platform.

    Who knows, maybe SmartWatch 3 is just SONY getting in line with the market and offering just the same software functionality for less money and later the company will followup with a high-end SmartWatch Pro or something based on its own platform.
    Reply
  • shuman - Friday, September 5, 2014 - link

    So if you're being sent these devices to review, why aren't you reviewing them regardless if your biased opinion is intrigued?

    Poor review.
    Reply

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