Sony was lagging behind the likes of Samsung, Motorola and Pebble in the smartwatch sector since wearable tech took off a few years ago. It’s now onto its third form of the Sony SmartWatch, hoping to make a dent in this rapidly expanding market. It runs stock Android Wear, which is astonishing because the previous iteration ran Sony’s own customized Android platform. This was most likely a wise move as Android Wear is a user-friendly platform that lots of people are confident with. The SmartWatch 3 we tested was coated in silicone plastic, with a large display screen inset into the band. On the face from it, this will make the wearable look like a step back for Sony – the SmartWatch 2 resembled a far more premium watch. However, the SmartWatch 3 is better designed for an active lifestyle, with an IP68, meaning it could be completely submerged in water. If you are more interested in a fashion accessory than getting healthy, Sony also provide a stainless steel variation of the SmartWatch 3 with a metal website link wristband. It costs slightly more at £229.99, but presently Sony are selling one of the rubber straps as a free present. Navigation is straightforward and responsive, and the 320×320, 1.6-inch display is very sharp.
Admittedly this might be where the square screen comes into it’s own, as swiping and viewing communications is a breeze. Running stock Android Wear, there aren’t really any shocks to be found. Nevertheless, the addition of a built-in GPS sensor makes using Google Maps and Google Fit much easier. A few swipes goes to a map where you can observe a route to home or any other chosen location. This automatically starts it on your own phone, but in addition provides guidelines so you don’t need to ﬁ sh your mobile out of your pocket when you need to just take a turn. This works well and demonstrates a real advantages of a smartwatch. If you’re the athletic type, it will also help you to operate out without your phone. The SmartWatch 3 can work separately from your phone as a result of the GPS, therefore now you can jog to your hearts content and get all the crucial updates without lugging your phone around with you. Sony certainly has not quite got the look of the smartwatch sorted yet and ideally the next version will get back to the drawing board in terms of style goes, because the square face and razor-sharp corners grate quite a bit. However, this is a very solid device, the screen quality is good and also the GPS addition is fantastic.