Sony Smartwatch 3 a quick review

Unfortunately I won't have much time with the SmartWatch 3 due to other commitments but I am very interested in what Sony (and Android wear) has to offer especially since I have a Z3 Compact. While I loved the Gear S, for people on a budget and without access to a Samsung phone, the cost approaches prohibitive. Sony has been doing remarkable things with battery life and this would be a bump up from the Gear Fit.

First off some specs. This iteration of the Sony SmartWatch comes with NFC and GPS. While I got the sport watch model, you can get a stainless steel band or leather strap that looks like it could be replaced. Like most Sony Mobile products it's IP68 rated. The sport watch band is similar the the band style on the Gear S and fastens securely. The screen is bright and responsive, registering swipes very well. Voice detection works well as long as it can hear you clearly.

I took it to work out. The first thing I missed was the heartrate monitor. I like to know how I'm doing. Because this is a wide watch the button on the side dug into my wrist when I was doing pushups. Without a curved screen the wearer has to have a larger wrist. Fred found it very comfortable to wear. It registered steps well.

While I'm not happy with the lack of heart rate monitor, the deal breaker for me is how it charges. While it charges super fast and has a reasonable battery life, it's through a microUSB port with a silicone cover. I am never comfortable plugging in especially after Mark Lastiwka's USB connector experience. I spent a lot of time picking at the port cover too. Sony has magnetic charging, it would have been a cool feature for the watch.

So this turned out to not be the watch for me. If you're a runner you would find the GPS useful for tracking your run and having music on board means you could leave your phone behind and just take a BT headset with you. Android wear runs without a stutter and there's lots of storage on board to add apps.

Thanks to +Sony Canada for the review unit.