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Sony SmartWatch 3 review

7.3/10 AVG.
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Sony SmartWatch 3
Sony SmartWatch 3
Sony SmartWatch 3
Sony SmartWatch 3
Sony SmartWatch 3

Specs / Features

Warranty (Months) 12 months
Size 3 x 5 cm (1.2 x 2 in)
Weight N/A
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Reviews summary section

What's good

  • Built-in GPS
  • Good legibility in different lighting situations
  • IP68 rated – dust and water-proof
  • Sharp display
  • Good performance

What's bad

  • Uninspired design
  • Poor battery life during moderate-heavy use
  • Poor viewing angles

While technically the third iteration in Sony's SmartWatch line, the SmartWatch 3 is actually the first one that comes with Android Wear and also the first to include a built-in GPS radio for more precise tracking. Still, these added features aren't enough to wow critics, especially when taking into account its lackluster design. The square watch face and rubberized band gives it what critics describe as a more "utilitarian" appearance. But it doesn't just look practical. The SmartWatch 3 is IP68 rated, which means it is water-resistant in up to 4.9 feet of water for 30 minutes and the rubber straps are also impervious to water and sweat. At 66 grams, it is also one of the lighter smartwatches, making it ideal for runners and athletes. While light, critics found it to be somewhat chunky and a bit uncomfortable to wear as they had difficulty finding the right fit too tight and too loose.

The 1.6-inch display has a resolution of 320x320, which amounts to a pixel density of 283ppi. More importantly, it is one of the first smartwatches to utilize transflective technology. As the name suggests, it can both transmit and reflect ambient light. This gave experts fairly good legibility in most lighting situations without needing to turn on the backlight. Unfortunately, they found the rest of the display unimpressive pointing to the dull colors, poor viewing angles and yellow tint to whites.

With a 1.2GHz quad-core processor and 512MB of RAM, the SmartWatch 3 performed smoothly for reviewers. They didn't experience any lag when navigating or during voice commands. Engadget did experience some slowdown with the accelerometer but otherwise had no issues with performance. Powering the watch is a 420mAh cell, which can be recharged via a standard microUSB plug. For the most part, critics were able to get around 48 hours of light use though they add that heavy users would likely not get a full day.

Reviewers are split on their recommendation for the SmartWatch 3 due to its lackluster design but good hardware specs. Androidpit states, "…it's a solid performer…If you're more interested in the hardware, performance and functionality of your wearable, then the Sony SmartWatch is a good choice." On the other hand, the Verge states, "…there's nothing really special about it. But it works."

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