Sony SmartWatch 3 review: dull design, but great for runners
Sony's latest smartwatch won't be for everyone, what with its dull design and muted screen. Still, this is currently the only Android Wear device with a built-in GPS radio, making it a smart choice for runners and other athletes interested in tracking their pace and distance.
- Built-in GPS is ideal for runners and other athletes
- WiFi and NFC make this more future-proof than other Android Wear devices
- Relatively long battery life
- Display is easy to read in direct sunlight
- Drab design
- Screen isn't as vibrant as on some other smartwatches
- Not many Android Wear apps currently make use of the GPS, WiFi or NFC
This here is the Sony SmartWatch 3. That might make it sound like it's the third iteration in a line of gadgets, but really, it's the first. That's because even though this is Sony's third smartwatch (fourth if you count the Sony Ericsson LiveView), it's actually Sony's first that comes with Android Wear. Both the original SmartWatch and the SmartWatch 2 ran Sony's own proprietary platform, which, while Android-friendly, didn't have nearly the same reach as Google's Android Wear. It's great that Sony has finally seen the light, but the SmartWatch 3 has arrived remarkably late to the party, letting rivals like Motorola, LG and Samsung gain ground. On the other hand, the SmartWatch 3 is currently the only Android Wear option with a built-in GPS radio, allowing for more precise workout tracking. Which, as it turns out, could be enough to help Sony stand apart from the pack.