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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  • gnu77 - Friday, September 5, 2014 - link

    Awful review. You 'think people will find better options from the competition'? What are they? You didnt even go into details of what these devices can do so how can you say theres better options? Such a half-assed lazy review imo.
  • tremblingwater - Saturday, September 6, 2014 - link

    I'm surprised you didn't go into more indeoth about this. In addition to what others have mentioned (transreflective display and GPS) you haven't explored why it would make sense for it to be the way it is (being sports orientated??)

    The fact that it has a GPS chip and also (I've read) that you can use the 4gb nand as local storage to play music. Either one means you can leave the phone at home for running, cycling sessions.

    Come on guys. I feel like the Sony smartwatch isn't really getting the discussion it needs.
  • jameskatt - Sunday, September 7, 2014 - link

    For any wrist device to succeed, it has to first and foremost BE jewelry. The consumer has to want to wear one without consideration of what it does. After all, even if one wears a watch, how often does one use it to tell time particularly when one has a smartphone that shows the time?? The watch has for years been simply jewelry first, function second. This is why people aspire to wear $30,000 Rolex watches and other brands. Even men's watches are first and foremost jewelry. This is why men buy several of them. If you had to consider function first, you would only have one worn out watch not several.

    These attempts at wearables all fail because they are not jewelry first.

    Apple may be the exception. It has many leaders from the fashion and design industry working at Apple. It would not surprise me to see Tim Cook introduce a woman, Angela Ahrendts, the former CEO of Burberry, who now is the senior vice president of retail and online stores at Apple, and have her introduce the iWatch, having tested the beta products herself. If she approves of the iWatch, then there is no doubt the iWatch is going to succeed.

    If a smartwatch or wearable is going to succeed, it has to attract women first. And women will have to approve of men wearing it. If women aren't attracted to men wearing a smartwatch, then the smartwatch fails.

    This is quite different an aspiration from any other smartwatch manufacturer. For them, the smartwatch or wearable has to be attractive to geeks first. Then greeks have to approve of other geeks wearing them.
  • enderscottcard - Wednesday, September 24, 2014 - link

    You may be right that they won't have commercial success unless they are considered jewelry. I for one don't have any $30,000 watches or even any cars I've paid that much for although some of them were worth much more than that when they were new. The SmartBand Talk looks like it might be a close match to my wants if the price is right. I am willing to pay a fair price for a useful electronic device; but have no interest in paying ANY price for jewelry.
  • ffh2303 - Thursday, September 11, 2014 - link

    Still waiting for the post on the Z3 phones and tablets.
    I mean seriously,do you guys hate Sony or something?

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