Almost three years after I bought the Sony Smartwatch 2 I decided to upgrade. Yep, my Sony SmartWatch 3 is indeed on its way! In this post, I will do a pre-review and explain why I specifically went for this watch when there are so many other smartwatches to choose from.

SWR50 Range

The range of SWR50 straps. I ordered the standard strap – the rubber one in the middle.

Why the Sony SmartWatch 3?

There’s more than one reason for choosing the SmartWatch 3 from Sony. Other smartwatches in the market currently include the Huawei Watch, ASUS Zenwatch 2, Motorola Moto 360 Sport, LG Watch UrbaneĀ 2 and the very smart Samsung Gear S3 Frontier which will be available soon.

Here are a few reasons I specifically chose the SmartWatch 3:

  • Best value for money: At only R2 999 through Takealot, it is one of the cheapest smartwatches out there. [Update 10/03] It is now just R2420, marked 43% off from its original price. Too bad I didn’t wait a few days.
  • It is one of the smarter watches: It has a GPS, compass, accelerometer, gyro sensor and WiFi built in with a 1.6″ transflective display, meaning you can view contents on the screen in direct sunlight.
  • It is IP68 water and dust proof.

swr50_water_drops

  • It runs Android Wear. I’d rather go with Android than with a custom OS like Tizen. With my SmartWatch 2, I always envied the Android Wear watches becauseĀ of the abundance of apps available for them.
  • It has a microphone for voice input. This is especially useful for using Google Voice, which can do a lot of cool things instantly.
  • It can function independently from your phone. When going out for a run you can use the GPS to track your route while listening to music via Bluetooth earphones. The great thing is that you can leave your phone at home!
  • I have a Sony smartphone. While this makes basically no difference, I still believe it will work slightly better with its own brand.

I don’t think more bullets are needed to convince you that the SmartWatch 3 is great!

OS & Apps

android_wear_logo_new

Initially released on 18 March 2014, Android Wear is the OS which made smartwatches smart. If I compare the OS of the SmartWatch 3 to that of the SmartWatch 2, the OS of the SW2 seems very basic. This is indeed the case as Sony had to write its own OS based on Android when the SmartWatch 2 was released back in 2013. As such few useful apps exist for the SW2. Android Wear is used by a lot of manufacturers, so there are quite a few great apps out there.

swr50_apps_1

Todoist, Endomondo and Lifelog

swr50_apps_2

Golfshot, iFit and Camera Remote Control

What I particularly like about Android Wear is that it has a dedicated section in the Google Play Store for its apps. With the Smartwatch 2, I also downloaded apps from the Play Store, but it was quite a hassle to sift through the apps as there are no categories.

swr50_google-play


My watch should be delivered on Monday. I will thoroughly test it through the week and do another review soon! Stay tuned.