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Sony SmartWatch 3 hands-on: the smart band evolved


Design


Sony's smart-watch is incredibly clean and understated. It's basically a silicone-rubber band with a screen and a single button built in. Sports types are going to love it, while fans of traditional watches will probably see it as just another sporty wristband. The watch secures itself to the wrist via a sturdy metal clasp and generally feels good on the arm, although it is big, and its band is underwhelming. We can easily tell where it was machine-cut, and it isn't pretty! The watch itself has a stainless steel back.

Display


SmartWatch 3 has a 1.6-inch 320x320 TFT LCD display that appears somewhat washed out, but it's fine for a smart-watch. It is completely flat, and there isn't anything else of note about it.

Interface


Designed under Google's watchful eye, the Sony SmartWatch 3 is another Android Wear device. The interface is strongly reminiscent of Google Now for Android with its card-based approach to delivering notifications and data gathered from the device's sensors. Sony added to the experience by connecting the watch to its Lifelog app, which lets you look back on any day to see how active you were, where you went and how you got there - the name is quite self-explanatory, as you can see. The built-in watch-faces also look good.

Processor and memory


The SmartWatch 3's hardware platform is based on a 1.2 GHz, Quad-core ARM® CortexTM A7 processor with 512MB RAM, powered by a 420mAh battery. This is more than enough for what a smart-watch is meant to do at this point, so it's no surprise Sony's timepiece handled very well in our testing. There's no stutter or lag to report.

Expectations


The Sony smart-watch will probably remain a device with limited appeal, catering to hardcore Sony fans or consumers that prefer the “smart-watch as a wearable computer” concept rather than the “smart-watch as a watch first” treatise. It is probably not the best smartwatch out there, but it is the best wearable device from Sony we've seen so far.

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