Hey Sony, don't give up on making Android Wear smartwatches

Now is the time to take another stab at a Google-powered watch

October 2014. If you're a smartwatch enthusiast, specifically an Android Wear smartwatch enthusiast, you'll know that this is when Sony first announced the SmartWatch 3, the follow-up to the SmartWatch 2 and original SmartWatch, two decidedly underwhelming smartphone companions. It's 28 months later (yes, we are counting) and it's looking even less likely that we'll see another smartwatch from Sony, which is really disappointing.

For a very long time, the SmartWatch 3 was our Android Wear fave and rightfully so for a lot of reasons. Personally, I wasn't instantly blown away by it, but the more time I spent with it, the more I grew to appreciate why it stood out from the Wear crowd. If you didn't want the sporty rubber band option, Sony did a better job than most in introducing an all-metal version. It was the first Android Wear smartwatch to include built-in GPS and it managed to squeeze out more battery life than its Wear competitors. Also, built-in micro USB charging FTW.

Read this: The ultimate guide to Android Wear 2.0

It wasn't perfect, but hey, which Google-powered watch hasn't been without its issues? There was definitely a lot less to complain about Sony's watch than most, making it all the more easier to recommend.

sony smartwatch 4 release date price specs

Apple Watch aside, it's the one I've been asked about the most from friends and family eager to buy their first smartwatch. When the price dropped, it was an even more justifiable first purchase. If you didn't like it, it's not like you'd be sticking a $300 device into your drawer never to be used again.

Sony hasn't officially backed away from smartwatches and wearables in the same way that Motorola has recently, but having missed its usual October announcement spot, it doesn't look good.

This could be a great time for Sony to revive its interest in smartwatches, especially with the changes that are afoot with Android Wear. Google is set to unleash arguably its most important smartwatch platform update yet and the delayed launch hasn't dissuaded the likes of Casio, New Balance, Tag Heuer, Swarovski and potentially both LG and Huawei from releasing new devices in the coming months.

Don't bet against Fossil making more Wear watches as well after the fashion brand told us it's promising 300 connected wearables before the end of 2017.

This extra time out of the space surely would've given Sony the opportunity to stand back and see what people really want from smartwatches and build on what it achieved with its third-gen device. It feels like there's genuine excitement around Android Wear for the first time in a long while and I'm hoping that one of the tech rearguards hasn't given up hope just yet. It's already proved it can make good things happen.

What do you think?

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  • hopper·

    I bought my SW3 two years ago and I have never regretted it. I hope if Sony does follow-up with a SmartWatch 4, they will buck the trends of the other Android Wear makers and keep their rectangular format. I would also like them to keep a screen that is always-on and viewable in bright sunlight. An IMOD or ePaper display would be great. And I hope the new watch will be IP68-resistant against salt-water (a.k.a. sweat) this time. Add a heart-rate monitor and ability to stream music and the SW4 would be uniquely positioned in the Wearable marketplace with value unmatched by any of their competition.

  • tonyr_hu·

    YES! Please SONY, don't give up, we need your new awesome smartwatch too ;)

  • tonyr_hu·

    YES! Please SONY don't give up, we need your new smartwatch too :)

  • Joe5·

    I want my first smartwatch to be from Sony! I trust a lot their products!

  • Stay_Lift3d·

    Firstly, what a great read and it's really nice to see a nice opinion on this great little watch, I do hope myself that Sony follows up on the SWR50 and improves the display quality and overall functionality.

    I wanted the SWR50 for a while but felt the price was fairly high when it was first released but I was in town the other week and seen one second hand for £65 and I didn't think twice at buying it, the only downside is that it's missing the rubber flap for the charging port.

    I've owned it for just over a week now paired with my Xperia X on Android 7.1.1 and I've had quite a comfortable experience with it, very easy to set up and I love the work that's out there too. I'm using the standard black rubber band with it and it looks great, I'd love to get my hands on the stainless steel band but prices are fairly high. 

    Also, I see that people are making their own templates for the watch piece itself so you can fit your own strap as the availability of official straps is very low, pricing around £35-£40 for the lime green or pink strap.

    As a new Android Wear user the experience so far is great and I'm still learning new things, I've also read that the SWR50 is on the planned list for Android Wear 2.0 so that'll hopefully be interesting to play with.

    Some wear apps that I'd recommend are: StayLit Wear, Wear Battery Stats, Wear App Store

  • TonyD·

    The Sony Smartwatch 3, might not be the flashiest on the market, but it has great features, reliability, and long battery life. It would be good if the current device got an Android Wear 2 upgrade at least, even if they don't produce another model this year.