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.
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.
Shop for recommended Android Wear watches on Amazon
Sony SmartWatch 3
Nixon The Mission
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