03
Sep
SonyThumb

Sony's been in the Android-powered smartwatch game for years now, but with the release of the third iteration of its straightforwardly-named "SmartWatch" line, the company is transitioning to Android Wear.

The SmartWatch 3 is an unapologetically plastic product. Rather than the usual black brick with a cheap strap, the band on Sony's watch comes in to wrap around the body of the device. This provides it with a look that sets it apart from the competition, though this also means it will probably show more wear and tear with age. Fortunately, the strap is still swappable.

The SmartWatch 3 has a 1.6" 320 by 320 display. It's powered by a 1.2GHz quad-core ARM Cortex A7 processor, 512MB of RAM, and a 420mAh battery. As for durability, it's IP68 rated. The watch will be available in black and green when it launches.

Sony1 Sony2

The more intriguing half of this announcement concerns the SmartBand Talk, a device with an e-ink display that we caught a glimpse of yesterday. The screen is just 1.4" in size and shows text at 192 dpi.

Wearers can use the SmartBand Talk to handle calls thanks to its built-in mic and speaker, a feature reserved for people who aren't afraid to talk into their wrists. The SmartBand is able to track movement due to its included accelerometer and altimeter sensor. Like the SmartWatch 3, it's also rated IP68, though that's pretty much a given with Sony these days. It will launch in black and white.

Both products will hit the market this fall. For more information, here's the full press release, and don't forget Sony's developer blog while you're at it.

Sony expands SmartWear Experience range with two new additions for Lifelog – SmartBand Talk and SmartWatch 3

3rd September 2014, IFA, Berlin – Sony Mobile Communications (“Sony Mobile”)– Sony Mobile today announced the addition of two new products to its SmartWear Experience range, Sony SmartBand Talk and SmartWatch 3. Both talk to the popular Lifelog, the accompanying app designed to help you understand more about the way to live and move, so you can improve and enrich your life.

“Life is a journey, and journeys are made up of stories and experiences that define you – this is the underlying principle for Lifelog, the Android app at the heart of our SmartWear Experience. We’re going beyond mere fitness tracking and number crunching, to help you log and preserve those emotional moments that matter” said Kunimasa Suzuki, President and CEO, Sony Mobile Communications. ”As a pioneer of smart and wearable technology, SmartBand Talk, SmartWatch 3 and Lifelog don’t merely affirm Sony’s leadership in the space, but as the innovators who dare to be different – bringing the world choice; products and services no else can, or will.”

SmartBand Talk – a powerful lifelogging wearable, with intuitive features

SmartBand Talk is a powerful lifelogger, built for users who live life to the fullest.

With its built-in microphone and speaker, SmartBand Talk comes equipped with a short call function so you can talk into it and hear your caller, with HD Voice support – perfect for when you’re on the move or your phone is out of reach. Through Sony’s integrated Voice Control1 technology, you can also assign your own sounds to life bookmarks and use your voice to carry out specific smartphone operations.

SmartBand Talk’s curved, always-on 1.4” e-paper display is a fresh creative approach, based on consumer feedback. It’s low-power but highly visible and clear; you can monitor Lifelog activity, view notifications and the time at a glance.

New built-in accelerometer and altimeter sensor technology feels how you move – and how much – to provide an accurate overview of your daily physical activity; whether it be walking, running or climbing. You can see how active you were and how you have been communicating, as it pulls all of your information from your smartphone and then enables you to view it on its e-paper display screen, wherever and whenever you like.

As you’d expect, SmartBand Talk is waterproof2 (IP68 rated), and launch styles will include Black and White, with extra vibrant colours available later in the year – so something for everyone, whether blending in with your work clothes or a fun accessory to a casual outfit, allowing you to express your individual style.

SmartWatch 3 – Sony’s latest generation “smartwatch”, powered by Android Wear

After leading the market since 2007, SmartWatch 3 is Sony’s latest generation SmartWatch, but the first specifically designed for the latest Android Wear updates in close collaboration with Google. This partnership matches Sony’s leadership in smart, wearable products with Google’s software and platform expertise to create a unique wearable experience founded on both hardware and software innovation.

Android Wear organizes your information, suggests what you need, and shows it to you before you even ask. You can get messages from your friends, appointment notifications, and weather updates at a glance. It could be flight information, tips based on your interests or messages of any kind, so user input is seldom necessary. But if you need to interact with Android Wear, voice is easiest way.

Even without your Android smartphone, SmartWatch 3 is a fun and useful accessory with impressive standalone functionality. The built-in microphone, and Accelerometer, Compass, Gyro and GPS sensor technology means more accurate, more powerful lifelogging.

SmartWatch 3 offers significant step ups from SmartWatch 2, including a 1.6” 320×320 TFT LCD Transflective display for visibility in bright sunlight, set within a stainless steel back panel, for a premium look and feel. It is of course waterproof, rated IP683 – and charges via a standard microUSB port.

It has a built-in 4GB local memory, that means you can sync playlists, and simply connect with a Bluetooth headset to listen. You can do this before a run, leaving the smartphone at home and still have great music offline – you can also track that run with GPS and Lifelog.

It will be available in Classic (Black) and Sport (Lime) editions, with extra colour straps available in Pink and White after launch.

Lifelog – a personal Android application, that captures and tells your story

Downloadable from the Google Play Store, Lifelog is a fun Android app built to enable you to set and achieve goals, bookmark memorable moments, and revisit memories any time, so that you get to know yourself better.

SmartBand Talk and SmartWatch 3 both enable and present lifelogging activity and data on the wrist, but also connect to the application on your Android smartphone via Bluetooth® and NFC, once you connect to your Sony Entertainment Network3 account.

Sony is previewing a new web interface login for Lifelog, accessible from the Sony Mobile website later this year, designed to give users even more visibility and control over their lifestyle data. And, during 2014, Sony will open up the API for partners to integrate services with Lifelog or build completely fresh experiences.

Sony outlined that together with accessories brand Proporta, it would soon share SmartBand SWR10 collections featuring licensed designs from leading labels, Ted Baker and Barbour.

Sony also introduced a new collaboration with famous and popular lifestyle brand – Roxy, the female surf, snowboard, clothing and accessories brand – to bring limited edition SmartWear styles to market later this year.

SmartBand Talk and SmartWatch 3 – the fashionable new additions to Sony’s SmartWear Experience range will launch later in Autumn 2014.

Bertel King, Jr.
Born and raised in the rural South, Bertel knows what it's like to live without 4G LTE - or 3G, for that matter. The only things he likes sweeter than his tea are his gadgets, and while few objects burn more than a metal phone on a summer day, he prefers them that way anyway.

  • Mert Çelen

    I'm sorry sony but moto 360 better than this

    • AbbyZFresh

      this watch is good for us active in sports. I can't continue my biking with the 360 on. It's too big and the round screen will irritate my wrist. The 360 is good for business and fashion but not beyond those two.

      Remember, Android Wear also gives choices to specific types of people as well. The 360 happens to be your demographic it targets. Not me.

      • Santiago Gomez

        I was going to jump board with you, but I rather find out what 360 has in store, who knows maybe....

  • Eduardo Mateos

    Sony...

    What were you thinking when you designed THAT thing you call watch?

  • anon

    lol bears 78 vikings 80

  • Corey Watford

    Less than 24hrs til the 360

    • Gaurav Arora

      NO! This is the best! It's the most hippie watch ever, this'll go well with my white pants, my square glass frames, and my Dell with a Mac sticker on it.

      • Đức Thành

        Mac sticker is too mainstream, put a banana sticker on it.

        • bobEveryman

          You know, for scale and such...

  • turbooo

    Other then family and friends of Sony employees I wonder who would actually buy this

    • Just_Some_Nobody

      I wouldn't mind the e-ink one, TBH.

      And no, I don't work for Sony. Nor do I know someone who does.

    • NexusKoolaid

      The SW3 has IP68, always on display with (claimed) 2~4 day battery life. The band solution is a little weird, but other than that this doesn't suck. That said, I'll withhold my final opinion until I see the street price and how the 360 turns out.

  • http://tommydaniel.com Tommy Thompson

    And GPS! Might have finally found something to replace my MotoActv!

    • http://www.whatupgoingon.com Greg Macek

      This. And being able to pair with BT headphones provides a real option for running or biking without needing to bring my phone with me. I just hope fitness apps like Runtastic can access the GPS capabilities and run straight off the watch!

  • noel kait

    I like it, its waterproof and durable. Y'all want smart watches to look so good like a rolex, if you want to have high fashion then buy a rolex. If you want functionality in a durable body then I'd go for this. Like to use my smart watch in the rain or in the pool with no problem.
    Top notch Sony

  • Anfronie

    What is the pricing on these?

    • http://tommydaniel.com Tommy Thompson

      1 Million Dollars.

      • Anfronie

        dang it that's $1,000 too much!

    • Ambroos

      In the Netherlands:
      SmartBand Talk - €159.99
      SmartWatch 3 - €229.99

  • Ambroos

    Cool thing about the watch is that it's a transflective display. No matter how bright the sun, you get perfect visibility without an active backlight!

    • Sean Thomas

      But there is a backlight right..?

      • Ambroos

        Of course, of course, but it's also perfectly usable and visible without backlight or in very bright sunlight.

    • ssj4Gogeta

      If that is for the watch (not the band) a la Qualcomm Toq, it's pretty impressive.

      • Ambroos

        It is. The band is e-ink, the watch is true transflective (both reflective for exterior light and transparent for built-in backlight). The current SmartWatch 2 also has a transflective display but with a much lower resolution. I have one and it's surprisingly good even in the brightest of light.

        • Kevin

          Would you say the Moto 360 would've been better if it had this display?

          • Ambroos

            I haven't seen the Moto 360 in person yet, so I'm not sure. They all have their distinct advantages. The SmartWatch will look better in bright sunlight because of the much better visibility but colour reproduction and contrast might suffer when using the backlight in dark surroundings. The Moto 360 will probably look better (and rounder) in any situation without too much environment light.

  • anees

    Sony allows the bands to be changed but you'll have to buy the special bands from sony

    • NexusKoolaid

      I'm sure there will be aftermarket versions available soon after launch.

  • http://petercast.net Peterson Silva

    Ok, is the band also running Android Wear??

    • noel kait

      no fedora man

  • Leif Sikorski

    At least it has an ambient light sensor...

  • Badouken

    With so many smart watches coming out competition has to eventually get fierce... thats why im going to wait a year to buy one, there will probably be a moto 360 2 and prices overall will probably go down due to competition!

  • ChrisM40

    Hmm. Shame its not as smart looking as the last smartwatch. The smartwatch 2, refined a little, would have been the best ive seem yet, apart from the G watch R. This just looks like a fitness tracker, not a watch.

  • neo905

    The things I like about this watch that separate it from others so far is that I can actually jog, swim, exercise with this. Second, it is future proofed as far as being ready for when Android Wear isn't tethered to a phone which again make it useful if I want to exercise with Music without needing my phone on me as well. Is that compatible with any Android smartphone?

    • AbbyZFresh

      It's compatible with any android phone version 4.3 and up.

  • TedPhillips

    these both look pretty good.

  • atridow

    Quick question.

    Snapdragon S400 or not ?

    • Syukri Lajin

      quick answer. "Or"

  • Alex Lam

    This looks really attractive.

  • CheCorchete

    Looks so good

  • Zanza00

    The smartband talk is aimed clearly ath the fitness market, it's damn similar to the garmin vivofit.

  • Serandel

    Does it have a heart rate monitor? Suppose to, but I don't find any confirmation... I would also love to see a picture of the rumored metallic strap.