Sony revealed two new wearables at IFA on Wednesday: the SmartBand Talk and the SmartWatch 3, the firm’s first Android Wear device.
The SmartWatch 3 comes with a 1.6-inch 320×320 transflective display, which is a bit more resolution than its predecessor had. It also comes with GPS and, like the SmartBand products, it comes with a life-logger application.
Sony’s decision to go with Google Android Wear software will surprise many people, as the company had previously ploughed ahead with its own watch software. The shift means less development stress for Sony, of course, though Android Wear is also yet to prove itself.
Physically, the SmartWatch 3 is (in my opinion) a clear improvement on its predecessors, with the watch face blending into the strap rather than hanging on as a boxy attachment. It will cost €230 ($302) in Europe, though that’s including tax. Still, it’s on the pricey side for Android Wear. It comes in black or lime, with pink and white straps available for an extra €25 each.
Unlike the first SmartBand, the SmartBand Talk comes with a curved 1.4-inch, 288×128-pixel e-ink display for email notifications and so on. As the name suggests, it also has a microphone and speaker for voice commands, and can also be used to handle calls over Bluetooth. However, with a 70mAh battery, they’d better be short calls.
The SmartBand Talk also comes with an accelerometer and altimeter — handy for climbers. It will cost €160, with a pack of two extra bands costing €25.
Both wearables are waterproof down to 4.9 feet for up to half an hour, just like Sony’s flagship Xperia smartphones.