It looks like Sony has given up on its old smartwatch ways. As we confirmed days before its announcement, the Sony SmartWatch 3 is running Android Wear and has been given a slightly different (and simple) design when compared to its predecessors. While Android Wear is a solid wearable platform, for Sony fans the SmartWatch 3 may be a step backwards…

For specifications, Sony’s SmartWatch 3 packs a 1.6-inch display with a 320 x 320 resolution, 1.2GHz quad-core processor, 512MB of RAM, GPS, NFC, and a 420mAh battery. As you can tell, there’s not much different here than we’ve seen with other Android Wear devices currently available. Though Sony did mention that the SmartWatch 3 will be able to partially function without a phone for navigation purposes thanks to the GPS chip and listening to on-board music with Bluetooth headphones.

Check out our Sony SmartWatch 3 hands-on video below:

It’s great that Sony is moving along with the times and jumping on the Android Wear train, but this product just doesn’t seem good enough to complete with Samsung, Motorola, ASUS, LG, and others. The design is very basic and includes a proprietary silicon watch band which can only be replaced with Sony’s in-house solutions and a micro USB port on the back for charging.

The SmartWatch 3 is IP68 certified for dust and water resistance, but charging the device may be a hassle due to the rubber flap that covers the micro USB port. That’s certainly not a deal breaker, but Sony isn’t spoiling us with a fancy charging dock at this point (or at least there’s no mention of one).

Don’t get me wrong, the silicon strap is comfortable, but the SmartWatch 3’s odd underside shape causes it to sit weird on the wrist. I just didn’t find it to be comparable with other Android Wear devices out there. It just seems like Sony has moved backwards with the SmartWatch 3 and if it’s not priced properly, it could be a failure.

At this point, Sony has yet to announce pricing and availability for the SmartWatch 3, but in my opinion, this needs to undercut the competition to survive the aggressive Wearables market. There are a handful of $199 offerings at this point, all of which would be a better purchase than Sony’s solution unless the price is right. For more Sony coverage, check out our Xperia Z3 hands-on and first impressions video.

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