The Sony SmartWatch 3 remains one of the best Android smartwatches, even over a year after the wearable has launched, and the gadget has every right to get these kinds of accolades. The SmartWatch 3 is housed with various future-proof and useful features such as built-in GPS, NFC, waterproofing, and Wi-Fi capabilities and it is still very hard to find a wearable which has all these bundled in one device.
But in order to keep up with the ever advancing smartwatch world, the maker of this amazing gadget, Sony needs to produce the successor of the SmartWatch 3. Hence, the Japanese company is busy making a truly innovative and gorgeous timepiece, the next edition of the company’s next Android Wear Smartwatch, the Sony SmartWatch 4. In this article, we will discuss about the design, features, probable release date and the price of Sony SmartWatch 4.
Sony SmartWatch 4 Design
Although there is no complain regarding the features of SmartWatch 3, the design and the rubber strap of this smartwatch looks a bit shabby, to be honest. Yes, it is a slick looking, minimalistic and sporty kind of a wearable, but when you are paying more than Rs. 20,000, it looks like an understated fashion statement. Even the arch competitors of this smartwatch, like Apple Watch, Huawei Watch and the new Moto 360; all looks classy and gorgeous. So Sony should look into this matter, and design the upcoming wearable in such a manner, that it comes in an attractive blend of sporty and regal looks. And if that means, we need to splash US$50 for a more refined, universally-appealing design, that’s completely from our side.
Sony Smartwatch 4 Features
More Accurate GPS
While we were testing the SmartWatch 3, we enjoyed taking the advantage of the device’s built-in GPS. But we noticed that, this cool feature has some serious downsides too. The sensors are not just up to the mark and also it drained out wearable’s battery a lot. Apart from that, we also faced another noticeable issue. We noticed that the distance tracked by the smartwatch’s GPS differed a lot with what our phones were showing. Moreover, our tests showed that, while we were using GPS, the battery dropped almost 10% in mere 24 minutes.
So, we hope Sony will take a note on these matters while developing their next iteration of the SmartWatch series. The company should improve the wearable’s hardware, to ensure a more accurate tracking experience. Further, if the company wants to project the SmartWatch 4 as a sporty and ‘proper’ running watch, then they should improve the battery efficiency of the built-in GPS feature, like 20% drop in three hours use kind of efficiency.
Implementing Android Pay
Having NFC installed in a smartwatch is still a stand out feature and provides an edge over the competitors. Sony was far sighted enough to implement this feature into the SmartWatch 3, but unfortunately it had been under-utilized.
The introduction of Android Marshmallow along with the Android Pay made SmartWatch 3 owners excited, as they thought they would finally be able make wireless “tap” payments. But pouring water to their excitement, Android Pay did not arrive on this gadget.
We are almost sure that the next generation SmartWatch 4 will come with NFC support and as the global adoption of Android Pay has increased, we are very much optimistic that the feature will be included in most, if not all, 2016 Android run wearables. So there are high chances that the Android Pay will be implemented in the upcoming Sony SmartWatch 4.
A Built-in Speaker
Google incorporated support for audio feedback in all kinds of Android Wear v1.4, that means all wearables with speakers can now make noise. So just think, how cool it would be to answer a call straight from your wrist or listen to music. So far, Huawei Watch is the only smartwatch which adopts this feature and comes with a speaker built into the timepiece. So we can easily expect that to stay in the wearable rat race, Sony SmartWatch 4 will also come with same sort of technology.
An Incredible Battery
With a 420mAh battery housed inside the SmartWatch 3, it is the best of the smartwatch league and offers way better battery capacity than its competitors like Huawei Watch, Moto 360, or the LG Watch Urbane. Depending on your usage, the battery life of the SmartWatch 3 lasts up to two days (unless you are using the GPS vigorously).
Going by the definition, a wearable is something that you should make a habit out of wearing, instead of charging after every 3 hours. And the battery life is by far the weakest link of most of the smartwatches. So, we are hoping the Japanese tech conglomerate will raise the bar a bit higher with their upcoming SmartWatch 4.
More Sensor Options
Although the SmartWatch 3 falls under the smartwatch genre, but with its awesome sensor options, it came very close to be awarded as one of the best fitness trackers, a criteria, which many wearables fail to achieve. Apart from the built-in GPS, this wearable also offers its users other sensor options such as gyroscope, and accelerometer. But, we would love to see Sony pushing even harder and include other sensor options. The altimeter and the optical heart rate sensor which can track your altitude and heart rate, respectively, are the best options Sony can include in the upcoming SmartWatch 4, to make its “fitness tracker” tag more worthy.
An Android smartwatch with the Wi-Fi capabilities is a perfect combination a tech enthusiast can dream of. If the SmartWatch 4 comes with a cellular access, then users can operate it over a cellular signal while untethered from your smartphone. Though having cellular access in the SmartWatch 4 is a bit far-flung dream, or might not be practical, but surely it will increase the smartwatch experience by a million times.
Advanced Charging Methods
Wireless charging is the new technology which will surely change the entire definition of the charging methods. But, Sony SmartWatch 3 is still stuck in the medieval age. The microUSB port of this particular wearable needs too much effort to hook up and at times just feels clumsy. The device lacks any magnetic guides to make the entire charging process user friendly. So we hope, Sony will fix this issue in the upcoming SmartWatch 4 and will make the process easier.
iOS-Compatible Fitness Applications
Google made all the Android Wears iPhone compatible in 2015 and that is the coolest thing they did last year. Many Android run wearables are compatible with the iPhone in a limited way, but only a few is actually rich enough to support the compatibility with the odd couple.
Albeit, determining which Android smartwatch will offer compatibility with the iPhone out-of-the-box, is entirely on the hands of Google and Sony has nothing to do with it. But, we expect that Sony would at least create an iOS compatible app which can automatically transfer fitness data from the SmartWatch 4 into an iPad Air 2 or an iPhone 6s.
To Retain the Square Design
Though many will differ from our view, but we really want the Sony Smartwatch 4 to come with the square design. The Huawei Watch and Moto 360 all come with a gorgeous looking circular design and it looks very stunning. But if the Sony Smartwatch also goes for the same design it will loose its charm and uniqueness. The square design will make it a stand out device along with the jaw-dropping features and technicalities.
Sony Smartwatch 4 Release Date
We all expected that, Sony would make an announcement on the SmartWatch 4, during the MWC 2016 conference in February. But that did not happen. So the company may choose the IFA 2016 in Berlin to unveil the SmartWatch 4, like they used the same platform to launch SmartWatch 3 in 2014.
Sony Smartwatch 4 Price
Although the company did not spill the bean about the price of the Sony SmartWatch 4, but we think the upcoming wearable will be priced at nearly $299 (around £210, AU$420).