Will there ever be a Sony Smartwatch 4? Along with Huawei, Samsung, and Apple, Sony is one of those technology giants that came out with a series of smartwatches early on. They did this in the hopes of dominating the wearables market, which grew by 10.3 percent in 2017.
However, it has been four years since the announcement of the previous model. The company has given no word about a predecessor to the Sony Smartwatch 3. Will the Sony Smartwatch 4 ever see the light of day? What can we expect from our long wait?
To answer that, let us first look at the Sony Smartwatch 3 to establish a baseline of what features we can expect from the Sony Smartwatch 4.
Announced at the IFA 2014, the Sony Smartwatch 3 allows you to choose a look that matches your personality. The smartwatch comes in different colors and strap materials. You can even swap out the interchangeable bands to give your smartwatch a new look.
This smartwatch uses Android Wear 1.5 as its operating system. It features an array of sensors that enable it to do its job: accelerometer, compass, a built-in GPS, and ambient light sensors.
The Sony Smartwatch 3 came out at a time when the best smartwatches used connected GPS. The embedded global positioning system helps to attract people who want to leave their phones at home when jogging or running. Not only that, the apps connect to your Wi-Fi network and the Internet without needing to be tethered to your smartphone.
Further, this smartwatch collects various fitness-related data as well as delivers notifications from your phone. You can answer an incoming call from your wrist. You can even read SMS messages and e-mails. However, you will still need to take out your smartphone to reply to messages, or to talk to whoever is calling.
With a 1.6-inch transflective touch display, an IP68 water resistant rating, and a quad-core processor, there is a lot to like about the Sony Smartwatch 3. Verified buyers on Amazon rate it 3.7 stars out of 5
They love the embedded GPS, the four-gigabyte storage space for your files, and the relative freedom from their smartphones. The price of the Sony Smartwatch 3 ranges from $$ to $$.
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Now that we have a clearer picture of what Sony has given us so far, here are the improvements and features we would like to see on the Sony Smartwatch 4.
- Longer battery life
If the Sony Smartwatch 4 ever becomes a reality, then it is sure to have impressive battery life. In March 2017, Sony senior vice president Kaz Tajima talked about why the company still has not come out with a new smartwatch. Tajima revealed that they are working to improve on the lousy battery life of the Smartwatch 3.
The Sony Smartwatch 3 has a battery life that lasts up to two days. Even if the Sony Smartwatch 4 can hack a runtime of up to four days that will still be a good development. However, it will be nicer if the company can deliver a battery that can last weeks, such as the ones we see on the Mobvoi Ticwatch Pro or the Huawei Watch 2. Both of these smartwatches offer a low power mode that helps conserve battery juice.
- Operating system
There are two courses of action that Sony can take with regards to the operating system used by the new smartwatch. They might continue using the Wear OS by Google or use another operating system altogether.
- Latest Wear OS version
The Sony Smartwatch 3 only got as far as Android Wear 1.5. If Sony continues to use Wear OS for its smartwatches, then it should be using the latest versions of the operating system. Wear OS 2.1 now features better integration with Google Assistant, better notifications, and other improvements when compared to earlier versions. It also has new features such as gesture controls and a new Google Fit. You can also expect Google Pay, which allows you to pay from your wrist.
- Another operating system
If battery life is what has kept Sony from coming out with the new Smartwatch 4, then there is a good chance that the new smartwatch might use another operating system. Digital Trends reports that short battery life is one of the most prevalent problems plaguing Wear OS devices. As such, it might prove worthwhile for the Japanese company to switch to another operating system.
That is what Huawei did when it dropped Wear OS for its new Watch GT. CNET reports that the use of Light OS gave the new smartwatch a longer battery life lasting up to 30 days when the connected mode is turned off.
- Google Pay
Even with a near-field communication chip onboard, the Sony Smartwatch 3 did not feature Google Pay. This payment service allows you to pay with your wrist. If Sony does decide to stay with Wear OS, there is no reason why the new Sony Smartwatch 4 will not have Google Pay as one of its features. Google Pay is currently available in select countries, including the United States, the United Kingdom, and Canada.
- Additional sensors
The Sony Smartwatch 3’s most significant selling point is that it was one of the first few smartwatches with an onboard GPS sensor. However, the smartwatch also had several other sensors on board as well. The device features an accelerometer, ambient light sensors, a compass, and a gyroscope to help measure your activities.
This selection of sensors is enough for the Sony Smartwatch 3 to count your steps, give you an idea of how far you have traveled, and other fitness data. However, there are now more sensors available that allow smart devices to track even more data. For instance, the Sony Smartwatch 4 might benefit from having an altimeter that will help you count the steps you have climbed. It might also add in a barometer, as well.
- Heart rate sensor
One of the things that the Sony Smartwatch 3 lacks is an embedded heart rate monitor. Since the launch of the Sony Smartwatch 3, we have seen several wearables come out with an integrated heart rate monitor. Having one will help the Sony Smartwatch 4 deliver a device that can help you take better care of your health conveniently.
- Better GPS
While the built-in GPS is one of the Sony Smartwatch 3's most significant selling point, there are concerns about its accuracy. People also complain about how much battery the GPS uses. TechRadar found that when you turn the GPS on, the battery drops by 10 percent in less than half an hour. The Sony Smartwatch 4 needs to have a more accurate GPS sensor that will not drain your battery too much.
- LTE version available
Some smartwatches allow you to leave your smartphone at home by having cellular connectivity. You can find LTE versions of the Apple Watch Series 4, Samsung Gear S3 Frontier and Classic, the LG Watch Sport and Huawei Watch 2. Since Sony designed the Smartwatch 3 to give you more freedom from your smartphone, it might as well take things to a different level and offer cellular connectivity.
Expected Pricing For Sony Smartwatch 4
Pricing for the Sony Smartwatch 4 can be anywhere from $$ to $$ for the non-cellular version. There are several indicators for this. Historically, Sony has priced its latest devices with higher than the previous model. For instance, the first Sony Smartwatch cost only $$ to $$.
Meanwhile, the Sony Smartwatch 2 had a $$ to $$ price tag, while the Sony Smartwatch 3 had a price of $$ to $$. Expect pricing for the Sony Smartwatch 4 to start somewhere above the $$ level of the Sony Smartwatch 3. Perhaps at around the $$ to $$ range.
To compare, the Apple Watch 4 has prices ranging from $$ to $$, with the cellular versions costing more.
How We Reviewed
Several smartwatches are currently available that can tell Sony what to include in the Smartwatch 4. We checked the product information pages, ratings, and reviews, as well as the specifications sheets of top smartwatches today to come up with the comparisons in this article.
We also checked out information on the Sony Smartwatch 3 and considered the opinions of top technology blogs.
Sony Smartwatch 4 Could Conquer Or Emulate These
Sony needs to make sure that they create a smartwatch that has the features and functionalities that other smartwatches do not offer. At the very least, Sony is now playing catch up with some of the best smartwatches available today. Here are the smartwatches that the Sony Smartwatch 4 should beat or at least emulate if it were to come out today.
The Samsung Galaxy Watch is a smartwatch from the South Korean manufacturer that boasts of a dual-core processor that is complemented by 768 megabytes of RAM. The device also has a four-gigabyte storage, and a Super AMOLED display. The touchscreen measures 1.2 inches diagonally.
This smartwatch has a built-in GPS sensor that allows you to track your location. It also gives you a wealth of fitness tracking data. Go ahead and swim with your watch on, the Galaxy Watch is rated to be waterproof and dustproof with an IP68 rating. The Samsung Galaxy Watch is compatible with iOS and Android devices, despite having the Tizen 4.0 as its operating system.
Prices for this smartwatch range from $$ to $$. The Galaxy Watch comes in a variety of sizes and colors. You can also choose a cellular version for the watch. The smartwatch is available at Walmart. And other online retailer sites, as well as the manufacturer’s official store.
The Samsung Galaxy Watch gets a rating of 3.7 out of 5 stars on Amazon. Buyers praise it for how well it works, especially when pairing it with Samsung-manufactured phones, as well as being able to place phone calls from your wrist. They also like the long battery life delivered by the device.
However, there are complaints about how the Samsung Galaxy Watch still uses Bixby, instead of a more established voice assistant such as Google Assistant. Some people also warn potential buyers that they might have problems finding their favorite apps on the Samsung smartwatch. Because it uses a different operating system, the number of apps for the Galaxy Watch are quite limited. There are very few developers for the Tizen OS.
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The Apple Watch Series 4 sports a beautiful design that shows how the Cupertino, California-based company has improved on the new model. If you liked the way that the Apple Watch 3 looked, then you will love the new Apple Watch 4’s appearance. The new model has a larger screen, while its profile is thinner than the previous model.
The Apple Watch 4 also has a premium and durable look, with its aluminum body. It also has a cellular version that allows you to use the smartwatch without having your smartphone nearby. The Apple Watch 4 now has more focus on health-related features. The fitness tracking, as well as the heart rate monitor, helps you get a better idea of your health. If that is not enough, Apple will soon introduce an electrocardiogram functionality straight from the watch itself.
Depending on whether you get the cellular version or not, as well as your chosen size, colors, and materials, pricing for the Apple Watch Series 4 ranges from $$ to $$. You can buy it from the company’s online store and online retailers.
The Apple Watch Series 4 does not have any customer ratings on Amazon, but the technology blog, TechRadar, rates the new Apple smartwatch 4.5 out of 5 stars. TechRadar says that they like the considerable improvement in the way Apple designed the Watch 4 and the expanded capabilities when it comes to health tracking. However, it is priced higher than other smartwatches. You will also hate its lousy battery life.
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The Sony Smartwatch 3 has a decidedly sporty look, even though it has several models with leather or metal bands. Should Sony decide to market the Sony Smartwatch 4 as a fitness tracking device, it needs to be better than the Fitbit Ionic.
Fitbit Ionic is quite simply a marriage between a fitness tracker and a smartwatch. Fitbit is known for giving buyers a choice if they want to track their fitness and health. The Fitbit Ionic indeed performs an excellent job of using the sensors and Fitbit's proprietary technologies.
The Ionic features the company’s best technologies, as well as its own operating system, Fitbit OS. The smartwatch is praised for being a competent fitness tracker. Meanwhile, those looking for a smartwatch will not be disappointed with the Ionic. Its bright screen is big enough for you to see your activity tracking data as well. You will also like the variety of notifications that the Ionic offers.
The Fitbit Ionic gets a rating of 3.7 out of 5 stars on Amazon. You will love the activity tracking features of this smartwatch. There are also a lot of features that are useful to you. Some people, however, do complain that the Ionic can be quite slow. There are also concerns about the company’s use of its own operating system, which might mean fewer apps than Wear OS devices.
Prices for this smartwatch range from $$ to $$.
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What Sony Can Learn From Their Competitors
Looking at some of the best smartwatches should give us an idea of what is possible for the Sony Smartwatch 4. Sony can take cues from Apple when it comes to product design. Apple is known for its beautiful designs and its use of premium materials. What's more, the Apple Watch is currently the most popular smartwatch, with 4.7 million devices having been sold in the second quarter of 2018.
Like it or not, people will compare the Sony Smartwatch 4 with the latest Apple Watch. Hence, it will probably be prudent for Sony to price the upcoming flagship smartwatches cheaper than the Apple Watch. Meanwhile, the Sony Smartwatch 4 should be able to emulate the performance of the Samsung Galaxy Watch. It can also replicate Samsung's extended battery life, the features it offers, as well as having a cellular option for those who are interested.
Further, if the company does decide to market the Sony Smartwatch 4 as a sports watch, then it should look at the technologies used by Fitbit.
Sony Smartwatch 4: Long Overdue
Will there be a Sony Smartwatch 4? TechRadar is optimistic, and they are holding out for a Sony Smartwatch 4 to hit the market, even if it takes a long time. However, there are also no leaks and no mention from the company about an upcoming smartwatch.
Four years is a long time to wait for a smartwatch. However, Sony has always managed to impress us in the past. They did this by offering users embedded GPS without the ridiculous price tag in the Sony Smartwatch 3.
We do hope that the company does come out with another smartwatch. If the Sony Smartwatch 3 is an indicator, then we should expect a groundbreaking smartwatch from the Japanese company.