Sony surprised us all at IFA 2014 this year when it announced its SmartWatch 3. Well, we had heard that the product was gearing up to make its debut, sure enough, but rumors suggested that Sony would pull a Samsung with the SW3 and that its smartwatch would continue to run a proprietary platform, rather than the cross-device Android Wear. That ultimately turned out not to be the case, with the SW3 confirmed as a full-on Wear product. Since then we haven’t had much cause to talk about the SmartWatch 3, which has quietly gone up for sale at Verizon in the interim. But now Sony’s wearable has its sights set on the bigger world out there, and leaves carrier exclusivity behind as it finds a home among the other Android Wear models in the Google Play Store.
Just as we saw the LG G Watch R hit the Play Store last week, the Sony SmartWatch 3 joins it, bringing the site’s selection up to five, also including the Moto 360, Samsung Gear Live, and non-round LG G Watch (the ASUS ZenWatch is confirmed to join them, too, but there’s no hard ETA).
Sony may struggle amidst that competition, however, as the SW3 is priced all the way up at $250 – that’s pretty firmly into circular-screened Android Wear territory there, with the Moto 360 costing the same and only the G Watch R demanding more. For a watch that looks like a whole lot more like the $200 or $220 options already out there, $250 sounds like it has the chance of being a tough sell.
Will Sony feel the pressure and agree to lower the SmartWatch 3’s sticker price? Will shoppers simply feel that the SW3 is worth the premium? We sure look forward to finding out.