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CES 2015: Sony Introduces Stainless Steel SmartWatch 3 With Android Wear

Sony starts its press conference off with “welcome to the new world.” That’s quite a greeting. Sony’s been known to announce all sorts of things at CES and we’re hoping for some new mobile devices and more from the tech giant. Will we see a new Xperia today? How about a new tablet? Smart TVs? Some sort of appliance that’s won a CES Innovation Award? We really went into this blind, like most gathered there.

Let’s take a look at what Sony offered us at their press conference and whether or not they follow the trend of LG and Samsung with TVs, appliances and IoT, oh my. (Luckily, this is Sony, so there’s no appliances here. Whew!)

Sony Press Conference Recap

Sony opens its press conference with their CEO, Kaz Hirai, greeting the crowd. Like many here, we wondering if Sony would acknowledge the recent hacking, The Interview, and the response from its entertainment division. We didn’t have to wait long for an answer as Hirai acknowledged the issue and apologized to Sony employees for the damage it’s caused the company.

Some of the announcements Hirai touched on included:

  • CMOS technology for cars
  • Omnidirectional speaker that doubles as lighting
  • Sony Smartwatch 3 officially announced

And now, let’s move on to, yes, you got it again – TVs!

Televisions

If you didn’t figure it out by now, the big three like TVs. It’s up to you to decide which ones you like better, don’t let the trifecta of TV manufacturers convince you otherwise. Sony has been an innovator in the past when developing TVs, especially smart ones, but it feels like they’ve lagged behind a lot in recent years.

Sony showcased the X900C 4K TV which is pretty slim. Slimmer than its Xperia line of phones. Yep, slimmer. In 2015, all Sony TVs will feature Android TV and integrate voice searching with support for up to 42 languages.

Greg Peters, from Netflix, also made a cameo like he’s done all day. Poor guy, he didn’t get a partnership with Sony like he did with the others. I wonder if Sony’s grounded in the corner. Just kidding! The announcement came at the end, which would’ve been sad for Peters if it didn’t.

4K Video Cameras

Sony-4K-Handycam

It’s no surprise Sony jumped on this one, considering its only real competition in the handy cam market is Panasonic on good days. Sony’s introducing the first 4K handheld camera, featuring image stabilization and retailing for approximately $1000.

If you’re at CES, you either love or hate the selfie stick. I tried to put my camera on a cardboard tube and take selfies but I didn’t have duct tape, so it was a disaster waiting to happen. Tony Hawk – where have you been hiding? – came out to tell us what he thinks of Sony’s 4K handy cam and he thinks it’s pretty damn awesome.

Hawk teased a new video game for PlayStation 4 while on stage, which has been stuck in development hell since the spring of 2014 for those of you who still care about the guy

Sony SmartWatch 3

Sony-Smartwatch-3

The Sony SmartWatch 3 is the fifth generation – yes, fifth! – of its, well, smart watch. This is the first version loaded with Android Wear and its going from I’ll hide this under my shirt sleeve to being a fashion statement. While it doesn’t hit the general market until February, for the most part, there’s no real innovation here besides making its mark on fashion.

Let’s break down the SmartWatch 3 specs in brief:

  • Will be dust and waterproof
  • Stainless steel and gunmetal versions
  • Features a 1.6” LCD display
  • Quad-core CPU
  • 512 MB RAM
  • 5 GB storage capacity
  • 520 mAH battery
  • Built-in GPS tracking

We’ll get our hands on it in the next few days and showcase what it’s all about then.

The Sony SmartBand SWR10

This was shown briefly in collaboration with ROXY. This is a stylish activity tracker and will be available for a limited time.

Sony Walkmen NW-ZX2 Walkman

Another little gem, and huge step backwards to some, Sony introduced a new walkman. For those of you who don’t know what a walkman is, because you’re too young to remember, it’s a portable music playing device that started out playing cassettes ventured into CDs and eventually, for the most part, went the way of the dinosaur with the invention of digital music and their player.

Sony’s reintroducing the walkman with the NW-ZX2, a portable device similar to the iPod Touch (another relic) that plays music, runs apps and takes advantage of the Android OS. It offers 128 GB of storage, rivaling even some of the netbooks and tablets out here. It’ll play just about every music format out there, which is also another perk, and Sony boasts and impressive 60 hours on one single charging session.

This is the walkman for the 21st century. If anybody can reinvent the technology and make it relevant today in this field, it’s Sony.

Retailing at around $1000 to start, this device is much more expensive than the $9.99 walkmans you used to be able to by at the grocery store.

Conclusion

Sony’s press conference was hit or miss, with a whole lot of eh, okay announcements. It seems like the day started out strong for those of who hit conference after conference and it just puttered out from here. Hopefully, many of these companies, like Sony, will have more excitement about what they’re doing and how they’re doing it than what they’re showed us today, Sony included.