Android Pay support
Having NFC built into a smartwatch is, even to this day, a feature that can really help it stick out against its competitors. Sony was forward-thinking to implement this feature into last year’s wearable, but unfortunately, it’s been sorely under-utilized.
The introduction of Android Pay alongside Android Marshmallow saw many SmartWatch 3 owners excited to finally be able to make wireless “tap” payments. But, alas, we’re yet to see Android Pay arrive on this wearable.
We fully expect the SmartWatch 4 to have NFC support when it launches, and we’re cautiously optimistic that, as global adoption of Android Pay has increased, we’ll begin to see the feature being implemented in most, if not all, 2016 Android Wear devices. We’ll have to wait and see if it makes it to the Sony SmartWatch 4.
Google added support for audio feedback in Android Wear v1.4, which means that wearables with speakers can make noise. Imagine how convenient it would be to listen to music or take a call straight from your wrist (fellow passengers on the commute’s feelings aside)?
So far, the Huawei Watch is the lone wolf in the Android Wear game with a speaker built into the timepiece, but we’d love to see one in the next Sony SmartWatch.
An awesome-r battery
The 420mAh battery packed inside the SmartWatch 3 is more juice than you’ll find in the Moto 360, Huawei Watch, or the LG Watch Urbane . In addition to having a higher battery capacity than its competitors, it can also last longer: up to two days, depending on how you use it.
Ideally, a smartwatch is something that you should make a habit out of wearing, not charging. This is, by far, the weakest link of many of the best smartwatches , but wasn’t as much of an issue here (except when using GPS). We’re hoping that Sony continues to push the bar high with what it has coming next.
The SmartWatch 3 is a smartwatch, through and through. But, we were impressed with how awfully close it came in rank to the best fitness trackers out there, too, a balance that many smart wearables struggle with.
The built-in GPS, gyroscope, and accelerometer allow for fairly in-depth tracking, but we’d love to see Sony push even more sensors inside the SmartWatch 4. Noticeably lacking is the optical heart rate sensor and the altimeter, which can track your heart rate, and your altitude, respectively.
This would give it the complete set of abilities we’re looking for from today’s smartwatches – let’s hope Sony takes note.
It’s hip to be a square
Some might feel differently, but we think the SmartWatch 4 should hang onto the square design. Come on. It’s rather charming, don’t you think?
OK, it’s a little tough to defend the form factor, especially when the gorgeous Huawei Watch has a seamless, circular display without the maligned flat tire found on the Moto 360. But, if anything, keeping the square design will help it stand out against the others.