Android Wear 2.0 was released last year, but Sony's most recent Android Wear smartwatch, the SmartWatch 3, is still stuck on Android Wear 1. So when are we getting a Sony SmartWatch 4? (Also see: How to watch Sony MWC 2018 Live Stream.)
Sony has confirmed that Android Wear 2.0 will not roll out to the Sony SmartWatch 3, which is not a huge surprise given that it supports updates for 18 months after a product has launched. It says this is because it thinks the current operating system is better suited to the device. We can't help wondering whether this means a Smartwatch 4 is on the way, but we've now been wondering that for several months.
MWC is the usual time for manufacturers to roll out smartwatches, though we're not expecting February's MWC 2018 show to be watch-heavy due to the fact Android Wear 3.0 has not yet been announced. Smartwatches aren't the type of product you update every year, so it makes sense for them to wait for the new OS.
But will Sony skip Android Wear 2.0 altogether? Has it given up on Android Wear watches full stop?
See also: Best smartwatches 2018.
When is the Sony Smartwatch 4 release date?
It’s been a long time since the Smartwatch 3 was launched, back in February of 2014, so either Sony has given up on the range or it’s spent a long time planning the new model.
Hopefully it’s the latter, but given the absence of leaks, we aren't overly hopeful that we'll see a SmartWatch 4 at MWC 2018. If Sony does ever release another smartwatch we suspect it will be after the announcement of Android Wear 3.0.
If Sony does launch a Smartwatch 4 this year, we estimate it will cost around £250 in the UK.
Sony is holding a press conference on Monday 26 February at 8.30am CET/7.30am GMT. If any smartwatch announcements are made, you'll find them here first.
What are the rumoured features and specifications?
With a distinct lack of leaked information on the Smartwatch 4 we’ll take a look at what we expect and would like from the new generation of wearable.
As mentioned earlier, it would make sense for the Smartwatch 4 to run Android Wear 2.0 (which was released 9 February) or Android Wear 3.0 (which we hope will be announced at Google I/O 2018).
We can also expect Sony to retain some of the key specs of the Smartwatch 3 including Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, GPS and the NFC chip which this time around should be compatible with Android Pay. Something Sony also did well with the last device was the large 420mAh battery so we hope that stays or even gets bigger.
The 512MB RAM and 4GB internal storage specs might not change at all but we’d expect Sony to at least upgrade the processor. Our pick is the Qualcomm Snapdragon Wear that’s designed especially for devices like smartwatches.
One of the biggest questions is whether Sony will stick with a square display or switch to round. The Smartwatch 3 has a 1.6in screen and although we generally prefer a circular screen, we think Sony will stick to its guns and go square again. Most rivals, like the Moto 360 2, have round screens so it’s a way to differentiate.
Design elements beyond the shape of the screen should include premium materials, metal we expect, and waterproofing like most smartwatches. What we’d really like, need even, Sony to do is change the awkward charging port mounted on the back of the SmartWatch 3. It’s got to be wireless charging this time.