I am still not convinced about the usefulness of so called smartwatches, writes Will Goodbody.

 However, lots of people are, and they are likely to sell in their bucket loads this Christmas. And granted, progress is being made in making them more functional - as it would want to, with Apple’s Watch due out in the New Year.

Sony’s Smartwatch is now on its third version. And as you would expect, it is its best effort so far. That is mostly due to the fact that Sony has ditched the operating system on the previous version in favour of Google’s Android Wear. This puts it on a par with other leading smartwatches, like LG’s G Watch.

The design is also new, and the latest version looks considerably better than its predecessors. The watch is ostensibly a rectangular module which pops in and out of a range of different styles of silicon straps. Like the Smartwatch 2, it is quite chunky - not a problem for me, but it could prove to be for some.

Charging is via a micro USB into the rear of the unit, which is handy in theory, although a little fiddly in practice. While there is no heart rate monitor, it does come with GPS, WiFi, IP68 waterproof rating, Bluetooth and NFC - which might prove useful for mobile payments in the future. There is also an accelerometer, magnetometer and gyroscope for all the fitness tracking functions that smartwatches are most designed for. It is powered by a 1.2GHz quad-core CPU, 512MB of RAM and 4GB of internal storage, which together make it zip along nicely.

The touch screen is a 1.6inch 320x320 pixel transreflective LCD, which is bright and responsive. It also performs well in low light, is very customisable and can be set to come on automatically when you twist your wrist.

Battery life seemed to be pretty good - the watch lasted a couple of days untethered, and a little less when connected to an Android smartphone via Bluetooth (which it really needs to be for most useful functions). Obviously when things like GPS and music player are in use, it also drags the battery life down considerably.

The voice recognition also works nicely - if you can survive the ignominy of being seem talking into your wrist. Unlike the Samsung equivalent it doesn’t take calls, but the notifications work fine. The number of Android Wear compatible apps is still relatively small, but is increasing all the time.

Overall, the Smartwatch 3 represents a significant improvement on the Smartwatch 2 and will go a long way towards improving the credibility of smartwatches more generally. It also shows the potential of Android Wear which will only improve with time.