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Wearable Tech

Sony waterproof SmartWatch 3 surfaces for $250

Now available at the Google Play store, Sony's third-generation smartwatch is completely waterproof -- at least up to a certain time and distance.

Sony hopes third time's the charm with its Smartwatch 3. Andrew Hoyle/CNET

Sony is trying to woo consumers with the third incarnation of its smartwatch.

The Sony SmartWatch 3 is now selling for $250 via the Google Play store with a promised ship time of just one to two business days. Prior to Monday's release, the watch sported only a "coming soon" message on Google's online store, according to The Verge. The smartwatch is not yet available via Google Play in the UK or AU.

The smartwatch has also been available through Verizon Wireless for some time now with a ship by date of November 20.

The SmartWatch 3 acts as a typical smartwatch in that it can notify you of incoming calls, messages and other notifications when paired with a compatible smartphone. It also doubles as a fitness tracker and can record how many steps you take, how far you've walked, and how long you've slept. Sony uses the Android health and lifestyle tracking app LifeLog, which also lets you keep track of the songs you listen to, the movies you watch, and other things you do during the day.

The watch is outfitted with Android Wear, Google's mobile OS for wearable devices. That means it can run apps designed for Android Wear, which Google highlights in a special section at its online store. As another plus, Sony has added its own Walkman apps to better manage your onboard music.

Sony dubs the watch as waterproof with a rating of IP68. What exactly does that mean? Specifically, it means you can keep the watch underwater for up to 5 feet for as long as 30 minutes, according to Sony.

The big question here is how does the SmartWatch 3 compare with Sony's SmartWatch 2 ? CNET's review of the SmartWatch 2 found its software to be "buggy and sluggish" and "extremely frustrating," noting that at times it wouldn't function at all. The SmartWatch 3 reveals improvement, specifically better waterproofing, interchangeable straps, and a more user friendly interface.

Still, the smartwatch market continues to get more crowded. Sony not only faces competition from other Android vendors, such as LG, Motorola and Samsung, but from Microsoft with its new Microsoft Band and soon from Apple with its Apple Watch due to launch sometime in the spring.