Fashion brands have taken over the smartwatch market but not all of them sell smartwatches the way we think smartwatches to be. Some opt for the “hybrid” approach that combines analog watches with sensors, Bluetooth control buttons and sometimes even notifications. As part of the Fossil Group, Armani Exchange also has its fair share of Hybrid smartwatches. This time, however, it’s mixing things up a bit. Enter the Armani Exchange Connected, the marque’s first “true” smartwatch featuring a full, touch-enabled screen and running Wear OS by Google.
Given the latest news in the smartwatch market, you might be a bit disappointed about the Armani Exchange Connected in terms of hardware. Or at least one part of the hardware. Instead of the new Snapdragon Wear 3100, it still runs on yesteryear’s Snapdragon 2100. The rather thick body of the smartwatch implies a hefty battery but, given that chip, don’t expect too much.
The rest of the package is pretty much standard for Wear OS smartwatch. The 1.19-inch AMOLED display features an ambient sensor underneath to help save up on battery life. It has built-in standalone GPS for phone-less runs, NFC for mobile payments (where it’s supported), and a heart rate monitor to keep track of your beats. And since it’s Wear OS, you also have Google Assistant at your beck and call.
The Armani Exchange, a.k.a. A|X, Connected Wear OS smartwatch is available in colors of Gold, Black, Silver, and Coal. It sadly only comes in a 42 mm case, which may appeal only to those with larger wrists. Prices start at $295.