For

  • Premium feel, style and brand
  • Top-end internal specs
  • Well-designed watch faces

Against

  • Android Wear doesn't feel 'luxe'
  • Relatively low-res screen and no pulse tracking…
  • …Despite being so expensive

If you wanted any more proof that smartwatches are a genuine 'thing', you're looking at it. Tag Heuer, one of the most established Swiss watch brands, has waded into the segment with its very own Android Wear-powered device.

The wearable was unveiled last month at an event in New York, and it's being sold as the 'most premium' Android Wear watch to date, but is it any good? Luckily for you (and me) the Tag Heuer Connected has been firmly strapped onto my wrist for a while now to find out.

Let's start with the cost, the Tag Heuer Connected is a whopping £1,100 (US$1,500, around AU$2,100). That's not a patch on the £10,000+ Apple Watch Edition, but it's far more expensive than most of the smartwatches currently available, which hover around the £250 (US$229, around AU$320) mark.

What do you get for that cash? First off you get a body made from grade II titanium, the strap is rubber, and it comes running Android Wear.

The Tag Heuer Connected is the first to make use of Intel's new Atom processor made for a wearable. It clocks in at 1.6GHz, and also comes packing 1GB of RAM, and a 410mAh battery, which beats the competition on paper.

TAG Heuer Connceted Review

On the surface it sounds like Tag Heuer could be onto a winner, but there are some less well thought out aspects of the Connected, such as the jarring mix of premium build and cheap-ish feeling of Android Wear, and the sub-standard screen, which I'll get onto now...

Display

The screen on the Tag Heuer Connected is slightly disappointing, it's not incredibly sharp or vibrant. This is probably due to the fact it's a transflective LCD panel, this gives is a dull matt look. This was probably a conscious decision made by Tag to make it appear more like a mechanical watch face, and in that respect, they've succeeded.

But place the Connected next to other high-end smartwatches, the Huawei Watch, Apple Watch and Samsung Gear S2 in particular, and you can't help but feel disappointed by the Tag Heuer's screen.

This is partly due to the transflective display, which doesn't require a backlight in sunlight, and therefore should save battery life. It also makes viewing in sunlight easier, and I certainly didn't have any problems with that.

The screen is by no means terrible, it measures 1.5-inches in diameter and has a resolution of 360 x 360 pixels, giving a pixel density of 240 ppi. To put that in perspective the Huawei Watch has a ppi of 286, and the Samsung Gear S2 and 42mm Apple Watch have 302 ppi. It's a shame the Tag's screen isn't as sharp as some rivals, especially considering the price.

Tag Heuer Connected Review

At 1.5-inches, it's one of the biggest circular smartwatch displays I've seen, larger than the Moto 360 and Huawei Watch's, both with 1.4-inch displays, although, the extra 0.1-inch doesn't add much to the usability.

In a reversal to how Android Wear usually works, the 'Ambient' screen mode is turned on by default with the Tag Connected. This means after several seconds of inactivity the screen will dim, but still display the time with a reduced interface. It's a useful feature, which allows you to check the time without flicking your wrist to wake the screen.