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Battery life

  • Manufacturer claims one to two days
  • We found the second day to be a struggle

As with all smartwatches, the Emporio Armani Connected 2018’s battery life depends a lot on how you use it. If you cut back notifications to the bare minimum (calls and texts, for example), don’t interact with any apps, and don’t run a marathon with the GPS switched on, then two days might just be possible.

But we found that, in most situations, a nightly recharge is required; otherwise, the watch will die (or go into power-saving mode and no longer show the time permanently) mid-way through day two.

Heavy use - customizing a couple of watch faces, playing around with Google Fit - can see 10% or more lopped off the battery every hour, so your mileage really will vary.

That’s okay though. We’re used to charging our smartphones each night, so plugging in a smartwatch alongside isn’t a difficult habit to get into.

Verdict

The Emporio Armani Connected 2018 is an easy smartwatch to like, but a difficult one to love. The design is smart, stylish and does a good job of blending into the rest of Armani’s watch range.

We can see consumers intending to buy a regular EA watch, then opting for the Connected as a way of getting into the world of smartwatches for the first time.

But we think those wanting a smartwatch first and an Armani watch second will look elsewhere. The aging chipset is a problem, causing the watch to trip up and stutter when doing simple tasks like opening Google Fit or customizing a watch face.

With the Snapdragon Wear 3100 now out, it’s a case of unfortunate timing for Emporio Armani and parent company Fossil.

A 3100-powered Connected would likely provide an answer to all of the questions we have of this model.

Who's this for?

This is a smartwatch for those who want an Emporio Armani timepiece first-and-foremost, but who are open to being swayed towards owning their first smartwatch.

These customers will get a watch which follows the Armani house style, but throws in a strong set of health and fitness tracking features, along with the option to pick from a wide range of customizable faces.

Buyers of this watch will be more interested in how it looks than what chipset it has, which means they will perhaps be less likely to push the watch to its limits in the way a typical TechRadar reader might.

Should you buy it?

Despite being almost as expensive, the Emporio Armani Connected 2018 is not a smartwatch to rival devices from Apple, Samsung and LG.

However, if you are put off by the technology-first look of the most popular smartwatches, and would rather have a timepiece which is wristwatch first and wearable gadget second, then the Armani could be for you.

It offers recognizable fashion watch style with a good-quality, always-on touchscreen display, Google’s new-and-improved Wear OS with an excellent Google Fit app, plus a heart rate monitor, NFC and GPS.

In short, the Armani Connected offers just about everything you could ask for from a smartwatch; just don’t ask for everything from it all at once.

First reviewed: October 2018