Emporio Armani Connected review

One of the smartest-looking smartwatches around, but its features are lacking

Emporio Armani Connected: screen

Why you can trust TechRadar We spend hours testing every product or service we review, so you can be sure you’re buying the best. Find out more about how we test.

Emporio Armani Connected: strap

Specs and performance

  • Snapdragon 2100 CPU running at 1.2Ghz with 512MB RAM
  • 3GB storage
  • Latest version of Wear OS

Using the touchscreen on the Emporio Armani Connected soon brings you to the realization of how smooth performance is when a watch has a Snapdragon 2100 inside. There was no lag swiping from screen to screen, to speak of, and every button press brought your back swiftly to the menu or home screen.

The only real letdown in performance was from the build of the watch, something we didn’t see coming, given how well made the watch is. Our biggest concern was the digital crown, we kept wanting to pull it out a bit as you would a traditional watch, if you wanted to change the date or time. 

This wasn’t because we have a predilection for all things analog, it’s just that the crown is a bit too flush with the side of the watch. Having used the watch for a few weeks now we would have loved it if the designers had just taken as much care of the ergonomics as they did the aesthetics. 

As it stands, our not-too chunky fingers slipped a number of times when using the rotating crown and the metal surrounding it just juts out that bit too far, encasing the crown a little too much.

Emporio Armani Connected: rotating crown

A little Armani logo is present on the middle, rotating crown.

This is a shame as the best use of the watch is with the crown. Roll it forwards and backwards and it gives you a really smooth intro to all the features of the device, flipping to whichever app you are using at the time. So, if you have Spotify on, a scroll up will have you on that face and so on. It’s intuitive - mainly thanks to Google finally getting its software right - and makes navigating the watch a breeze. 

Hold the crown in for a second or so and Google Assistant appears. Click the bottom button and this is where you can search for apps, watch faces and complications. As always, you have to click the middle button to get back to the home screen. The top button houses a quick way into the Featured Looks part of the watch, given fashion is key to this device that makes a lot of sense. 

If you fancy swiping and not using the buttons, then a swipe up on the homescreen will get you to whichever app you are currently using. More swipes let you see notifications and a swipe down is quick access to the smartwatch’s settings.  

Apps, fitness and speaker capabilities

  • No GPS, no heart tracking, no Google Pay, no LTE
  • Activity tracking on board
  • Equipped with speaker

When it comes to the apps that are on board the Emporio Armani Connected, you of course get pretty much all you want from the Google Play store but there are a lot of things that this watch unfortunately doesn’t do. 

Again, the Emporio Armani Connected is for the fashion not fitness conscious. It doesn’t have GPS so you can’t track your runs. It doesn’t have heart tracking so that rules most fitness-based apps out. It does, however, have activity tracking but the lack of GPS means that this may not be the most accurate around. 

It’s also a watch that is without Google Pay, which just doesn’t seem right. The lack of NFC on the watch is a real bugbear given that you will want to be seen using this device. There is nothing better than a bit of conspicuous consumption to show off your posh smartwatch. 

Emporio Armani Connected: crown

We wish the rotating crown stood out a little more.

One thing it does have, which a lot of smartwatches are lacking is a speaker. So, you can speak into the watch for things like Google Assistant. While most people will do this with a pair of Bluetooth headphones on, it’s still a good option to have. There’s no LTE, though, so you won’t be making calls from it without relying on your smartphone.

Battery life

  • It'll last the day, just
  • Charger is cheap looking
  • It takes around an hour to charge

Battery life is okay. We’ve definitely tested watches with much better battery life (something like the MyKronoz ZeTime offered us a few day’s juice on a single charge) but you will get a whole day out of the Emporio Armani Connected, as long as you are constantly prodding it.

This is a smartwatch that will need to be charged overnight, however. If you don’t do this then it will run out of battery before the next day’s morning commute is finished.

This is a little frustrating, but charging only takes around an hour and is simple to do: just place the watch on the included plastic tab. The charging device does look a little cheap compared to the rest of the setup. 

Given you also get a nice travel case with the watch, that’s embossed with the Armani logo and houses a number compartments, we would have expected a better charger but it just looks a little throwaway. Saying that, it does the job. 

Marc Chacksfield

Marc Chacksfield is the Editor In Chief, Shortlist.com at DC Thomson. He started out life as a movie writer for numerous (now defunct) magazines and soon found himself online - editing a gaggle of gadget sites, including TechRadar, Digital Camera World and Tom's Guide UK. At Shortlist you'll find him mostly writing about movies and tech, so no change there then.