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Specs and interface
- Snapdragon Wear 3100 chipset
- 512MB of RAM
- No speaker
Increasingly in vogue, the Michael Kors Access MKGO uses the Snapdragon Wear 3100 chipset, a good choice meaning decent processing power and efficiency.
However, the Michael Kors Access MKGO lacks a speaker, which is an increasingly common addition for newer Wear OS watches. It also only has 512MB of RAM, which is half of what some other watches at this price point now offer. There’s also the matter of 4GB of storage when 8GB is becoming common. The Fossil Gen 5, for example, has all these things.
Despite those flaws, the Michael Kors Access MKGO is reasonably nippy. The Snapdragon Wear 3100 chipset isn’t much faster than previous processors but it’s a bit more intelligent when it comes to doing things ‘right’.
For instance, simply swiping through the options is speedier than with other smartwatches (although not quite as speedy as Fossil’s recent Gen 5 release) with little sign of slowdown or lag.
There’s a fairly standard Wear OS experience under the hood but it’s a consistent one that will please fans of Wear OS. You can easily swipe on the home screen in any of the four directions to access Google Assistant, Google Fit, Notifications, and the basic Settings screen too. It's intuitive stuff that takes seconds to learn.
Additionally, the Michael Kors Access MKGO comes with NFC for Google Pay, which takes moments to set up, along with built-in GPS and an optical heart rate sensor.
Like other watches in its field, the optical heart rate sensor isn't quite up there with something like the Apple Watch 4 or Samsung Galaxy Watch Active 2 as there's no ECG hardware-based way of detecting heart issues, but it’s good enough for general fitness tracking.
As with any smartwatch, if you regularly use NFC, GPS, or the heart rate monitor, expect battery life to be impacted accordingly. You’ll particularly notice this if you switch the heart rate monitor option over to checking automatically throughout the day.
The Michael Kors Access MKGO is water resistant to depths of 30 meters, which ties in well with the silicone strap that won’t get bogged down when you’re underwater.
- iPhone and Android supported
- Works best with Android
Like with any Wear OS watch, the Michael Kors Access MKGO works better with Android phones than iPhones. iOS users need to keep the Wear OS app running in the background to receive notifications, and shouldn’t expect to be able to reply to messages through the watch. A ping and vibration is about all you’re going to get, while Android users get the full set of features.
At least nowadays the Google Fit app for both Android and iOS is a better starting point for all. There are still superior third-party apps out there, but Google Fit is a decent starting place for novices still figuring out the right fitness app for them.
And, of course, Google Pay works for everyone (a hugely useful tool), and there’s support for both Apple and Google Calendar. Sure, Android users get the edge, but iOS users aren’t missing out too much.
- Built-in GPS
- 30M water resistance
- Heart rate monitoring
The Michael Kors Access MKGO is designed with health and fitness tracking in mind, right down to its sweat and water-resistant silicone strap. More importantly, its features are just right for working out.
It has heart rate monitoring which can be set to regularly track your heart rate throughout the day, or be activated manually. Granted, it’s not quite as accurate as something like the Apple Watch 4, reporting higher than other devices, but it’s something.
More effectively, there’s the built-in GPS which worked accurately throughout our tests. It soaks up the battery life but it’s worth it when tracking a run or hike. Water resistance is sure to be useful when swimming too.
Fitness tracking is kept simple if you stick with Google Fit, the default app. It uses Move Minutes and Heart Points to track how you perform, steering clear of technical details and mostly focusing on racking up points to indicate good performance.
We’d recommend immediately installing a third-party app if you plan on running, however, such as Runkeeper or MapMyRun, as they will provide more detail.
- Just over a day's usage
- Slightly above average battery life
As with any smartwatch, your mileage will vary when it comes to battery life depending on how you’re using the Michael Kors Access MKGO. Place heart rate monitoring to ‘always on’ (where it regularly tracks your heart rate) and expect the battery life to be impacted accordingly. It’s better to set it to manual and only use it occasionally if you want the battery to comfortably last over a day.
Similarly, regular use of the GPS will use up battery life more rapidly than simply using the watch for checking notifications and the current time.
Still, the Michael Kors Access MKGO uses a 350mAh battery, so if you tweak it just so, it can potentially last about a day and a half. In reality though, expect about a day and you won’t be disappointed or caught out.
This watch lacks the numerous battery saving options that something like the Fossil Gen 5 provides, which is a shame, leaving you with just a more basic battery saving option.
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Jennifer is a roving tech freelancer with over 10 years experience. Having graduated from Swansea University with a degree in Media and Communication Studies, and later with a diploma from Staffordshire University with a post graduate diploma in Computer Games Design, she's written for a huge number of publications, including T3, FitandWell, Top Ten Reviews, Eurogamer, NME and many more.
Her main areas of interest are all things B2B, smart technology, wearables, speakers, headphones, and anything gaming related, and you'll find her writing everything from product reviews to buying guides. In her spare time, she enjoys the cinema, walking, and attempting to train her pet guinea pigs. She is yet to succeed.
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