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Specs, interface and app
- Useful Michael Kors Access app
- No GPS, heart rate sensor or NFC
- Speedy performance
Like the Michael Kors Access Bradshaw before it, the Michael Kors Access Sofie is powered by Qualcomm's Snapdragon Wear 2100 chipset, with 512mb of RAM backing it up, and 4GB of storage.
It might not be the fastest of combos, but here it means that swiping through the interface is speedy, with opening the majority of apps proving similarly quick.
At times, there's the odd moment of slowdown but odd is the word for it - it's rarely intrusive and generally the exception rather than the norm.
Instead, it's business as usual in a way that will be very familiar to anyone who's used an Android Wear 2.0 watch before, although the OS is now known as Wear OS.
Swipe down from the watch face to access quick settings, or up to view notifications, with a press of the crown showing a list of installed apps. A series of pre-installed watch faces are available to choose from and, in keeping with the look of the watch, they're typically glitzy.
Where things get more original is through the separate Michael Kors Access app. Divided up between My Looks, My Social, My Next, and My Modes, it offers a few useful features.
It's possible to set the watch to switch to your favorite watch faces depending on the time of day. Options are limited to either 6am to 6pm or 6pm to 6am, but it's handy if you have a daytime look and a nighttime look.
Elsewhere, it's possible to change the color of the preset watch face hands, as well as change your watch face to a photo from Instagram or Facebook.
It's the inclusion of My Next that we most appreciated though. This is a small countdown timer for any event that's important to you. It's simple to set up but paired with a complication on the watch face it's quite useful and fun.
Smartwatches typically offer a fairly limited set of controls, especially when it comes to typing in words, but the Michael Kors Access Sofie does what it can with Wear OS.
There are the usual options of using your voice, scribbling letters, or typing on the virtual keyboard. None of these are perfect but at least the options are varied so you should eventually come across something that feels comfortable to you.
Where the Michael Kors Access Sofie feels less than useful though is the features it omits. There's no onboard GPS, so you're stuck relying on your watch communicating with a smartphone at all times to be able to track your navigation.
There's also no heart-rate monitor, although, admittedly, this was never going to be the kind of watch you'd throw on casually before embarking on a quick run or workout session.
More frustrating though is the lack of NFC connectivity. It makes pairing wireless headphones tedious and means you won't be using your Michael Kors Access Sofie to pay through Google Pay at any point. The latter is a key problem for a watch that's clearly made for a night out or classy date.
- iPhone and Android supported
- No NFC means no Google Pay support
- Noticeable vibration alerts
The Michael Kors Access Sofie works best with an Android phone. By sticking with Android across the board, you'll benefit from extensive app support, and full notifications.
Simply put, it just works a little better when paired with an Android phone. That's true of all Wear OS watches and why the Apple Watch 3 is generally the best recommendation for iPhone owners that want full functionality.
That doesn't mean that iPhone owners miss out if they opt for the classier looking Michael Kors Access Sofie however. You won't benefit from full notifications (and you need to make sure the Wear OS app is running in the background at all times), but you'll still see most important notifications.
You just won't be able to interact with most, such as iMessage or SMS messaging. There’s also the option to sync with Apple Calendar rather than Google Calendar. And Google apps like Gmail do allow for replies right from your wrist.
In all cases, notifications invoke a light vibration which is just enough to capture your attention without alarming you.
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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.