When it comes to smartwatches, you can either go the route of developing your own smartwatch OS, or just slap on something that’s already available in the market. With the Movado Connect 2.0, the company opted to use Google’s WearOS, which is a huge bonus for app accessibility and compatibility with a variety of smartphones.
This second smartwatch from Movado comes two years after the company’s initial smartwatch offering, and aims to add a number of improvements to make for a stylish yet practical smartwatch.
Movado Connect 2.0 price and availability
The Movado Connect 2.0 is available directly from Movado’s website, and comes in both a 40mm and 42mm version. The starting price for both models is $450 (AED 1,652, £348, AU$659), going up all the way to $795 (AED 2,920, £615, AU$1,165) for the stainless steel and leather variants.
By comparison, the Huawei Watch GT2 retails for roughly $275 (AED 849, £220, AU$405), though you forgo the ability to use the Google app store. Similarly, the Apple Watch starts at around $399, but goes up to $799 for either a leather or Milanese Loop strap, which is on par with the Movado Connect 2.0’s more expensive models.
Design and display
One thing that Movado have certainly gotten right is the design of the Connect 2.0. Whether you’re getting the 40mm or the 42mm (which we opted for) watch face, it looks great on your wrist and doesn’t feel bulky, despite its looks.
The watch has a rotating crown that allows you to navigate through menus, and also turn the screen off or on. There are also two additional buttons on the side that can be customized to quickly launch an app or feature.
New with the Connect 2.0 is the heart rate monitor built into the ceramic case back, for quick readings. There’s also GPS at long last, which means you can track your movements even when the watch isn’t paired with your phone, or launch Google Maps for quick directions without having to reach for your phone.
Charging is done via a proprietary charging pad that magnetically snaps to the back of the watch. It would have been better if the Connect 2.0 supported Qi wireless charging instead, but here’s hoping that gets introduced with the next iteration.
The display itself is sharp and clear, though the disappointing element about it are the alarmingly large bezels that surround the screen. With the watch face already shrunk down, you’re looking at probably 38mm or so of actual screen space. That makes things a bit fiddly sometimes as you poke the screen to dismiss notifications or to launch apps.
In keeping with the Connect 2.0’s stylish vibes, the watch straps are easily interchangeable and come in a variety of textures and prices. The mesh bracelet is our favorite for more formal occasions, while the fabric sport strap is great for workouts and casual attire. Swapping the straps out is very simple as well – just flip the watch over and slide the little release levers on each strap to disconnect them from the watch.
Specs-wise you have 1GB of RAM and 8GB of onboard storage, all powered by a Snapdragon Wear 3100 processor. There’s also Google Pay available to quickly make payments by tapping the Connect 2.0 against a card reader.
Features and performance
The Movado Connect 2.0 works with both iOS and Android, however you’ll get the best experience when pairing it with an Android smartphone. Once you’ve downloaded WearOS to your phone and followed the instructions for pairing, you’ll find the Connect 2.0 in the WearOS app.
From here you can fine-tune various settings and also change or download additional watch faces. Movado has said that over 100 watch faces will be available for the Connect 2.0, but we only had access to four when we downloaded the app.
The always-on screen negates the need to have to wait for a second or two in order to see the time when you raise your wrist. You can of course turn this feature off to save battery life, but we found the difference to be marginal.
Through the Google Fit app you’re able to activate a number of workouts and track them accordingly. Everything from weight lifting to aerobics to running is all just a few taps away. Unfortunately the Connect 2.0 is only graded as IPX8, so while it is resistant to water splashes or sweat, you can’t wear it while swimming.
Workout tracking and heart rate monitoring were both fairly accurate, so if you want a smartwatch that can also double as a decent fitness tracker, then the Connect 2.0 won’t disappoint. We definitely recommend swapping out to the fabric straps for gym use, and using the stainless steel or leather strap for everyday use. Sleep tracking is only enabled via third-party apps, though the Connect 2.0 isn't really something we'd feel comfortable sleeping with at night.
For all its stylish elements, the Connect 2.0 does seem to suffer when it comes to performance. That’s got less to do with Movado and more to do with WatchOS – it just doesn’t feel fluid when you start using it on the Connect 2.0. There are several times when taps or swipes go unregistered, so you’re left furiously tapping away at your wrist. The built-in Google Assistant is useful for quick queries, but the voice recognition is pretty poor if you’re not holding the watch right up to your mouth like some sort of secret agent.
As with most smartwatches, battery life will depend entirely on what functions you’re using. If you frequently turn on the GPS for tracking or have the brightness set to high instead of Auto, then you’ll just about be able to get through the day before reaching for the charger.
With notifications turned on and minimal fitness tracking, we were able to squeeze around three days of usage out of the Connect 2.0, which isn’t too bad.
If you’re in a pinch, you can activate the battery saver mode which disables all features and only displays the time with an analog watch face. You’ll need to then reboot the watch in order to restore its normal functionality.
The Movado Connect 2.0 is a smartwatch that definitely looks impressive on your wrist. It’s lightweight, easy to accessorize, and does a good job of keeping you updated through the day. Battery life is also decent, and it’s able to track most of your workout routines with ease.
Where things go a bit weary is with WatchOS itself – it doesn’t feel like a fluid operating system to match the Connect 2.0’s looks, and there are definitely times where we were stabbing at a screen that was slow to respond from our taps.
If you’re able to look past the thicker bezels and the occasional slowdown, then the Movado Connect 2.0 is an easy recommendation, with its trendy looks and gamut of apps making it a good choice for the fashion-forward user.