Emporio Armani is back with a third smartwatch for its ‘Connected’ range of watches. The fashion house entered the smartwatch space back in 2017 and brought a beautiful redesign to the market last year. Last year’s model only added a few basic features to the watch; however, the new Armani Smartwatch 3 boasts more incremental changes and brings more to the table than ever before. The price, however, is non-competitive, which closes it off to an exclusive market.
For reference, the watch is just slightly cheaper than the latest Apple Watch and around $200 more expensive than the Apple Watch Series 3. In this review, we’ll help you decide if Armani’s new Smartwatch 3 is a convincing alternative to the best smartwatches currently available.
Armani Smartwatch 3 Design
The design remains to be the most critical aspect of these watches, since Wear OS lags behind in terms of UI, and offers little variance from watch to watch in terms of features. Each partner of the Fossil Group offers a unique take on the modern smartwatch, and Armani seems to have settled into a rhythm with its third iteration. At first glance, there aren’t many changes in the watch. However, as a whole, the few touch-ups make the design match the feature set much better than the last generation. The metal bands and casings are gone – replaced by an aluminium body (available in several accents) and silicone straps.
It retains some of the finer points of the 2018 edition. The gap in the casing between the strap and the bezel, as well as the Armani logo on the crown, remain the same. The design is now is less bulky and cumbersome, but it is still super stylish. The watch also features a screen similar to the last edition. It has the same 1.28-inch AMOLED display that has a 390 x 390 resolution and a 328 pixels-per-inch pixel density inside a 44mm body. The watch also retains the 12mm thickness, which makes it less of a burden on runs or daily wear.
The screen can be set to be always-on, and tapping on the screen or raising your wrist will brighten the screen up. The great-looking always-on display is one of the things Wear watches beat rivals to the punch on. You can experiment with different Armani watch faces – some of them can take a couple of seconds to load from the dimmed, always-on mode to the full screen, while others load instantly. Something entirely new to the watch is the speaker on the left side of the bezel. While the device doesn’t have 4G/LTE capabilities, it does let you take calls from the watch.
Considering that you will already have your phone nearby to use this feature, we’re not sure who would use it in this capacity. Your phone also needs to be connected to the watch via Bluetooth for it to work. Those who regularly use Google Assistant will love having a speaker on the watch. It’s a nice upgrade. With slight improvements on the already great looking design, the smartwatch’s look is undoubtedly its strongest selling point.
A smartwatch is generally only as good as the operating system it uses. Wear OS by Google does a decent job of turning a watch into a smartwatch; however, the operation is still mediocre. Its speed has improved after the Snapdragon 3100 chipset became available, but the bones of OS are still the same. Clunky menus and the inelegant app experience don’t offer as much depth as something like a Fitbit would.
To use the watch with an iPhone, you will have to download both Google Fit and Wear OS to get access to all the features of the watch. You will also have to link your Google account at every turn. Users are often overwhelmed by this, and you shouldn’t need three apps (Assistant, Wear OS, Google Fit) to operate one wearable. They’re not entirely useless as standalone apps; however, it does feel odd to be redirected to the Assistant app when you want to change your settings, for instance.
It is essential to learn whether the activity tracking features on the Smartwatch 3 outperform the last generations mediocre tracking performance.
The GPS on the 2018 version of the Emporio Armani Connected smartwatch refused to work, and fans were hoping that the performance would improve in this iteration. The Smartwatch 3 has no issues with using the GPS connection of the phone that is paired to it. However, if you leave the phone behind, you’ll encounter a never-ending “Acquiring GPS” tag.
Heart rate accuracy
Thankfully, the heart rate sensor located on the underside of the watch is more reliable than the GPS. While last year’s model overshot the heart rate slightly, the Smartwatch 3 is much more accurate and shows a heart right correctly consistently. Accuracy-wise, the watch is on par with fitness-oriented devices like the Fitbit Versa. Although the heart rate data you get from Google Fit isn’t as in-depth as the data you get from a Fitbit, the data is still reliable enough for you to gain insights about your workouts and your health.
Armani Smartwatch 3 Battery Life
Since the beginning, the battery life has been a crucial part of the equation on Wear OS watches. While you still won’t get multiple days of use between charges, the battery efficiency has improved on the Smartwatch 3 when compared to the last year’s model. How long the battery lasts depends largely on how you use it. However, Wear OS uses the Snapdragon 3100 chip aptly and provides several battery modes that you can freely pick from.
You can configure the watch for a day of heavy use, or you can disable features like the heart rate tracking and the always-on display and use the device for a little longer. You can also create a custom battery mode that will help prolong battery life without compromising your unique needs. If you want to use the watch for weeks on a single charge, you can toggle the Time Only setting.
The third Wear OS smartwatch from Armani is a decent improvement over the first two models in terms of both design and functionality. The multiple battery modes and the contemporary design tweaks make it a great watch overall, and it is worth the money if you love Armani products and are looking for a smartwatch.