Next Connection

Emporio Armani Smartwatch 3 review

Emporio Armani has been a staple in the Wear OS market for a few years now, providing a stylish alternative to the flood of boring smartwatches available on the market. Their third connected watch, the Smartwatch 3, aims to be the best one yet

Emporio Armani watches are part of the Fossil group, and as such, the Smartwatch 3 shares a lot of similarities to the Fossil Gen 5 smartwatch. Powering it is the Qualcomm Snapdragon Wear 3100, which pairs the main processor with an independent co-processor. This promises increased battery life and performance. It’s paired with 1GB of RAM and 8GB of storage for apps, music and photos.

Armani Smartwatch 3

The Smartwatch 3 runs Google’s Wear OS. Its a platform that has been neglected ever since its birth several years ago and is a far 3rd place behind Apple’s watchOS and Samsung’s Tizen. Speaking of Apple, the Smartwatch 3 is compatible with iOS as well as Android, however the experience much better when paired with an Android device.

The positives to Wear OS is support for Google Assistant and contactless payments via Google Pay, both genuinely useful features that I use on a daily basis. There are a healthy number of apps available such as Google Keep for notes and Spotify for music. Notification support is also great with a number of different ways to reply to messages. There is also a speaker for voice calls and Google Assistant feedback.

Previous Wear OS watches had 512MB of RAM which sometimes made navigating around the OS sluggish and unresponsive. The additional 512MB seems to have remedied that. Performance is smooth and snappy for the most part, although there is still the minor hiccup here and there. The watch can be slow to wake up at times. There can be a small delay to launch Google Assistant for example.

The face of the watch is a 1.28-inch circular AMOLED display, with a 390 x 390 resolution. It has punchy colours and is readable even in direct sunlight. There is one size available, 44mm. The thickness comes in at around 12mm, not too bulky, however this may be suited more towards a slightly bigger wrist.

This is a prettier watch than most, however the style may not be suited to everyone. There is a range of 6 colours to choose from, black, white, yellow, blue, brown and green. The black version comes with a stainless steel strap whist the other versions come with a synthetic rubberised one. You can customise this and swap for any 22mm strap if you wish.

Battery is always a bone of contention when it comes to wearables, especially for Wear OS. For me, anything less than 2 days isn’t acceptable in 2019. Unfortunately the Smartwatch 3 falls into the unacceptable category.

There are a number of different battery modes to choose from. Daily, the default mode which enables most of the features you would expect. Extended, which turns off more power hungry features such as always on display, GPS and Wi-Fi. And then theres Time Only, which disables all features and turns your device into a basic watch. Using this mode you can get up to 7 days of battery life, but this all but defeats the point of having a smartwatch. Using the Daily mode, I found the battery would die after roughly a day and a quarter. This is certainly a watch you will be charging every night.

When it comes to charging, one thing I dislike about the Smartwatch 3 (as well as other Wear OS watches) is the charging method. You have to use the proprietary charging puck which feels like a step backwards when compared to Samsung’s Galaxy Watch range, which uses Qi wireless charging. This allows you to use the reverse wireless charging feature available on some flagship phones to keep the battery topped up. The awkward solution for the Smartwatch 3 is annoying if you are someone who travels frequently. If you forget to pack the puck you’re going to end up with a dead watch for the bulk of your trip.

Armani Smartwatch 3

Other functions of the Smartwatch 3 include fitness tracking features like standalone GPS and heart rate monitoring via Google Fit. It’s mostly fine, however it’s not as fleshed out or as accurate as a dedicated fitness tracker like a Fitbit. There is also water resistance up to 30 metres, however Armani don’t recommend using the watch for dedicated swimming sessions.

Ultimately the Emporio Armani Smartwatch 3 is a mixed bag. The good looks are held back by poor battery life and software. The watch is essentially a rebranded Fossil Gen 5, but with the premium of £95 for the privilege of the Armani branding. That’s up to you if you feel that’s worth it or not.

There is still no “ticks all boxes” smartwatch for Android users. If you’re heavily invested in the Google ecosystem and enjoy Wear OS then I would recommend the Fossil Gen 5 over this. If the Google services aren’t that important to you then Samsung’s Galaxy Watch Active 2 is much wiser investment.

Related posts

This website uses cookies to improve your experience. By choosing 'Accept', you consent to the use of cookies and other tracking technologies. Accept Read More