Armani Exchange Connected: A steel watch that’s smart, large and flashy

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Updated: May 8, 2019 2:38:11 PM

The Armani Exchange Connected does not look like a smartwatch. It does look like a watch though, unabashedly so thanks to the stainless steel.

Every tech company worth their salt now has a smartwatch and as a result, every watch company is also trying their best to offer something smart. In between these two are the fashion brands that made watches for their customers. Now, they too are making a beeline for the smartwatch business. We got to try the Armani Exchange Connected smartwatch.

The Armani Exchange Connected does not look like a smartwatch. It does look like a watch though, unabashedly so thanks to the stainless steel. But not something with smartness associated with it. In fact, the Armani Exchange Connected is a watch that will stand out on your wrist. It is large, flashy and will certainly be noticed within seconds.

It sports the metal link band that I have refused to wear since childhood. The metallic watch bands have always given me the feeling of being fettered and I prefer something organic or just plain plastic. Also, something this big can come in the way a bit, if you are, like me, stuck to putting 12 hours every day in front of a computer.

The watch charges on a small dock, very similar to that of the Apple Watch, but with a magnetic base. This is good because the watch cannot rest on its face because of the strap.

The Armani Exchange Connected watch is based on Google Wear OS. So it is like the other Android watches out there, except for the custom faces. The watch sets up with help from the Google Wear app and the entire process is easy, especially if like me you
already have an account which knows your vitals.

You can select watch faces that go with the bold style of the watch and there are quite a few to select. If you are looking for something more subtle, then that could be a problem. But I finally found red digits on a black face that I liked. This watch face gave me everything I wanted to see—from steps to date, weather, day and battery status—in one screen.

You can click on the crown to access the apps and roll the crown to scroll through the list. It is good that Wear OS now lets you download apps directly from Play Store to the watch without a smartphone required in between. But there aren’t enough apps to keep you from going to an Android smartwatch more than needed.

This is where the notifications will come in handy. The watch can show most of the notifications that appear on your phone. And you can mute them if needed as they can get annoying after a point, and also drain your battery faster than you expected.

While the watch is fully integrated with Google Fit, I doubt you would want to wear these shackles for your morning jog or to the gym. It is best for the watch to count your steps passively when you are at work, or to help you catch a breathing exercise when you feel stressed out.
The battery can last over a day, given that you will not be wearing this to sleep or to places where you are likely to be more active. Still, it is recommended that you charge it daily when you sleep.

It may not be my taste and a bit contradictory to my concept of a smartwatch, but the Armani Exchange Connected is functional and certain to find takers among those who like these kinds of timepieces.

> Estimated street price: Rs 22,495

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