Talking of most fashionable smartwatches. Sometimes you may want to juggle two goodies at once – technology and the sense of fashion style.
From the stylish Apple Watch Series 5, through to the multi-tasking Michael Kors option, and Tag Heuer’s latest connected offering, read on for our round-up of the sleekest and most sophisticated smartwatches on the market right now. Whether it’s fitness tracking, heart-rate monitoring, or long-lasting battery life you’re after, we’ve got you covered.
|The Apple Watch Series 5 x Hermès
Excellent fitness tracking and heart rate monitoring accuracy.
WatchOS 6 brings useful new apps.
No built-in sleep tracking.
Battery life remains the same.
|Huawei gt 2 watch
|Great battery life
Excellent fitness tracking
|No third-party apps
No NFC support
Can’t customize it much
|Samsung galaxy watch active 2
|Digital haptic dial control is great.
Still decent 2-day battery life.
Attractive minimalist design.
Still very few third-party apps.
|Tag Heuer connected watch
Large, bright display
Android Wear 2.0
|Very high price
Missing a heart rate tracker
No rotating bezel or crown
|The Michael Kors Access Lexington 2||Looks great
Genuinely unisex design
|Strap adjustments not smooth
Expensive for what it is
Speaker isn’t great
The Apple Watch Series 5 x Hermès
Apple Watch x Hermès is the best for fashion fans. The Apple Watch Series 5 x adopts new combinations of colours for spring 2020; the charming concrete rope design. The watch also comes with an exclusive orange rubber sport band and the buckle recalls those on the straps of a saddle, a nod to the equestrian heritage of the brand. The watch face is revisited to match, showcasing time in an elegant, uniquely Hermès way.
In terms of design, the Series 5 looks virtually identical to the Series 4 when placed next to one another, it’s hard to tell the difference. The right side of the case is home to the Digital Crown (which features a red dot on the cellular version), above the microphone and side button. The left side holds the speaker, which gets loud enough to easily hear phone calls and Siri.
When your wrist is stagnant or down, the display goes into the ambient mode, which shows a barebones version of your watch face. If you have an app open, like Spotify or iMessage, the watch goes into ambient mode by blurring the background and displaying the time instead.
Of course, this raises some concerns about battery life, but Apple uses a low-temperature, polysilicon and oxide display, an ultra-low power display driver, and a new ambient light sensor to help keep the Series 5 keep the same 18-hour battery life as its predecessors. It’s not nearly as strong as the Fitbit Versa 2’s five days of power, but it’s enough to comfortably get you through the day.
New to the Series 5 is Apple’s highly touted International Emergency Calling feature. No matter where you are, the watch can make calls to emergency services, even if you’re in another country or if your cellular plan isn’t activated. The watch can also automatically place an emergency call if it senses that you’ve fallen and remain motionless for 60 seconds. It’s important to note that this feature is only available on the cellular model, however.
The Compass app is another new feature exclusive to Series 5. In conjunction with the updated Maps app, you can use the Compass to navigate your surroundings. It shows information like heading, incline, latitude, longitude, and elevation. There are also three Compass complications that you can add to your watch face so that you don’t have to open the app each time.
Apple has also added a new health and wellness element in the form of a Noise app, which measures the environmental sound levels around you periodically throughout the day. You can choose a decibel threshold, and the Apple Watch will notify you if the average sound level around you exceeds it.
Huawei gt 2 watch
The Huawei GT 2 may look like a regular smartwatch but it has all the features of a fitness tracker. What’s most impressive is that the battery life lasts around two weeks. This 42 mm, ultra-thin watch also features a water resistance rating of 50 meters, and many more integrated smart features such as TruSleep, workout monitoring, message reminders, heart-rate monitoring, GPS tracking, and more.
The Huawei Watch GT 2 is lightweight and at 10.7mm thick it doesn’t feel chunky on the wrist. The 46mm watch has a 1.39-inch AMOLED screen with a resolution of 454 x 454 pixels and a brightness of 1,000 nits, which makes it decently bright and sharp.
It weighs 41g without the black silicone strap, which makes it lighter than the previous model.
The 42mm model (which we haven’t tested) is 29g, 9.4mm thick, and has a 1.2-inch 390 x 390 AMOLED screen. So it’s a little more compact than the 46mm model but may also prove cramped if you have large hands.
The Watch GT 2 is powered by Huawei’s home-grown Kirin A1 chipset, which includes intelligent power-saving technology. It has 2GB of RAM and 4GB of storage, out of which 2.2GB is usable space – enough to hold around 500 songs.
In terms of connectivity options, the Huawei Watch GT 2 offers Bluetooth 5.1 as well as built-in GPS (along with Glonass and Galileo for more accurate, faster, and precise positioning).
There’s sadly no NFC support though, so you can’t make payments using the watch. There’s also no Wi-Fi or LTE here, so you’ll have to always keep the watch paired with your phone to keep things up to date. You get Huawei’s own Lite OS here, which feels good to use for the most part, despite not offering as many features as the likes of Apple’s watchOS, Google’s Wear OS, Fitbit OS, and Samsung’s Tizen. It can also sometimes feel a bit sluggish.
Since Huawei’s platform doesn’t have an app store, there’s no support for third-party apps. You also can’t add widgets or customize the watch in any significant way, which makes the Watch GT 2 feel less like a smartwatch and more like a digital watch with GPS and fitness tracking.
Huawei claims the 455mAh battery inside the 46mm Watch GT 2 gives two weeks of juice on a single full charge, while the 42mm model will offer 7 days, but this all comes down to how you’re using it.
Samsung galaxy watch active 2
Fusing high-tech function with the look of a classic ticker, meet the latest addition to Samsung’s Galaxy Watch family. Integrated with the Samsung Health app, the Galaxy Watch Active 2 is a personal health monitor on your wrist. View your wellness summary in an instant on a single screen, and access dozens of tools that let you manage not just your fitness but also your wellbeing. The watch tracks and automatically stores every walk, run and cycle, recognising when you’re working out, as well as monitoring your sleep, and giving you breathing exercises to help reduce stress.
The two side buttons are also the same as before – a ‘back’ button on top, which is now outlined in some case colors, and a ‘home’ button below, which brings up your apps. While double-tapping the latter brings up Samsung’s smart assistant Bixby by default, you can (and should) set it to something more useful, such as a shortcut to a frequent favorite.
The Active 2’s 360 x 360 resolution Super AMOLED screen is slightly (as in, 0.1 inches) expanded to 1.2-inches over its predecessor for the smaller 40mm model – meaningless bezel this time around – while the larger 44mm option has a 1.4-inch screen of the same resolution.
The Active 2 has an Exynos 9110 dual-core chipset, the same as its predecessor – and the original Galaxy Watch, for that matter – but at 1.15Ghz, it’s fast enough. The smartwatch’s 768MB of RAM is fine for switching in and out of apps, though that’s upgraded to 1.5GB for the LTE model.
That’s enough power to zoom around the interface, though we still wish Samsung had been able to fit more than 4GB of storage in there – especially since, once the operating system and baseline apps have been loaded up, you’re left with 1.5GB to fiddle with. Enough for plenty of songs and apps (most of which take up barely a megabyte apiece), but not leaving much room for bigger, bolder software.
Like its predecessor, the Active 2 – Most Fashionable Smartwatches, runs on Samsung’s One UI overlay over Samsung’s trusty Tizen operating system, and not much has changed since the original Active. The rotating dial makes it noticeably easier to sift through apps on your home page or notifications on the main ‘watch face’ screen, though it will take a little getting used to for precision navigation (i.e. not zooming past the right stop).
If anything lives up to Samsung’s claims about the Galaxy Watch Active 2, it’s battery life. With typical use, Active 2 lasts two full days. While that’s not quite the four days that original Galaxy Watch survives, it’s more than can be said of the Apple Watch line.
Tag Heuer connected watch
With an always-on screen and various sport-tracking features – including cycling, running, and golf – this is Tag Heuer’s most sophisticated smartwatch to date. The watch boasts well-designed software including GPS. Although it’s marketed as unisex, it does feel like a men’s watch – at 45mm you will find it is larger than its previous iteration – but that being said, it’s the most luxurious Android option on the market right now.
If you decide to buy a Tag Heuer Connected Modular 45, a big highlight will be the different styles available to you. It doesn’t offer customization to the level that Motorola did with its Moto Maker store functionality for the Moto 360 watches, but there are 56 versions on its UK store at the time of writing.
You can choose the material used on the bezel – your options vary from diamonds to aluminum, titanium to ceramic. There are a mass of different choices as well as variations in color for the bezel, but if you go for some of the more premium materials you’ll be spending a lot of money. You can buy additional straps separately as well, hence why Tag Heuer is calling this a modular watch.
The core design of the Tag Heuer Connected Modular 45 is like a premium watch that you’d probably spend far more money on than your average smartwatch. The ‘45’ in the name refers to the watch’s diameter. It’s a chunky piece, measuring 13.7mm thick. That means it’s suited to larger wrists, but the sporty styling makes it look intentional, similar to a Garmin Fenix 3.
It’s also waterproof, so you can take this in the water if you want, but we wouldn’t recommend swimming with this device due to the weight.
There’s a 1.39-inch AMOLED display. That offers a clear 400 x 400 resolution, which is quite a bit better than most of the competition. It’s also a large screen compared to a lot of other Android Wear products on the market.
Paired with 512MB of RAM, the Tag Heuer is capable of handling simple games and running apps such as Uber. There’s also 4GB of storage on the watch, which is around the industry standard at the moment and should be enough room for the apps and software you want.
There’s also NFC on the Connected Modular 45, which will allow you to use Android Pay for payments directly from your wrist. We found it easy enough to set up and it’s just a simple tap on the payment reader for you to make your payment.
There are a variety of extra exercise apps you can download for your Tag Heuer Connected 45– Most Fashionable Smartwatches, but it comes with Google Fit Workout installed on your wrist to help you get off the sofa and start a workout.
Your options here include walking, running, cycling, treadmill running, stationary biking, stair-climbing machine and other workouts.
It also includes a variety of challenges for squats, sit-ups, and press-ups. For each challenge, you’ll get to choose a difficulty level, and then it’ll provide you with an example diagram of what you should be doing, and then the watch will count your reps.
Even if you are the kind of person looking for a premium, luxury watch, you should bear in mind that this device will date a lot quicker than traditional watches. If you buy a premium traditional watch it likely won’t date in five years, but the Tag Heuer Connected Modular 45 won’t be supported in terms of software for much longer than that, and its hardware is likely to start feeling dated too.
That may not persuade you not to buy the Connected Modular 45, but it is something to bear in mind if you’re considering it.
Michael Kors Lexington Smartwatch
The Michael Kors Lexington Smartwatch is perfect for style-conscious sporty types, as it combines the brand’s popular silhouette with next-evolution technology. Cast in stainless steel and powered by Google, this design not only offers text and email alerts, but also payment methods, heart-rate tracking, swim-proof functionality and more (we love the GPS tracking feature). Interchangeable straps are also available, should you want to mix it up.
The Michael Kors Access Lexington 2 is glitzy whichever color scheme you go with. We had the Silver-Tone model at our disposal and it looks distinctive, expensive, and stylish. Place it on your wrist and it stands out far more so than something like an Apple Watch or standard Fossil Gen 5 smartwatch.
It has the typical design of two side buttons and a rotating crown with the MK logo adorned on it. A raised bezel around the 44mm case is suitably weighty and eye-catching.
Having said that, it doesn’t feel too oversized, even on a slender wrist. The display itself is a 1.28-inch AMOLED with 328 pixels per inch, so it looks suitably decent.
Behind the strap, on the clasp, there’s another Michael Kors logo for those keen to show off their branding. Such labeling is subtle enough that the general style feels classy rather than garish, though.
The Michael Kors Access Lexington 2 sticks with the hardware used by the Fossil Gen 5 along with a few other higher-end Wear OS smartwatches. That means it has a Qualcomm Snapdragon Wear 3100 chipset, 8GB of storage, and 1GB of RAM.
Elsewhere, there’s Google Pay support, built-in GPS, heart rate monitoring, and water resistance. There’s also a built-in speaker for those rare times you might want to take a call through your wrist rather than your tethered phone.
The Michael Kors Lexington 2 – Most Fashionable Smartwatches, uses the same chipset as a lot of recent high-end Wear OS smartwatches – the Qualcomm Snapdragon Wear 3100 processor, which means it also has lots of battery-tweaking options.
As standard, Michael Kors reckons the battery will last about 36 hours. We found a more realistic figure to be about just over a full day, assuming you’re walking around and using various features on the watch.
The Apple Watch Series 5 doesn’t feature any drastic changes, but an always-on display makes the best smartwatch you can buy even better.
The Apple Watch Series 5 packs a ton of functionality into a stylish, proven design. Not only is it good enough to replace your dedicated fitness tracker, but it also comes with a variety of health-related features you may not even have thought about, like International Emergency Calling, Cycle Tracking, and the Noise app. Add in unrivaled app experience and the always-on display, and the Series 5 – Most Fashionable Smartwatches, is Apple’s best smartwatch yet, as well as our Editors’ Choice.
Of course, it’s hard to ignore the hefty price tag, especially when you can pick up an Apple Watch Series 3 for half the price. While it doesn’t come with ECG capability, fall detection, or an always-on display, both watches share a lot of similarities when it comes to battery life, design, and features. Like the Series 5, the Series 3 is available in GPS-only or cellular models. And it’s compatible with watchOS 6, so you have access to the same health and fitness apps as well. It’s worth considering if you’re just starting, or if you have no use for some of the Series 5-specific features.
The Huawei Watch GT 2 has excellent battery life coupled with health and wellness tracking features, but the software needs improvements to stand out from the competition. The Huawei Watch GT 2 – Most Fashionable Smartwatches, offers a great value proposition with its internal and external hardware, and the fitness features are certainly quite impressive.
However, the software holds it back and needs to be fine-tuned further for Huawei to make a proper impression with future models. There needs to be more customization and there need to be more apps. With its focus on fitness and lack of apps, the Huawei Watch GT 2 is really for someone who primarily wants a fitness tracker, but one with the aesthetics of a high-end smartwatch.
If you’re in the market for a sleek-looking fitness tracker, then this is the one for you. For anything beyond that, you should look elsewhere and find a more fleshed-out smartwatch, such as the Samsung Galaxy Watch Active 2 or Apple Watch 5.
The Samsung Galaxy Watch Active 2 is a minor upgrade on its predecessor, adding a digital rotating dial, bigger version, currently inactive ECG, and LTE option. But it’s also considerably more costly, putting a hefty price on only a few extra features.
The Tag Heuer Connected Modular 45 – Most Fashionable Smartwatches, is a premium watch that looks great on your wrist, but it doesn’t offer anything cheaper Android Wear 2.0 alternatives don’t already have or an enjoyable fitness experience.
The Michael Kors Access Lexington 2 would make a stylish addition to your collection but expect to pay the price for such good looks. At heart, this is a fairly standard Wear OS smartwatch, with a designer label-style price attached to it.
Buy it if you want a ton of style. You will like the look of the Michael Kors Access Lexington 2 – Most Fashionable Smartwatches. It feels like a ‘proper’ watch that would look great during a fancy dinner or business meeting.
The Michael Kors Access Lexington 2 isn’t perfect but it does everything well enough. If you want a smartwatch that mostly covers all the bases, this is it.
You’re keen on fashion. This is your choice. There are some decent features here but ultimately, the Michael Kors Access Lexington 2 looks aimed at those with their finger on the pulse of fashion. Embrace it.
Don’t buy it if you want a watch for exercising. The Michael Kors Access Lexington 2 – Most Fashionable Smartwatches, is too bulky and heavy for use regularly while exercising. It will be hugely cumbersome while swimming and not much better when running. If you want to use a speaker extensively on your wrist. The built-in speaker should always be your last resort outside of when you simply need an answer from Google Assistant. It’s pretty weak.
If you want a lightweight watch. The Michael Kors Access Lexington 2 is heavy. The good, expensive kind of heavy, but it’s still quite hefty. It looks good on a slender wrist, but you’re always going to feel it.