Fashion brands are increasingly moving into the smartwatch space. Armani, which is owned by Fossil, first did so with the hybrid Emporio Armani EA Connected Watch. Now, the company is back with a touchscreen version running Android Wear 2.0. The watch is part of Fossil’s effort to launch 300 new smartwatch options in 2017. It was first announced during the Milan Fashion Week and is available to order now through the Armani website. Prices vary between $345 and $395.
It’s a beauty, particularly with a metal band. The body measures 46mm, and is much slimmer than previous generation smartwatches, making it more subtle and easier to wear everyday. Like other smartwatches, the EA Connected watch will boast a selection of eight custom Armani watch faces, and Armani will also offer 11 22mm interchangeable watch bands, made of rubber, fabric, or leather. These cost between $25 and $35 each from Armani’s store. That’s in addition to the metal bands on several of the watches, in either stainless steel, black stainless steel, or silver and gold stainless steel.
Apart from that, however, the watch is a generally typical Android Wear 2.0 smartwatch for you to summon Google Assistant, track your smartphone’s notifications, and even send and receive text messages. Android Wear is compatible with Android and iOS devices, but more features will be available if you’re linking it to an Android phone. There’s basic fitness-tracking features, but no heart rate monitor. On the tech side, there’s a Qualcomm Snapdragon Wear 2100 processor, an AMOLED display, wireless charging, and an IP67 water resistance rating. Armani hasn’t released any detailed technical specifications yet, so the resolution of the display, RAM, and battery size is unknown.
As mentioned, Fossil is attempting to launch a few hundred new smartwatches this year, both through the Fossil brand and through its sub-brands — including Armani, Michael Kors, Diesel, and others. So far, it is hovering somewhere around the 100 mark, but it is showing no signs of slowing down. It is important to note that not all of these watches will be Android Wear smartwatches — many will be hybrid devices — and will include variations of a single watch.
Update: The Emporio Armani Connected Android Wear watch is now ready for sale.