Less glitz, more tech for Michael Kors and its new Access Runway smartwatch

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Michael Kors is back with a new smartwatch, and it sees the return of a name it has used in the past. The Michael Kors Access Runway is a full-fledged touchscreen smartwatch with Google Wear OS, and continues the stylish Access Runway name from when we last saw it in 2016, when it was attached to a slim Michael Kors hybrid smartwatch. The new watch is less glitzy, and more effortlessly stylish than previous watches from the designer brand, potentially making them more attractive to more people.

Let’s start with the good news that one of our favorite Michael Kors smartwatch features is included in the Access Runway: The My Social App. This lets you use Facebook and Instagram pictures as your watch face, and it now comes with special Michael Kors stickers to customize the look further. Changing the watch face on a Wear OS watch is one of the biggest attractions, and the more personal customizations there are, the better. The My Social app gets it exactly right.

The new Access Runway is also the first Michael Kors smartwatch to come with the option of an 18mm silicone strap, joining three stainless steel options. They’re attached to a sleek gold or stainless steel body that measures 41mm, making it suitable for smaller wrists. The silicone strap comes in either black or pink, while the metal link strap has a two-tone matte and polished look in gold and stainless steel combinations. We really like the cool muted, darker gold model.

A 1.19-inch screen sits in the center of the body and has a 390 x 390-pixel resolution, with Wear OS powered by Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 2100 processor and 512MB of RAM. There’s just 4GB of space inside, which should still be enough to store some music of offline use. Using the watch without your phone is easier with the new Access Runway, as it has its own GPS system and heart rate tracking — features we haven’t seen on previous generations.

NFC is also present for mobile payments, the 300mAh battery takes just an hour to recharge and should last for a day, while the entire watch is water resistant to a degree where you can take it swimming. Google Assistant is on board, and Wear OS smartwatches will work with both Android phones and iOS phones.

The new Michael Kors Access Runway smartwatches will be available globally through the company’s boutique stores, and online, starting Monday, August 13.

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