Silicon Valley met Switzerland at this year’s Baselworld, the world’s premier event for the watch and jewelry industry, which celebrated its 100th anniversary this year. Several impressive smartwatches made their debut, all touting the Qualcomm Snapdragon Wear 2100 Platform and all powered by Android Wear 2.0. With this reliable platform and OS developed specifically for wearables, it’s no wonder high-end brands are looking beyond basic wearable functions, and combining style with technology to develop chic smartwatches fit for any lifestyle.
The superior SoC for smartwatches, Snapdragon Wear 2100, is an integrated, ultra-low power sensor hub. It’s 30 percent smaller than previous-generation wearable SoCs, allowing OEMs the freedom to develop thinner, sleeker product designs. And because it uses 25 percent less power than its older sibling (the Snapdragon 400), watchmakers can offer even more features and better designs.
The Snapdragon Wear 2100 comes in both tethered (Bluetooth and Wi-Fi) and connected (3G and 4G LTE) versions. The latter allows wearers to do more with their wearables, from streaming music to sending messages to calling a cab, in tandem with — or even without — having to bring their smartphones along.
Each of the touchscreen smartwatches included in this roundup run Android Wear 2.0, Google’s latest wearable operating system, and can pair with both iOS and Android phones. With Android Wear 2.0, users can personalize their watch faces with chronometer-style complications and create shortcuts to their favorite applications. In addition to the pre-installed Google Fit and calendar apps, more apps can be downloaded directly through the on-watch Google Play store, so wearers can customize their device to their lifestyle.
Android Wear 2.0 brings the Google Assistant to your wrist. Find answers and get things done even when your hands are full. Reply to a friend, set a reminder, or ask for directions. Just hold the power button or say “OK Google”.
Check out the some of Snapdragon Wear powered smartwatches that made a splash at this year’s Baselworld:
The Diesel On smartwatch has a round, AMOLED display and comes with unique overlays for a touch of personality: A “cracked” screen for its ‘do not disturb’ mode and a “fogged” screen when the watch is inactive. Inspired by motorcycle culture, this wearable has customizable strap options that include leather, silicone, denim, and canvas with novelty stitching and hardware details.
Emporio Armani Connected
As Emporio Armani’s first touchscreen watch, the Emporio Armani Connected smartwatch maintains a few analog touches, including its extended crown and two physical buttons. It’ll include new platforms and colorways.
Fossil Q Explorist
The Fossil Q Explorist has Wi-Fi and Bluetooth capabilities, and an almost day-long battery life per charge. In addition to its crown, the smartwatch features two buttons that can be easily set as app shortcuts. Its stainless steel case is 44mm in diameter and 12.6mm thick, with interchangeable 22mm bands. The Q Explorist has 4GB of memory, and uses a magnetic charger*.
Fossil Q Venture
The Fossil Q Venture is packed with features, including built-in Wi-Fi and Bluetooth connectivity. The smartwatch has 6GB of memory and boasts up to 24 hours of battery per change. The Q Venture is 42mm in diameter and 11.3mm thick — the smallest and thinnest touchscreen smartwatch in Fossil’s lineup. The Q Venture also has 4GB of memory, Bluetooth and Wi-Fi connectivity, and a magnetic charger.
Fossil Q x Cory Richards
In a first-ever Fossil Q collaboration, the company collaborated with Cory Richards, a National Geographic photographer, world adventurer, and Fossil fan. Richards’ first watch, a Fossil Blue he received in his early twenties, accompanied him on multiple trips around the world, enduring the most treacherous conditions. After the watch filled with saltwater and rusted over during a kayaking trip in Australia, Richards had it framed as a sentimental memento. The limited edition Fossil Q x Cory Richards touchscreen smartwatch maintains the spirit of the explorer’s Fossil Blue, but is updated with a built-in fitness tracker, music player, and alarm clock. The 45mm wearable has 4GB of storage, and Bluetooth and Wi-Fi connectivity.
The Gc Connect’s design was inspired by Guess’ Structura style, with one version for men and another for women. For the men’s version, the smartwatch has a ceramic bezel, a polished steel case, and rose gold ceramic, sporty silicone, and croco-embossed leather interchangeable straps. The women’s version is available in two-tone steel and rose gold or an all rose gold case, and features a diamond effect, python print, and mother-of-pearl digital, textured dials. It also offers interchangeable leather, silicone, and two-tone link bracelets.
Guess Connect Touch
The updated Guess Connect smartwatch focuses more on fashion than fitness. The device is now equipped with Android Wear 2.0, and now comes in two styles: The 41mm smartwatch has crystal accents and is available in two-tone polished steel and rose gold or all rose gold, while the 44mm smartwatch boasts a brushed case and interchangeable ceramic, steel link, leather, silicone, and stainless steel bands for any occasion.
Hugo Boss Touch
The Hugo Boss Touch features five dials that display different combinations of calendar entries, step counts, messaging notifications, and the time. The smartwatch offers Near Field Communication (NFC), which means Android Pay is embedded, so it’s easy for wearers to make purchases on the go.
Michael Kors Access Grayson
The Michael Kors Access Grayson has a more masculine style than the Access Sofie, with an all-metal watch body, offered in gold-tone, stainless steel, and black and blue ion-plate. It has a fully round AMOLED screen that displays customizable notifications, fitness levels, and a sleep tracker. A rotating crown makes scrolling a snap, and two buttons make the Access Grayson truly one’s own. The smartwatch comes with four interchangeable bands.
Michael Kors Access Sofie
The Michael Kors Access Sofie has a sleek and slim watch body with an embellished bezel, and a 30mm full round screen. The Sofie and its sibling, the Grayson (previous), include a branded micro-app called My Social, which syncs the watch to wearers’ Instagram accounts, allowing them to customize their watch face with photos from their feeds. Like the Michael Kors Access Grayson, the Access Sofie also has a fully round AMOLED screen.
Originally announced at CES, the Misfit Vapor debuted with the latest version of Android Wear. Designed with fitness in mind, it can monitor heart rates, calories burned, pace, and distance for runs, walks, and bike rides, while playing hundreds of songs wirelessly. The stats are collected and compatible with Google Fit, Google’s exclusive fitness app. It has GPS embedded in it to track activities in real time, and can be worn underwater at up to 50 meters.
The Misfit Vapor has a 35.3mm AMOLED display and a touch bezel that makes navigation quick and simple. Wearers can browse through Vapor’s menu of applications without obscuring the main content. And with a durable satin-finished stainless steel upper casing (that comes in Jet Black and Rose Gold), the smartwatch’s display truly stands out.
The Montblanc Summit takes Montblanc’s classic 1858 analog watch to the next level. The Swiss brand’s first smartwatch includes a variety of features, such as 4GB of storage, 512MB of RAM, Wi-Fi and Bluetooth connectivity, a heart-rate sensor, and a built-in microphone. Its 35.3mm AMOLED screen can exhibit a selection of exclusive Montblanc watch faces, including one with a stopwatch function. The smartwatch has an IP68 rating, indicating protectection from dust, rain, splashing, and accidental underwater immersion, and a 350mAh battery.
Inspired by the classic Movado watch face, the company translates its iconic style to its 46.5mm smartwatch, the Movado Connect. The device will feature the signature single dot at 12 o’clock in 100 different dial variations, including Museum Classic, Museum Accent, Museum Sweep, Digital, Sport, Perspective, and Day to Night. The Movado Connect will be available in five different men’s styles, three with rubber straps, two with steel bracelets, and all five with a steel case.
Tommy Hilfiger TH24/7YOU
The Tommy Hilfiger TH24/7YOU has a 44mm case size and brings the smartwatch back to basics. Featuring a step counter and synced notifications, the red-white-and-blue smartwatch is expected to be available soon.