Lightweight version of the Emporio Armani Connected smartwatch o - 100.7 San Diego - True Variety -

Lightweight version of the Emporio Armani Connected smartwatch on display at CES

By Simon Hill

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One of the new smartwatches the Fossil Group is showing off at CES 2019 is the third-generation Emporio Armani Connected. The latest release under the Emporio Armani brand features a sleek aluminum case in black with a matching rubber strap. It’s a classic, understated design that will fit in easily in the office, at the gym, or for a night out on the town.

We reviewed the original Emporio Armani Connected smartwatch in 2017 and found it stylish, but lacking in the tech features department. The second generation was released in July last year and brought a bunch of useful upgrades. This latest release is very similar to its direct predecessor, with those distinctive horns that extend from the case to grip the strap. It’s also totally waterproof, with a 3 ATM rating, so you can wear it in the pool or shower.

The functionality is much the same. There’s heart rate tracking, so you can keep tabs on your fitness level during workouts and throughout the day. You’ll find support for near-field communication (NFC), so you can use Google Pay. There’s also untethered GPS, allowing you to leave your phone at home and still navigate with your smartwatch and record the distance and route you cover.

It runs Wear OS, so you have access to Google Assistant on your wrist and can install all the best Wear OS apps. It also has a 300mAh battery inside and the magnetic charger will juice it up fully in an hour, but that will likely be a daily necessity.

Emporio Armani Connected
Simon Hill/Digital Trends

Sadly, the big internal upgrade you might have expected didn’t make the cut, so you’ll find the aging Qualcomm Snapdragon 2100 chip inside. This may have been to keep the cost down, since the third-generation Emporio Armani Connected can be picked up for $345.

The second-generation version was a bit more expensive, but it came with a choice of mono link, Milanese loop, or leather straps and had a stainless steel body. This new release really does feel significantly lighter and it’s sure to suit active people. The watch we tried had a choice of three different Emporio Armani branded watch faces, so you can show off your style credentials.

You can buy the new Emporio Armani Connected smartwatch starting in February.

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