The well-known Guess brand has released a smartwatch, but not one that has the bells and whistles of those powered by Android Wear. The Guess Connect smartwatch is essentially a traditional-looking watch with a few clever functions.
Jumping on the smart tech bandwagon, Guess has opted out of a David and Goliath battle with giants like Samsung or LG and appears to be more interested in nudging the likes of Fossil or Kate Spade out the way.
Guess hired Martian to provide the smart tech – this isn’t their first try at a smartwatch together for back in 2015, they released a more cumbersome version.
The Guess Connect smartwatch comes in a few variants – the Jemma line for women, Cassidy for a more unisex look, or Ace for men.
You can pair your Connect with both Android and Apple phones. Either offer a simple app to do so, then every notification you might get on your phone will be shown on the watch’s modest display.
You can’t reply via the watch, though, so those notifications are essentially telling you to pick up your phone.
You can control the volume of a call and it has a microphone that lets you talk to Siri or Google Now. There are also some handy music controls like volume, skip, pause, forward and back. There’s no storage offered by the watch, so you’ll need to stream your music via your smartphone.
The Guess Connect smartwatch is pretty basic but don’t be too harsh on it. For all its humble nature, it rarely if ever experienced any bugs; something that can’t be said for the better known FitBit smartwatches.
The Bluetooth connection seems pretty steady, and it’s always nice to not have to reset and reconnect a device time and time again.
It has no health monitoring to speak of. No heart rate monitor, no sleep tracking, no step counter, no GPS, nothing of the sort. The Guess Connect isn’t for those who want to know if they’ve finally achieved a ten-minute mile or if they’ve burned enough calories for a nice cold glass of Pinot.
The app is fairly simple. It lets you control which apps you want to receive notifications from on the watch face. You can also do things like set the type of vibration pattern, per app, that suits you. This is really useful as you’ll know what’s come through to your phone without having to look at anything.
Guess states a three to five day battery life on the Connect from a single charge and tests from users have proven this to be accurate. As you’re really only using it to read notifications that you then respond to on your phone, and, of course, the time, there’s not a lot asking much of the battery, so you’d expect a solid few days.
The main difference between the Ace, Jemma and Cassidy is the size; 44mm and 41mm respectively. Across the board, the watches are on the heavy side. If you favour something more dainty you can swap the strap for a lighter material like silicon.
The look definitely gives off a statement. Smartwatches often favour function over form, but the Connect takes the opposite approach. No horrible screws on show, no ugly lugs, just one curious little button which makes for tricky navigation, but there’s a touch screen for the majority of tasks.
It comes in a couple of finishing options, such as blue and rose gold or black and gold. You can set the screen to a number of classic faces or make your own colour combination. Be warned, the screen loves to hold onto your fingerprint.
There is a total lack of any fitness tracking. The thing about buying a designer smartwatch is that you’re buying the look more than the heart rate monitor, GPS or any other fitness-related feature.
- Sleek look with a classic mechanical watch face that lets you have the best of both worlds; a traditional watch with smart features
- Decent battery life for a smartwatch
- No health tracking functions
- Is not water-resistant
- Tricky navigation from one button and a small screen
- No contactless payment function
You could check out Fossil’s Gen 3 which is more dainty and more cost-effective in comparison, for the same features. For a little more money, but not much, you can have the heart rate monitor and GPS function the Connect lacks in the Armarni Exchange AXT2007.
The Guess Connect smartwatch is a hybrid of tradition and technology but is essentially an analogue watch that does a few tricks. It’s neither here nor there, and that makes it a little disappointing.
The smart part doesn’t offer such a smart user experience; it’s tricky to navigate the apps via the watch face. Unfortunately, even if you love the look of the Connect and can see past the fact it’s not techy, it’s not very good around water. Depending on your wrist size, it can feel bulky and you can’t help but feel Guess got bored and gave up toward the end of the design phase when they put a plastic back panel on it.
If you desire the bells and whistles of a fully-functioning smartwatch, you’re better off looking at something that has Android Wear under the hood, like the Motorola Moto 360, which is more cost-effective, has better tech and looks better to boot. If you’ve got cash to spend, an Apple Watch will always be a good call.
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