When I was first introduced to the world of smartwatches, I was intrigued and impressed that all my communications could be managed from such a tiny device. It was like I was in an episode of Star Trek or some other Sci-Fi show. Being an Apple fan, I was of course drawn to the Apple Watch and at first, I thought some of the other smartwatches were really behind technology-wise. I feel like other systems like WearOS by Google have come a long way and when I was given the opportunity to check out this gorgeous smartwatch by Michael Kors, I didn’t let the fact that it wasn’t an Apple Watch keep me from using it.
The Michael Kors Access smartwatch is compatible with Android 4.3 or later or iOS 9.3 or later operating systems. With it, you can stay updated through your calendar app, SMS, email, and social media notifications. The watch as a 1.19″ AMOLED touchscreen display. The case of the watch is made from 18mm stainless steel. It’s water resistant in up to 98′ of water. The Access smartwatch connects using Bluetooth 4.1 LE and NFC technology for one-touch pairing. The watch tracks distance, calories burned, activity, sleep activity, heart rate, and steps taken.
I actually got this watch for my grandmother. She is 85 years old and this summer, she got very sick with an infection. The infection cleared up thankfully, but she had a lot of extended care at home with physical and occupational therapy. They would check her vitals every time they came to visit and we began to think that it would be a good idea to have a smartwatch on her to monitor her heart rate and other activities more often than their visits. As it would happen, her simple wristwatch needed a battery. Since she was due for a new watch, we just replaced it with this beautiful smartwatch.
The band of the watch is a standard link-based band. The watch does come with the clasp-style closure pre-installed but you can swap it out for a buckle-style closure, which is included in the box. And the links can be removed, but a tool isn’t included. Since we did not have a link watch adjustment tool available, we visited a local jeweler and had several links removed from the band so that it would fit my grandmother’s wrist. This was a delicate balance because the watch features the heart rate sensor on the back of the watch face, which needs to have a solid connection to the wearer’s skin, but she likes her watches a little loose. We ended up finding a good balance between her comfort and what the watch needed for connectivity.
One of the main things that the watch needs are a smartphone or tablet to connect to. My grandmother doesn’t have a smartphone, but she does use her iPad quite a bit. So, we connected the watch to the WearOS app for Apple devices. The app is not optimized for use on an iPad so the screen is. viewable in portrait mode only. The data does transfer over as it should but there is limited functionality between the WearOS and iOS systems. For example, you will get a notification of an incoming call (if you have the watch connected to a phone), but you can’t answer it on the watch. The call will be answered on the phone. Another limitation has to do with the Calendar. If you use Google Calendar, you won’t have any issues, but if you use Apple Calendar, the translation is a little funny. For my purposes — being able to track health stats on my grandmother — it works great. But if you are looking for a fully functional smartwatch, you might want to pair this one with an Android device rather than an Apple one.
As far as style goes, this watch really steps up the game. It looks like a high-end wristwatch. The detail work is phenomenal and it really shines. I don’t think there is any other watch out there that can stand up to it as far as style goes.
I can recommend this smartwatch based on its ease of use and style. I would, however, caution users about the limited functionality with iOS smartphones and tablets as that might be cause for a below-average user experience.