Emporio Armani Smartwatch 3 Review: Not the Style Icon It Should Be
There was a time when wearing an Armani suit was just about all you needed to create the right impression. Elegant, sophisticated and classy, quality was never a concern. Unfortunately, since Emporio Armani began putting its name on Touchscreen Wear OS smartwatches, it has failed to capture the same cache. I have been wearing the latest Emporio Armani Smartwatch 3. While nothing fundamentally wrong with it, I never loved wearing it as I would in an Armani suit and a world full of designer watches running OS with similarly mediocre performance. That is a problem.
Before we get into the look and materials of the watch, its name is the beginning of the problem. If you want to buy this model, you should look for the Emporio Armani Smartwatch 3, or ART5024, as seen in our photos. That number three and the generic name are the only things that set it apart from previous EA smartwatches. Just give it a proper name for crying out loud. It may be more memorable, something it currently is not.
On the topic of being forgettable, let’s move on to design. It’s a bit of a “smartwatch 101″. The round body has a few lugs, a crown, two buttons, and a circular touchscreen, all of which sit in the areas you’d expect them to be. There is nothing that says sophisticated, as one can expect from the brand. There is no stylistic flourish that makes someone take a second look. The durable rubber strap is very long and grippy, and the archer would often catch my wrist hair when I was struggling to move it down, as it grips like an overly jealous limpet. I recommend choosing one of the metal or leather alternatives instead of this pesky rubber strap.
On the plus side, there are some pretty colours to bring it to life, with my unit’s burnt orange and an option for metallic blue, both of which look great. Change the strap or buy the model with the stainless steel strap first, and the look will improve, but not much. The aluminum casing is slim and lightweight, making it easy to use regardless of your outfit. The 44mm case is quite large; It is designed for men. An annoying scratch appeared around the edge of the screen on my review model, which has diminished its appearance.
Let me be clear. The Emporio Armani Smartwatch 3 is not ugly at all; it is underrated to the point of boredom and lacks identity. The strap is two straight pieces of rubber, the buttons have no texture at all, and the bezel is a slightly angled black border, and no one looks at it twice. Unless you look very closely at the crown to see the engraved logo, there is nothing obvious about it that links it to the desirable Emporio Armani branding. Ask me in a few months to remember what the watch looked like, and I’ll answer, “What watch?”
Emporio Armani Smartwatch 3
Software and performance
The Smartwatch 3 has Google’s Wear operating system built-in, powered by the Qualcomm Snapdragon 3100 platform, along with a heart rate sensor, NFC, and a microphone/speaker combination for making calls on the watch. Wear OS hasn’t changed much in recent years, and it feels tired, while the control system is sad and outdated. This is why the design in a Wear OS smartwatch is so essential; it’s the only thing that can differentiate it. Wear OS isn’t great, so purchasing decisions come down to how good a watch looks. With options like Diesel On Fadelite and Axial available (or Misfit Vapor X, Michael Kors Access, Fossil Gen 5: the list goes on, really), Emporio Armani’s efforts are easy to ignore.
The only Armani-specific software feature is the collection of watch faces, which are varied and well designed. There’s an option for everyone here, with classic styles, modern digital options, and some EA-centric versions as well. Even if you don’t like them, there are much more available on the Google Play Store. The watch will also run third-party apps, but you will install too many at your own risk, as it will noticeably decrease performance. Interestingly, you’ll need to install Google Maps and Google Play Music yourself, as they don’t come pre-installed, despite being valuable parts of the smartwatch experience.
Initial setup is also a laborious process, with multiple updates and too many passwords and conditions to apply. It’s a 30-minute session just to make it work. Navigation is done by swiping and tapping, and response time is average, but never that fast. or like the Apple Watch. At least the 1.3-inch AMOLED screen is attractive and pleasant to look at. The EA Smartwatch 3 has a rotating crown to make life a little easier, especially when scrolling through the notification screen or adjusting the music volume.
Notifications are displayed in a long scrolling list. They are interactive, which means you can reply to messages, emails, and tweets, either with stored responses or using your voice. However, I received the same email notifications repeatedly, which was frustrating and diminished the usefulness of the watch. This added stress around statements directly opposes one of the main things that smartwatches try to minimize. Unfortunately, I have had the same experience on many other Wear OS smartwatches, so it is a software issue rather than an issue unique to this model.
Google Fit is the proprietary health and fitness tracking platform, but because Wear OS can run other apps, you can add Strava, Runkeeper, Endomundo, and a few others for specific sports. However, Google Fit is an excellent training companion for my needs. It shows all the metrics I want (steps, heart rate, calories burned and intensity) clearly and concisely. It is also easy to use and access. Linked to the bottom button of the Armani watch, the menu displayed can be used to take your heart rate or start a workout. Google Fit also has a guided breathing feature, which takes two minutes to complete and relies on mindfulness and constant breathing techniques.
Emporio Armani Smartwatch 3
The latest Qualcomm Snapdragon 3100 platform is more efficient than the old Snapdragon 2100, but sadly that doesn’t mean you will go two days on a single charge without drastically limiting functionality. A single day is reasonable with moderate use, including about an hour of fitness and heart rate tracking. Charging is done using a plastic magnetic socket, and it takes one hour to recharge the battery fully.
The Smartwatch 3 has a selection of battery extension modes, where particular features are disabled to ensure that the battery continues longer. Extended mode turns off the always-on display, sound, Wi-Fi, heart rate tracking, tilt, and touch-to-wake and voice control, as well as restricting Bluetooth connection between 6 a.m. and 10 p.m. When these measurements are in place, the watch will last approximately 48 hours on a full charge. A time-only mode does exactly what it says, no notifications or anything, but it will stretch your battery for a week or so.