Michael Kors Access smartwatch brings high fashion to your wrist

Ready to (Android) Wear?

Do we really need another Android Wear smartwatch?

Well, they say variety is the spice of life. And look, the Access is a bit of a step up from the watches that are already out there, because it comes from New York-based fashion label Michael Kors rather than a tech brand.

Access is actually a range, with two distinct models available: the 44.5mm Bradshaw Access (shiny, sleek) and the 46mm Dylan Access (chunky, sporty). Both models are inspired by correspondingly-named styles in Michael Kors’ regular watch collection.

Aside from their sizes and styles, what are the differences?

You might say the Bradshaw is pitched at women and the Dylan pitched at men, but in reality these are both fairly hefty, large watches and we can definitely see the Bradshaw being worn by the hairier sex too. Both styles, however, run on the same tech-guts: Snapdragon Wear 2100 processor, 4GB of storage, a battery that’ll last at least a day, the regular Android Wear OS, a built-in mic, and a 1.4in 320 x 290 TFT display. Both watches are also water resistant to 1ATM, which basically makes them sweat and drizzle-proof – don’t take them scuba diving though.

That screen doesn’t sound particularly pixel-packed…

It’s not, no – in fact it’s got the same resolution as the original Moto 360 from last year. A bit more in the way of detail and definition certainly wouldn’t go amiss here, particularly when you consider the watches’ pricing, which starts at £330. If you’re paying near-luxury prices, you want near-luxury specs.

And are there any extras worth shouting about?

Not really; the design is the key selling point here, and there’s nothing to entice the keep fit crowd (an integrated heart rate monitor, say). The Bradshaw comes in eight different colours, while the Dylan comes in three – and both offer a range of strap options too.

It seems that it’s that design, rather than any technical excellence, that’ll determine whether the Access range proves a success. Look out for a full review right here in the near future.