Though we’re expecting a lot of movement in the smartwatch space in 2018, much of it will come on the back of the aging Qualcomm Snapdragon Wear 2100 processor, which is getting rather old (in technology terms). Until the new platform launches later this year, manufacturers are left with two choices – make their own platform (pretty much only Samsung) or continue with what’s available (everyone else).

Armani have stuck with the Wear 2100 platform to announce the new Emporio Armani Connected watch powered by WearOS. With two buttons and (what looks like) a digital crown, this is one watch for the fashion conscious; it’s not 1-inch thick, and it looks pretty fantastic.

Armani’s new watch features a 1.19-inch AMOLED display, ambient sensor, and full NFC, WiFi and Bluetooth for all your connectivity needs, including Google Pay support. There’s also a heart rate sensor for all-day tracking and when working out, compatible with Google Fit and other such apps. GPS is also built in, along with waterproofing so the Armani Wear OS watch will be fin ein the shower, swimming, and when getting drenched in sweat.

We understand the new watch is available for pre-order at the moment, with estimated shipping later in August. The $US345 models comes in a Blue or Black case with a matching silicone band, while the $US395 Black and Silver features a metal bracelet, and Rose Gold comes paired with a Milanese band.

Update: We’ve been advised that the Emporio Armani Connected 2018 will be available in Australia from September/October through Myer, David Jones, The Iconic and Harvey Norman from AUD$599.00.

With the platform so aged now, and a new platform (Snapdragon’s Wear 3100) literally just around the corner, this watch is a hard sell, but undoubtedly those who care about higher fashion will be drawn by a smartwatch that doesn’t look like a giant chunk of steel on one’s wrist.

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Les Ran

Google’s Pixel Watch is due around about October – the same month Armani’s watch will be here.

Plus, the other WearOS vendors will have their new platforms out, based on the new Snapdragon 3100 processor.

The last quarter of 2018 will be a good time for the smartwatch market.

Martin Olminkhof

Has a pretty decent feature set, could be worthy replacement for my Moto 360 (2nd gen) but I wait to see this rumoured Pixel watch before I buy anything.