Guess Connect goes big on bling for Android Wear debut

Baselworld 2017: Guess favours variety over packing in big smartwatch features

Guess isn't an LG or a Huawei. It's not in the business of making sporty smartwatches and that's not going to change anytime soon. After the first Guess Connect hybrid, the fashion brand has decided to turn to Android Wear for its first proper smartwatch. So it's out with the small slither of a monochrome OLED screen and in with a full touchscreen display, but the emphasis is on packaging Google's OS inside of a familiar Guess design.

It also means offering plenty of variety and that's exactly what you get with six different styles for the 44mm men's watches and the 41mm women collection, plus a set of unisex watches. While there's a difference in size, it's not instantly noticeably when you try them on. They're not chunky watches but they're by no means svelte either. Slimmer wrists might still feel they are a little on the big side but these were built to draw attention. If you want loud and eye-catching, these are the smartwatches you want in your life.

Read this: Best smartwatches 2017

At one end of the spectrum there's a classy-looking rose gold and blue combo like the one shown below, but there are also watches in the collection with crystal emblazoned bezels and glittery denim straps. There's plenty going on in the strap department with a whole host of interchangeable bands made from different materials that clip in and out just like Google's Mode watchband.

Guess Connect goes big on bling for Android Wear debut

Some of these watches won't be for everyone, but Guess does at least offer enough variety here that there should be something for everyone to get along with and not be ashamed to roll up the cuff sleeve to show off.

As far as Android Wear 2.0 is concerned, it's all very familiar from the design, the gestures to new features like Google Play Store access. All of the watches include a button designed as a crown as well that'll launch the app drawer and Google Assistant, but that's all they will be able to do.

Read this: Best smartwatches for women

Where Guess tries to do things differently is by offering customisation on the watch face front. So there are different faces designed by Guess and the ability to adjust themes and looks. It's hardly groundbreaking stuff, but when Google doesn't allow much tinkering with its OS that's hardly surprising.

Guess Connect goes big on bling for Android Wear debut

With the focus firmly on style, it does mean that some familiar smartwatch features don't make the cut. So there's no built-in GPS, heart rate monitor or LTE support. That's not all that surprising, although the lack of NFC for Android Pay support is definitely a let down. Guess told us that this decision was made because contactless payment support remains varied across territories and it wanted to offer the same watch experience for all. We were told that NFC support is something that it is being explored, so it could appear on Guess Connect watches in the future.

The Guess Connect smartwatches are set to land later this year with prices starting at $300. To put that into perspective, that's around the same as it costs to buy our current Android Wear fave, the LG Watch Sport. This collection is very a different proposition to the Sport for very obvious reasons. But if you're sold on the Guess watch styling and can live without having the most complete Android Wear experience, then this iOS and Android-friendly smartwatch might just be for you.

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