Michael Kors is now a key part of the smartwatch world, and for those who care as much about how a smartwatch looks as the tech inside it's a great option.
Michael Kors was one of the first fashion brands to embrace wearable tech in a big way. It started with Wear OS smartwatches (back when it was Android Wear) and even made hybrid smartwatches and fitness trackers brandishing that MK name.
Now it's focused on growing its super stylish Access watch collection offering options for men and women carrying that unashamedly fashion focused look. It's also now offering something that's a bit fit for the gym too.
If you're a Michael Kors fan, and like the idea of having an MK connected watch around your wrist, we break down what you need to know before you grab one and pick out the best options to buy right now.
What can a Michael Kors smartwatch do?
All Michael Kors smartwatches offer the same combination of a watch design based on existing watches without smarts with a digital display front and centre.
Running the software show is Google's Wear OS operating system. You can read our dedicated guide to Wear OS for a full rundown of everything a Google-powered smartphone can do.
When you pair your Android or iPhone with one via Bluetooth, you can do:
- notifications from your phone
- access customisable watch faces
- download apps
- monitor your health and fitness
- GPS track runs and cycles
How much does a Michael Kors smartwatch cost?
Much like a Michael Kors watch without any smart features, MK smartwatches do not come cheap. Depending on what model you go for, you could pay less than what it costs to buy the latest Apple Watch, but you can also pay more for one.
The collection of watches try to offer the same high grade materials and straps you'd associate with Michael Kors watches to make sure you're still getting a watch that's as well built.
Prices for MK smartwatches can vary from $350 all the way up to $425.
Does a Michael Kors smartwatch work with iPhone?
As mentioned above, all Michael Kors smartwatches are compatible with iPhones. Like with Android phones, you'll need to download the Wear OS app from the Apple App Store to get things set up.
If you do pair it with an Apple smartphone, you will get largely the same experience as you do pairing it to an Android phone, but it won't be identical.
So, you can view your phone notifications, download apps directly from the watch, use Google Pay instead of Apple Pay and access Google's smart assistant if you don't want to use Siri. Though for the latter, you'll need to download a separate app to your iPhone to get it working.
Things you can't do include reading iMessages or reply to messages from third party apps like WhatsApp.
If you want a more detailed breakdown of what you can and cannot do, definitely read our guide to using Wear OS smartwatches on an iPhone.
Can you change Michael Kors smartwatch straps?
Yes is the answer to this question. All of the newest watches in the Michael Kors collection offers the ability to change straps, which is handy if you want to move from a metal to a softer, more comfortable leather band for instance.
The good news is that you won't need to make a visit to a watch shop to change those straps and in most cases is a relatively straightforward process to do. If you want to buy those optional straps, you'll be looking to pay $50 for the leather options and around $100 for a mesh strap.
Michael Kors Access Sofie Heart Rate
Price from: $199
The Sofie has been a best-seller for Michael Kors' parent company Fossil Group and is one of the glitzier, daintier watches in its connected collection. It's undoubtedly part of MK's women's collection - with a smaller case size and a bit more glitz in the detail.
It measures in with a 41mm watch case and supports interchangeable bands. In typical MK fashion, you've got an array of models to pick from with the Sofie available in rose gold tone, pav√© two-tone and gold tone options.
The biggest design feature that sets the Sofie apart from other Michael Kors watches is the pav√©-studded top ring surrounding its touchscreen AMOLED screen.
Google's Wear OS brings notifications, payments, Google Assistant integration, a music player and music controls and the ability to download apps. There's a nice array of watch faces and the addition of two physical buttons lets you set up shortcuts to your most frequently used apps and features.
Google Fit will take care of your health and fitness tracking though based on our experience you may want to seek out a third party alternative instead. You've got a heart rate monitor and GPS here too, though it's not the most appropriate for taking out for a run. Think of it more as being useful as a basic fitness tracker.
Battery life is put at 24 hours, though if you are using fitness features, you will see a significant drop in watch time.
If you are looking for an MK smartwatch that's slim and has a touch of glitz, this is the one we'd suggest to go for.
Check out our in-depth Michael Kors Access Sofie Heart Rate review.
Michael Kors Access Lexington 2
Price from: $350 | Amazon
The Lexington 2 is the biggest option in Michael Kors' collection and it's also the priciest and can be picked up for as much as $425 depending on the model you go for.
The 44mm watch is available in five different looks including gold tone, tri-tone and silver tone metallic options all that come with a 22mm sized band. There's extra links included to adjust the size and get a better fit.
In terms of features, you're getting Google's Wear OS of course to bring smartwatch staples including payments, heart rate monitoring and GPS tracking as well as access to Google Assistant. There's also a speaker, so you can't make and take calls and hear responses from Google's smart assistant.
In terms of battery life, there's the promise of up to 36 hours, though that's dependent on features you regularly use. However, those sports tracking sensors and make calls, they will drain the battery quicker.
If you like your MK watches big, shiny and oversized, this is the option to go for.
Have a read of our full Michael Kors Access Lexington 2 smartwatch review to see what else we liked and disliked about this showy option.
Michael Kors Access Bradshaw 2
Price from: $350
Like the Lexington 2, the Bradshaw 2 is the MK smartwatch you go for if you like your watches big and showy.
It comes in pav√© tri-tone, rose gold-tone and gold-tone finishes all with the same 44mm size watch case. There's also additional blue-tone, pink-tone and blush-tone if you're looking for something in a bolder, more manly shade.
All come with interchangeable 22mm straps with extra buckles to adjust fit. It's also water resistant up to 30 metres, though it's not the kind of watch you'd actually want to take for a dip.
There's a punchy 1.28-inch AMOLED display to show off the best (and worst) of Google's Wear OS giving you the best that the operating system currently has to offer. You can make payments using Google Pay and there's a speaker to make calls. Though you need to be connected to your phone via Bluetooth to do that.
You're getting a performance boost thanks to the inclusion of Qualcomm's Snapdragon 3100 Wear processor alongside 1GB of RAM. There's now 8GB of external storage to free up more space for storing music and apps.
There's certainly nothing subtle about the Bradshaw 2, but with more masculine looks and that big, brash design there's still something quite appealing about the feature-packed smartwatch.
Michael Kors Access MKGO
Michael Kors Access watches have always been fashion first until the arrival of the MKGO in 2019. The fitness-focused GO packs a 43mm case and comes in four bold colours to help it stand out on the gym floor.
Along with a swim-proof design, it also comes packing built-in GPS and a heart rate monitor with a 20mm interchangeable band keeping it around your wrist. That's holding in place a 1.19-inch AMOLED touchscreen display. It's a watch aimed at women, but we think the design and range of colors give it unisex appeal too.
Away from its sporty design and features, it does still run on Wear OS, but runs with some older hardware with 512MB of RAM and 4GB of storage. It does pack in Qualcomm's new Snapdragon 3100 processor to give it a boost on the performance front.
There's no big surprises in the software department with the usual array of apps and customisable MK watch faces. If you want something that's better suited to working out and lighter than its other options, this is the Michael Kors smartwatch you should be looking at.
You can have a read of our Michael Kors MKGO first impressions to find out what we think of it so far.