One of our favourite beginner smartwatches, the Martian Notifier, has been given a much needed fashion makeover at CES 2015 in the form of the Guess Connect.
The style injection comes courtesy of Guess watches, known for the careful detailing, feminine metallics and classic colour palettes on show in the Rigor watch - the accessory that the Connect is based on and a best-seller for Guess.
Read more: 12 wearables that are more chic than geek
The only visible difference is the small pager-style monochrome OLED screen which sits in the lower third of the classic analogue watchface. This sits squarely in the middle on the symmetrical Guess Connect watch face - annoyingly not so on the Martian Notifier - and displays a rolling stream of text-based notifications from your smartphone.
The water resistant Connect is both iOS and Android compatible and as with previous Martian watches, proud owners of this Guess watch can customise specific vibration patterns to different messaging, calling and social media alerts. It's the simplest form of smushing together a screen for notifications and a classic, beautiful watchface but somehow it works, especially with design input from Guess.
Inside the Guess Connect is a Martian module with a mic to pick up voice commands and dictation plus a speaker - it's not Martian's own voice tech, it just allows you to interact with smartphone software such as Siri or Google Voice using regular Bluetooth while Bluetooth LE handles the notifications.
One of the most interesting parts of the announcement is that Guess says the Martian tech will be upgradeable as new features, sensors and hardware become available. That means anyone buying the Connect won't have to fork out for a whole new watch every time though there's no details on the initial price or the upgrade price. Also, the one thing that won't be so easily replaced is that tiny screen.
Martian itself has been busy, aside from the partnership with Guess, with the launch of four new styles of its smartwatch. The Commander, Aviator, Electra and Monarch are all both iPhone and Android compatible, water resistant and have the same notifications, vibration and voice features as the Guess Connect.
The blingy Monarch is Martian's attempt to appeal to women and it might do well - polished stainless steel or leather bands, crystals around the bezel and a classic Roman numeral watch face. The Aviator 12 is our personal fave for now - aviator styling, big watch face, scratch resistant mineral glass crystal and Japanese quartz movement make it a classy smartwatch indeed. Elsewhere, the Commander takes on the active, sports watch competition.
We'll be swinging by Martian's CES booth to try on the Guess Connect and the new Martian models in the next day or two.
How we test