Welcome once again to our new weekly column, What I'm Wearing, where we go around the Wareable team and share what's on our wrists.
Essential reading: Best Apple Watch accessories
If you have an accessory, app or watch face that you think we'll love, whether it's for an Apple Watch, a Fitbit, a Garmin or any other wearable, drop us a line at [email protected] and it could end up in a future edition of What I'm Wearing.
Mike is wearing the PowerWatch, Black Ops Pack edition with Milanese strap
We've already spent some decent time with the PowerWatch (well, our US reporter Husain has), but now that it's launched in the UK, I wanted to see what life was like with a smartwatch that never needs to be charged. Yes, it's limited and it's a shame it doesn't offer the notification support like the incoming PowerWatch X, but there's still something quite likeable about the PowerWatch.
Looks-wise, it actually pulls off that matte black finish more successfully than a lot of other more high profile smartwatches I've had on my wrist. The Black Ops version keeps things minimalist and I actually kind of like that. Also, don't be deceived by what looks like being a chunky ol' beast to wear. It's around the same size as the Samsung Gear S3, but I think it manages that size better than the Samsung smartwatch. It's surprisingly light, too, which to look at you wouldn't expect to be the case.
I tend to find that startups building smartwatches for the first time often neglect things on the design front, but I've been pleasantly surprised with what the folks at Matrix Industries have come up. It's basic, but it's definitely a looker and I've actually enjoyed living a more streamlined smartwatch life. Oh, and the fact I've not had to reach for a charger once has been a dream.
Conor is wearing the Emporio Armani Connected, black stainless steel
Like many other fashion brands under the Fossil Group umbrella, the Emporio Armani Connected range is ideal for when you want to dress a bit more formally and still tap into the benefits of a smartwatch – nobody wants to wear a shirt with a rubber Fitbit Ionic band, after all.
We offered our full review of the Emporio Armani Connected back in October, but it's remained my go-to smarter option for when sportier watches just don't cut it. In my view, the stainless steel band makes this one of the nicest looking Android Wear watches on the market, but it does unfortunately sacrifice a bit of comfort as a result. There's been countless instances when I've nicked my wrist when closing the clasp, for instance.
A nice touch here is the custom watch faces, too, which allow you to mix up digital and analogue styles with different colours, dial accents, dial styles and even variations of the Armani logo.
…and the Apple Watch with Kaleidoscope watch face and cosmos blue leather loop
I didn't pay too much attention to the kaleidoscope watch faces on the Apple Watch when watchOS 4 dropped late last year, but it's recently become a habit when scrolling through Photos to just test how random photos look when put through Apple's kaleido-blender. Handily, in doing so with a range of snaps, I've also discovered something: it's pretty much impossible to have a bad kaleidoscope watch face.
Let's use an example. Now, you see that nice watch face above? It's actually the work of classic Simpsons character Hank Scorpio, which was in my album after being sent in a group chat.
Sure, you could opt for Apple's own artsy collection instead, but there's no real need to when you have the power to add some rosette dynamics to literally anything in your collection. Plus, I have the hidden satisfaction of knowing that the shapeshifting, colourful mishmash on my wrist is actually a flamethrower-wielding cartoon character. This is what creating your own watch face is all about, surely?
Read next: How to make an Apple Watch face
Let's also have a shout out for Apple's cosmos blue leather loop, which, while a little pricey, gives you a healthy mix of comfort, adjustability and, obviously, looks. While I'm not really one for wearing the Apple Watch with smarter outfits, this is as close as an outright smartwatch gets to making it on my wrist at a more formal event.
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