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Michael Kors is making smart versions of its stylish Runway watches

One of the problems facing mass-adoption of smartwatches is that the Venn diagram of wearables with good looks, lots of features and long battery life is pretty bare in the middle. The latest wearable from fashion designer Michael Kors is looking to nail the first two problems, with a smart version of its iconic Runway watch.

As the picture above shows, the new Runway smartwatch really does look a lot like the existing Runway wristwatches you can buy right now from Michael Kors.

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The difference comes from the features: the new Runway watch includes GPS and heart-rate tracking, built-in Google Assistant, NFC for mobile payments and it’s even swim-proof up to 3ATM.

The pricing is also a bit different, as you might expect. While Runway watches go directly from the Michael Kors site for between £189 and £549, the new smart version will retail for £249 when it goes on sale this month.

“I’m excited about adding our signature Runway style to our already exceptional lineup of smartwatches made in collaboration with Google to feature the latest wearable technology and the Google Assistant,” said John D. Idol, CEO of Michael Kors.

Google also seems excited. “The last two generations of the Michael Kors Access collection have allowed users globally to express their personal style while staying in touch with the world around them,” enthused Miles Barr, director of engineering for Wear OS.

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Maybe, but the most recent one was a bit of a disappointment. As Alex wrote in our review, the Michael Kors Access smartwatch certainly looks the part, but it’s let down by laggy performance, a fragile strap and a battery that takes a tedious three hours to charge.

None of these issues is insurmountable, and if the Michael Kors Access Runway can fix them, it could be a genuinely brilliant wearable. We’ll be back with our impressions as soon as we get our hands on a review unit.

Does this look like the smartwatch for you? Give us your impressions on Twitter @TrustedReviews.

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