- Review Price: £289.00
Guess Connect hands-on
- Guess Connect Price: £289 – £299
- Guess Connect release date: November 2015
- Guess Connect key features: Traditional if garish watch design, Android/iOS notifications, micro-USB recharging, watch battery for main face
There’s been quite the explosion of connected smartwatches onto the market in the past year or so, but few have been backed by the fashion world – aside from the fact that Fossil has just bought Misfit and Swatch is prepping to launch its own smartwatch.
One of the first designer smartwatches out of the gate is the Guess Connect. This unisex smartwatch is available in five colour options, including this white and rose gold version, with prices ranging from £289 – £299 via Watchshop.
The idea behind the Guess Connect is that it looks and feels like a regular Guess watch, but has Bluetooth connectivity and some additional features that make it smart.
The slight issue, however, is that Guess has chosen a rather inelegant way to introduce smart connectivity to the Connect watch range. As you can see from the picture below, the black strip along the bottom of the face is the LED screen for all your notifications and to the side of this sits a little black circle, which is your notification light.
But when this panel isn’t displaying anything, it becomes an ugly black bar across an otherwise attractive watch face. Potentially it won’t be as noticeable on the other watchfaces, but on this white watch it’s very obvious.
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To connect the watch to your phone you’ll need the Guess Connect app for Android or iOS. Although it’s fairly basic, it allows you to control what’s displayed on your watch – from various world time zones and the date, to your emails, texts, phone calls and other app notifications.
Sadly, there’s no fitness-tracking feature in sight. The Guess Connect is only able to push notifications to your phone and can extend some smartphone features to your wrist.
When you’ve connected the watch to the app, you’ll be able to control the number of notifications you’ll receive on your wrist. You can personalise the vibration patterns for each one and add more options if you require them.
Any emails or other text-based notifications will then scroll across the bar on the Guess Connect – the number of which you may want to think about before you start getting all your apps pushing notifications to your wrist.
There’s no way to turn down the brightness of the LED screen. This means that anyone who’s in the vicinity of your wrist in a darkened room can view all your notifications as they scroll across.
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It isn’t only notifications that you can view with the Guess Connect. You can take calls by pressing the top button on the watch; the Guess Connect has a speaker built into the right-hand side and a microphone on the left. I still can’t see who’d want to take a phone call in this way in public, but it’s handy to use around the house.
It’s these same features that also let you communicate remotely with Siri or Google Now if you have an Android phone. However, each time I’ve tried it’s been a very glitchy process, with a long delay between voice commands and the actual results.
Navigation is handled via two buttons either side of the winder. The winder itself controls only the time showing on the watchface itself. If you move through the menus, you’ll find that you can use the watch as a remote control for your smartphone’s camera too.
You can even control your music with a few pushes of the buttons – albeit through an overly complicated navigation system.
There’s also an option to toggle a light on the watch or turn on the Do Not Disturb mode if you don’t fancy your watch vibrating all night while you sleep.
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In terms of design, the Guess Connect is a chunky and uncomfortable timepiece to wear. Its rubber strap doesn’t feel premium, and the weight of the watch makes it cumbersome.
The majority of the body is made from metal; this particular option features rose gold and diamanté detailing around the face. It’s a lurid piece that I felt a little uncomfortable to wear in public.
The Guess Connect is fitted with two batteries. A standard watch battery powers the actual watch, which means that you’ll always be able to tell the time – even if you can’t read your latest text without getting your phone out of your pocket.
Then there’s a micro-USB port on the left-hand side, hidden under a rubber flap. You’ll need to use this to charge the battery that powers the LCD screen. If you’re using the Connect only for a few notifications, you might be able to get three to five days out of that battery. However, if you’re using it for a number of notifications, it will only be possible to get a maximum of a day and a half.
If you’re looking for a smartwatch that’s both stylish and elegant then it isn’t the Guess Connect.
Whoever decided to mar a perfectly good watchface with that slip of black was obviously taking a lot of short cuts. It feels rushed, and the app is too basic to provide any kind of helpful options.
If you have a decent budget to spend on a smartwatch, then I’d suggest opting for a watch such as the Withings Activité instead.
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