Montblanc Summit 2 first look: The next generation of Wear OS

At £849, the Montblanc Summit 2 is far from the Wear OS watch for everyone. Yet it's currently the only smartwatch powered by the Snapdragon Wear 3100 chipset and that gives it some clever tricks.

Key Features

  • Review Price: £845
  • 1.2-inch OLED circular display
  • Snapdragon Wear 3100
  • GPS
  • 5ATM water resistance
  • 42mm size

Montblanc Summit 2 first look: The next generation of Wear OS doesn’t come cheap

At IFA 2018, a load of new Wear OS smartwatches were unveiled, and most of those were announced by the Fossil Group. This included the Fossil Explorist 2 HR and the Skagen Falster 2. Both of these wearables looked good, but the timing of the announcement felt odd, as they were still powered by the ageing and now outdated Snapdragon Wear 2100 chipset.

Qualcomm has now announced and launched the successor to that chipset: Snapdragon Wear 3100, It promises better battery life, improved always-on functionality and more in-depth workout features. This Wear 3100 debuts on the Montblanc Summit 2 and during Qualcomm’s 4G/5G Summit in Hong Kong, I got the chance to try it out.

Montblanc Summit 2 release date

You can buy the Montblanc Summit 2 now.

Montblanc Summit 2 price

Pricing starts at £849/$995, however, this varies dependant on finish.

Related: Best smartwatches

Montblanc Summit 2

As the £849 price makes perfectly clear, this isn’t a watch for everyone. This is a high-end wearable that pairs a luxurious look with a designer label. It also has a well-rounded spec list with GPS, 5ATM water resistance rating and NFC for Google Pay – a feature sorely lacking on the previous Summit.

Instead of focusing on performance, the Wear 3100 chipset is mainly about battery life. For the Summit 2, Montblanc is claiming you’ll get over a day’s use out of the battery, with that being stretched out to a week if you enter the Traditional Watch Mode. It’s that latter mode that’s interesting as it utilises the new low-power co-processor inside the 3100 to extend endurance.

The Summit 2 also uses the updated Wear OS software which is currently rolling out to older devices. This spruces up the UI, making it easier to see your Google Fit stats and easier to launch Google Pay. It’s a big upgrade on what was a very tired experience previously, especially when compared with watchOS on the excellent Apple Watch 4.

Montblanc Summit 2

There will likely be a whole load of other Wear 3100 watches hitting shelves in the coming months, so the real reason to pick up the Summit 2 is for its design.

I’m not normally a fan of smartwatches that try desperately to look like regular timepieces (the Huawei Watch GT being a fine example) but this one works really well. The 42mm size is on the smaller side and the watch sits close to the wrist. You can pick up it in various metal finishes, including stainless steel and titanium, and there are different strap options too. The version I tried had a buckled leather strap that felt soft and luxurious.

This premium finish extends to the 1.2-inch OLED display too, which is covered in sapphire crystal for improved scratch resistance.

Opening impressions

The promise of watches powered by Qualcomm’s Wear 3100 is great, especially the improvements to battery life, however, the high price of the Summit 2 means it’s only for those who really want that luxurious finish and a designer label.

It doesn’t necessarily do anything other watches running this chipset won’t be able to do, but it does look and feel great.

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