Michael Kors Access Gage hybrid smartwatch review: Elegant design meets subtle smart functions

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Michael Kors Access Gage

The build quality is top notch and this is really a very nice looking watch with a well designed and thoughtful watch face.

The smartwatch space is still an area many have yet to venture in to or are simply not interested in. Google’s Android Wear offerings and the Apple Watch are the only choices some users think they have, but they’d be wrong. The Michael Kors Access Gage hybrid smartwatch is a small bridge between traditional watch design and future forward smartwatch function. Within the crowded space of Android watches and Apple’s offering, the Michael Kors Access Gage is a gem just begging to be found. Read on for the full review of the Michael Kors Access Gage hybrid smartwatch and find out why it’s earned the right to be called a Techaeris Top Pick for 2017.

Michael Kors Access Gage

A beautifully designed hybrid smartwatch.

Specifications

  • Compatible with iOS and Android™
  • Stainless Steel
  • Silver-Tone Hardware
  • 45mm Case
  • Auto Update Time & Date
  • Filtered Notifications
  • Fitness tracking
  • Integration with UA Record, Jawbone UP, Apple HealthKit, Google Fit
  • No Charging Necessary
  • Lithium Battery Cr2430, 3V Included
  • Remote Control Activation
  • Tracker/Non-Display
  • Clasp Fastening
  • Water Resistant Up to 3 ATM
  • 2-Year Warranty

What’s In The Box

  • Michael Kors Access Gage hybrid smartwatch
  • Quick Start Guide
  • Warranty
  • Case Back Tool
Michael Kors Access Gage

Premium metal band and body.

Design

Traditional, elegant, simple, quality, and solid are just some of the terms that come to mind when trying on the Michael Kors Access Gage for the first time. The unit we were sent had the metal band which is going to add $30USD to the price of the base model which has the leather strap. The combination of the metal band and the metal watch does make this watch a bit heavier than most competing full on smartwatches but not in a bad way. The metal band and the watch body itself are a wonderful combination of polished and brushed metal which gives it a nice contrasting design.

The watch has a brilliant blue watch face with large minute number indicators and clearly defined hour markers. The days of the week are also inset on an inner ring and below that is an even smaller ring that acts as part of the smart notifications. Along the entire outer rim of the watch face, you’ll find the numbers for the days of the month 1-31, these are also used with the smart function that checks the date for you. These numbers are probably my only complaint with the design of this watch as they are super small and not very easy to read in low-light conditions. Reading them is a bit easier in good lighting but they are awfully small.

Michael Kors Access Gage

Brilliant watch face.

The only buttons on this watch are the three side buttons which look like your traditional watch buttons. The bottom button is called the Remote Control button and it commands the Michael Kors LINK feature which lets you control music, take a picture, or ring your phone if you lose it. The middle button is the multitasking button which controls the arms of the watch as well as alarms and alerts. The top button allows you to see the date when pressing the button the arms move to the name of the day and the date, so if it were Wednesday, March 1st, the short arm would move to Wednesday and the long arm to the small 1 on the outer rim.

Overall the Michael Kors Access Gage looks very much like a traditional watch in aesthetic design, people will not think this has any smart functionality at all. The build quality is top notch and all of the materials feel very premium. This is really a very nice looking watch with a well designed and thoughtful watch face, minus the very tiny numbers for the days of the month. People will compliment you when you were it.

Software/Ecosystem

The Michael Kors Access app is pretty straight forward and very easy to use. Once you have your Gage setup in the app and connected via Bluetooth, you’ll have everything at your fingertips. We tested the Gage with an iPhone 7 Plus but both the app and watch will also work with Android phones. In the app, you can control notifications from the notifications tab. You can add up to six contacts and six apps whose notifications you want to receive.

You can also set an alarm within the app as well as set a second-time-zone you’d like to track. The second time zone feature is activated by pressing the center button on the watch, after which the hands will move to the time zone time you set in the app. The Micahel Kors Link tab allows you to choose what function to assign the bottom button on your watch. You can choose from Ring Phone, Control Music, Take Photo, and Track Goal.

The app also tracks your sleep (should you sleep with the watch on), your steps, and keeps track of your goals. The watch does track your steps as you wear it and it seems fairly accurate and seemed to match up pretty close when I ran other step tracking apps. Overall the app is very simple to use and easy to setup so you shouldn’t have any worry about screwing something up.

Michael Kors Access Gage

Three buttons are all you need.

Ease of Use

Very simple three button operation with very clear and concise instructions on how to operate the watch and how to set it up. Part of the reason this is a hybrid watch is to keep it simple and not overly technical and Michael Kors has succeeded in keeping it very easy to use.

Performance

It operates just as a watch should, alerts and notifications came through perfectly and the vibration motor on the watch is top notch. When a notification comes in the hands move to indicate what type of notification it is and they stay there for 3-5 seconds giving you time to get your hand out of your pocket and look. I felt that was a great feature which gives the user some time to move their wrist into a visible area before the notification disappeared.

Michael Kors Access Gage

You may have to remove links to get a good fit.

Battery Life

The Michael Kors Access Gage hybrid smartwatch does not need to be plugged in like smarter smartwatches. Michael Kors claims up to 6 months of battery life on a standard watch battery which doesn’t seem all that bad. It probably eats up more battery than a non-hybrid/non-smartwatch but that’s to be expected with the Bluetooth connectivity.

Price/Value

This watch doesn’t come cheap (starting at $295USD) and you could probably pick up a full-on smartwatch for nearly the same price, but the value isn’t in smart functions. The value here is that it’s a beautifully crafted piece of jewelry that just happens to have just a little bit of tech built in.

Michael Kors Access Gage

Michael Kors branding on the clasp.

Wrap Up

This is an amazing watch and to be honest, looks much sexier than any smartwatch out there. Yes, you have the ability to change watch faces on your smarter smartwatches but none of those watch faces look as good and as crisp as the read deal. I’ll leave you with these two wrap-up thoughts.

  • This watch is not for a person who wants a fully capable smartwatch for apps, games, and dozens of other functions.
  • This watch is for the person who just wants a beautiful and premium watch with the added functionality of basic fitness tracking and minimal notification alerts from a select list.
*We were sent a demo unit of the Michael Kors Access Gage hybrid smartwatch for the purposes of this review.

Michael Kors Access Gage

$295+ USD
Michael Kors Access Gage
9.5

Design

10/10

    Software/Ecosystem

    9/10

      Ease of Use

      10/10

        Performance

        10/10

          Battery Life

          9/10

            Price/Value

            9/10

              Nailed it

              • Beautiful classic watch design.
              • Solid build quality.
              • Only crucial notifications.
              • Is a watch first.

              Needs work

              • No light for night viewing.
              • May be pricey for some.
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