In this picture, Gen 6 Bradshaw by the luxury watch brand Michael Kors can be seen Photograph:( WION )
Would you buy a smartwatch from Michael Kors for the tech it packs or its design?
Here’s a tricky and rather expensive question for you.
If I say the words “Michael Kors” and “Bradshaw”, what comes to your mind?
Another Sex and the City reprisal which no one asked for?
A luxurious indulgence? A fashion show, perhaps?
Wrong, wrong, and wrong.
We’re talking about a smartwatch with a rather glamorous name.
This is the Michael Kors Gen 6 Bradshaw, an eye-catching smartwatch brought into the Indian market by American company, the Fossil Group. In the last few years, India’s working professionals have been turning to smartwatches to track their health and fitness goals, their notifications and a fast-paced lifestyle. The space has been traditionally dominated by Apple, Samsung and other fitness trackers.
And then there are some who want the features of a smartwatch without the looks of a smartwatch. And that’s why the uber-luxe designer smartwatch market has plenty of scope for disruption.
The Bradshaw, reminiscent of the famous SATC character played by Sarah Jessica Parker, has plenty of variants starting at Rs 24,995.
Perhaps the most common complaint people have with smartwatches is that they come with rather mundane rubber straps. So, you end up doling out more for a metallic one. The Bradshaw comes with a stunning rose gold strap which blends seamlessly with the dial and the crown. You’d have to look closely at the dial to know that it’s not your everyday designer watch. My personal favourite is the rose gold variant. You’ll have to splurge more for flashy colours if that’s what you’re looking for.
JUST THE RIGHT AMOUNT OF BLING
Here’s what I don’t like about metal straps — they just don’t fit well enough no matter how hard you try. And that is a big problem if you’re using a smartwatch to track your heart rate, steps and more. Unlike a rubber strap, if it’s too snug, you won’t be wearing it at night. So, you’ll have to see what matters more to you, a snug fit or a stylish fit.
PLENTY OF SCREEN REAL ESTATE
The 44mm AMOLED screen is large enough to see all your notifications and you wouldn’t have to squint in daylight either. The touchscreen is responsive and if you don't want smudges, you can use the crown and buttons on the side to navigate. I rarely use a voice assistant on my smartwatch but if that is something you need, the crown can be used to activate Google Assistant.
If you're driving, you can use the watch to answer calls and the built-in speaker and microphone will not disappoint. I was pleasantly surprised with the volume and clarity which is comparable to the more-expensive Apple Watch if not better.
HOW SMART IS THE BRADSHAW?
Like all smartwatches, this one also connects with your smartphone using Bluetooth 5 connectivity and runs on Wear OS. This may put off iOS users who want a seamless experience between their smartwatch and smartphone. It took me some time to connect to the Wear OS app so I wasn't too happy with that. Having said that, the watch works well as a standalone device so if you're an iOS user, you can make the most of that.
Android users will have very few complaints since the Wear OS operating system works smoothly and you'll be able to enjoy Google's many offerings on the smartwatch -- from Maps, Translate, Youtube and more. The Bradshaw is rated 5 ATM for water resistance so you can indulge in a leisurely swim in shallow waters with it.
Here's where the watch disappoints -- fitness tracking. No matter how snug the fit is, working out with the Bradshaw isn't a comfortable proposition. This is also why the SpO2, step tracking and calorie count readings were all over the place when compared with the Apple Watch.
But here's what I think. A watch that looks as chic and eye-catching as this, will not be bought for its fitness features. Those who buy it, will be flaunting it for the looks and perhaps, a rare notification or two!
The Bradshaw can be charged with the magnetic charger that comes in the box. There are claims of a battery life between one and three days depending on usage.
Unfortunately, for me, the watch barely lasted through the day. Maybe it's because I used it to track notifications, answer calls, change watch faces and even used the Assistant. Let's be frank, anyone who buys a smartwatch is likely going to do the same so the battery left me asking for more.
While it may sound flippant to buy a watch simply for its design but fact remains, this is what sways most consumers in favour of a wristwatch. The Michael Kors Gen 6 Bradshaw wins big on this front.
The Bradshaw is a decent combination of a fantastic design and basic smartwatch functionality. The battery life is underwhelming and leaves scope for improvement as does the fitness tracking.
If you're looking for a stunning wrist-candy which can answer calls and read out notifications while not looking like a run-of-the-mill smartwatch, the Bradshaw is a great buy.