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Kate Spade New York smartwatch: Fashion brand Kate Spade launches first smartwatch at CES 2018

Long-running fashion brand Kate Spade launched its first touchscreen smartwatch at CES, here’s everything you need to know

CES 2018 is in full swing, and amidst a myriad of big tech announcements, I certainly didn’t anticipate I’d be writing about fashion this week. Sure, we’ve seen all sorts of “lifestyle” announcements at the annual Vegas tech show – including Samsung’s massive 146in TV – but I never thought I’d spend time writing about a smartwatch with fashionistas at heart. Not least, I didn’t expect to be impressed by it.

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Yes, this is fashion brand Kate Spade New York’s first foray into Android 2.0 touchscreen smartwatches, and it offers a very interesting proposition for wearable fans that crave a little bit more style than smartwatches currently offer.

Kate Spade New York smartwatch: Everything you need to know

Kate Spade New York smartwatch UK price: How much will it cost?

The Kate Spade smartwatch comes in two different strap variations. The first, which features a watchband-style strap will set you back $329, while a cheaper leather strap version costs $295.

There’s no UK pricing just yet, but a quick currency conversion tells us that both flavours of Kate Spade’s smartwatch will retail for roughly £242 and £217 respectively over here in Blighty.

Kate Spade New York smartwatch UK release date: When’s it coming out?

As for the release date, Kate Spade’s first smartwatch will ship in mid-February, although exact dates and UK retailers are to be confirmed.

Kate Spade New York smartwatch design: What does it look like?

To give it its full title, the Kate Spade New York Scallop Touchscreen Smartwatch is available in three distinct styles: a pair of rose gold-tone watches, with either a leather strap or watchband bracelet, and a yellow-gold-tone watch with black leather strap.

The watches themselves still look very Android Wear, with its hockey-puck-like circular touchscreen, but a subtle scalloped crimping around the edge offers a faint design flourish which – I’ve been assured – is in keeping with the rest of the brand. This should fit in nicely with the rest of your Kate Spade attire, like this £358 swan handbag.

Kate Spade New York smartwatch specs and features: What does it do?

Now onto the tech features, of which there are plenty. On the front, is a 1.2in OLED touchscreen display, along with an ambient light sensor. It’s also powered by Qualcomm’s 1.3GHz Snapdragon Wear 1200 processor.

Likewise, you can activate Google Assistant simply by hitting the crown, thanks to the in-built microphone and it can also track steps, calories burned, distance and other fitness activities via Google Fit. Battery life is expected to be around 14 hours, too.

There’s also a special app called “choose your look”, which changes the style of the watch face depending on the time of day, colour of your outfit, any jewellery you’re wearing, or colour of your handbag. Handy.

Kate Spade New York smartwatch: Early verdict

With Kate Spade finally dipping its toes into the touchscreen smartwatch market, there’s a possibility that other big fashion brands will follow suit. It certainly offers a first glimpse of what could be coming with the next generation of smartwatches, with design front and centre. Let’s just hope Kate Spade’s effort is actually decent to use.

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