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Marc Jacobs is the latest fashion label to release a simple, stylish Wear OS smartwatch

By Adrian Diaconescu June 7, 2018, 5:08 am

This is probably not the best time to join the struggling smartwatch market, and even veteran wearable device manufacturers like LG and Samsung appear to be holding off their next-gen Android Wear efforts, presumably until Qualcomm releases that long overdue Snapdragon 2100 SoC upgrade.

But the namesake label of American fashion designer Marc Jacobs clearly targets a different audience than that prospective Galaxy Watch, which is why the Riley Touchscreen still lacks a number of details typical tech enthusiasts would find essential.

The traditional fashion brand’s first touchscreen gadget confusingly carries the same Riley name as both a “timeless and classic” women’s watch, and a hybrid smartwatch unveiled just last year, which costs $175 with a very basic set of “intelligent” features and “up to 6 months” of battery life.

Obviously, the new $295 Marc Jacobs Riley Touchscreen smartwatch downgrades the endurance time to a maximum of 24 hours, with a magnetic wireless puck capable of fully charging it in around three hours.

There’s no mention of built-in GPS, heart rate monitoring abilities or NFC support for wrist payments, but the 1.19-inch AMOLED display looks pretty sharp, and you also get everything that makes Android Wear Wear OS decently convenient nowadays, from Google Assistant voice commands to third-party app downloads, Google Fit functionality, and smartphone notifications.

Marc Jacobs-admiring fashionistas are likely to be pleased by the simple, stylish, versatile design of the latest Riley model, as well as the 1,000+ watch face options available, and the gold-tone, rose gold-tone and black case choices with accompanying white, taupe and black silicone straps respectively. Still, it’s hard to find something truly special about this somewhat generic fashion-first smartwatch.

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