Michael Kors Access is an Android Wear smartwatch for fashionistas

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Michael Kors has entered the smartwatch market with a line of luxury watches called Michael Kors Access. Right now that consists of two watches: Bradshaw and Dylan.

These are Android Wear-powered smartwatches designed for fashionistas, complete with exclusive watch faces designed by Michael Kors and support for interchangeable metal, leather and silicone straps. As far as the operating system, at this point you either like Android Wear or you don't. The good news is that both watches will be updated to Android Wear 2.0 later this year.

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The Michael Kors Access: Dylan.

Sarah Tew/CNET

Michael Kors did a nice job with many of the watch faces. They look great, there are dozens to choose from and each one can be completely customized to give you a unique look. You can also set the watch to automatically change the watch face based on the time of day. So you can have something a little more traditional at the office, but after 6 p.m. the watch face will automatically change to something more fun.

Both watches feature round displays with a 320x290-pixel resolution, however they aren't as sharp as other smartwatches I've tested. The display also isn't a complete circle. Like we saw with the Moto 360, there is a black bar at the bottom of the display for the ambient light sensor, which creates an unsightly "flat tire" look.

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The Michael Kors Access: Bradshaw.

Sarah Tew/CNET

The watches are powered by the new Snapdragon Wear 2100 chip, although performance wasn't as speedy as I had expected. I noticed delays when changing watch faces and choppy performance when browsing through notifications.

Overall, the watches look nice and the stainless steel casing gives them a good weight, but they are very big and bulky. On the side is what appears to be a traditional watch crown, but it doesn't spin and it's really just a home button.

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The charger looks nearly identical to the one used with the Apple Watch.

Sarah Tew/CNET

If they look familiar, that's because both watches were actually designed by Fossil and are similar to the company's Q Founder smartwatch, although they don't include the same ridiculous charger. Instead, the watches are charged through a magnetic dock that looks identical to the Apple Watch charger. A full charge will deliver about two days of battery life, which is standard for most smartwatches.

Someone who wants a smartwatch that doesn't look like a smartwatch would find the design of these devices appealing, but for me they're too heavy and too big. I still prefer the Moto 360 and the Huawei Watch.

The Access smartwatches are available now from the Michael Kors website starting at $350 (£329, AU$579).

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  • Product type Smartwatch