I’ve been with my Guess Connect hybrid watch for a week now and in this time I have seen the positives of owning a hybrid over my regular smartwatch as well as some aspects in which my original watch is more beneficial for me.
Before sporting the Guess Connect watch, I would wear my stainless steel Hauwei smartwatch as a way of convincing people that a piece of wearable tech could be stylish.
All the time I would baffle people with how my watch was actually ‘smart’ and would enjoy showing off some features.
These days, the novelty of showing off the smartwatch has slowed a bit, while writing for WatchPro has given me an even greater appreciation for traditional watch making, and made me want something more stylish.
The Guess is perhaps the answer to this as I truly enjoy smart features and rely on them more than the average person, but I also care deeply about how I look.
It is the Guess good looks that first struck me. I was sent four pieces from the AW16 range and mainly wore either the black and gold watch or the Classic.
The black and gold watch I wore was 41mm with a black bezel and face, gold casing and a black silicon strap.
The Classic piece which was my personal favourite, has a leather strap, a stainless steel case and a white face in a 45mm case. To me, was the most sophisticated.
The other two editions I looked at are in navy blue with a gold case, and a smaller 41mm white watch with crystals around the bezel targeted at the female customer.
The look of all four of these watches, apart from the more feminine crystal one tended to impress my friends, who are mainly Casio fans or wear no watch at all, and my Instagram followers.
I posted a picture of my two favourites and people wouldn’t seem to agree upon which looks best. One person asked me why I had ditched my smart Hauwei for a traditional watch again, that in itself should show the benefits of a hybrid.
In terms of the smart features, the Guess Connect has notifications sent to the watch on the OLED window, music and camera control, phone calls using the microphone and speaker, and RGB LED light on the display. The current collection does not have a fitness tracker.
The watch has two batteries. A lithium polymer rechargeable battery powers the Smart Alerts for 300-400 charge cycles, and a replaceable button watch battery the runs the timepiece for up to two years.
The watch for me lasted about two days before needing charging. Frankly, after having the Huawei that I charge every night, this is not an issue for me.
The watch is charged by a standard micro-USB cable that plugs into the side of the case. I found this more traditional charging format better than the magnetic chargers, which can be fiddly.
The watch works best with the GUESS CONNECT app by Martian, which is on both Android and Apple devices. The app allows you to choose which smartphone apps trigger alerts on the phone.
One thing that I really like my Hauewei for was controlling my music. The Guess has this feature as a voice control, but I did feel a bit awkward at times speaking to my wrist to change a song. I don’t see why the two buttons above and below the crown couldn’t be used as ways of changing songs more subtly.
Another issue that many say with hybrids is that they either only have activity trackers or only have phone connected features, the Guess is the latter. I don’t have an issue with not having an activity tracker particularly, I don’t use one anyway but if I did, there are apps for it on my phone.
The Martian tech in the watch means you can send and receive calls and text, all of which is done through voice commands. For a similar reason to the music issue, I never found myself sending a text this way but answering calls and making calls was extremely useful as my phone was wedged in my skinny jeans.
The watch allows me to control my phone’s camera from the watch. This is a useful little feature because I could take group pictures without a timer and making someone sprint backwards.
Something that I haven’t yet mastered is the different vibrations that it boasts as a key feature for various alerts. I personally use several different apps all at once to speak to people and socialise and having a different vibration for each of these not only seemed a tad pointless but also far too difficult. I instead opted for the same low intensity vibration for everything and simply looked at the panel.
Many critics jump to the conclusion that hybrids of this style are pointless. If it doesn’t have an activity tracker it does little more than alert you to look at phone.
Me and my friends have our phones on silent during work or education. The watch allows me to keep my phone in my pocket, silent as I prefer, and only needing to take it out to check what I really care about.
I would say that Guess is on the right track with this hybrid, especially as I will always prefer to sport a fashionable watch rather than a techy watch; watches are meant to be about fashion. The Martian smart features for me are useful for keeping me up to date and once I get over it, I can confidently change my music.
The 45mm watches retail for £259, the 41mm go for £249 and the Classic I wore was 45mm and costs £229.
Review by Josh Corder, a 17-year-old studying for his A-Levels.