TAG Heuer Connected Hands on: A week on the wrist
Our editor-in-chief gets to grips with the TAG Heuer Connected
Announced with a typical cheese-fuelled ceremony presided over by Jean-Claue Biver at Baselworld last year, the Tag Heuer connected finally hit the shops, at least in the US and UK, just in time for Christmas. The first feedback is that the Swiss watch industry’s first true response to the Apple Watch is selling very well. WorldTempus was all the luckier, therefore, to get its hands on one of these sought-after timepieces for a serious one-week wrist test.
Out of the box, on the wrist
Taking the watch out of its futuristic, blue-tinged plastic packaging revealed a slot at the bottom which would probably otherwise contain a small user guide, long since purloined by a previous tester. A perfect opportunity, therefore, to test just how intuitive the TAG Heuer Connected is. After a full charge on the handy clip-on charger, the watch immediately comes to life on your wrist. Thanks to its titanium case it is light on the wrist, despite its size, and the cleverly-designed titanium clasp can be adjusted to any position. There are no holes to insert a pin into, which is a delight for those with a smaller-than-average wrist, like your editor-in-chief.
Install Google’s Android Wear and if, like me, you are a big fan of Google and prepared to concede a certain amount of your usage data in exchange for the worryingly intuitive Google Now feature, you will be able to see notifications on your personally configured TAG Heuer Connected watch dial within minutes. Since everything is linked to your Google Account, there is no cumbersome set-up procedure. The TAG Heuer Connected just takes a few minutes to synchronise the applications on your phone that it recognizes as compatible and you are good to go. Google’s role as an official partner in this project shows.
Back to basics
Aside from the possibility of checking the latest statistics from the Jawbone UP3 on my other wrist or controlling my Spotify playlist (swipe left once); texting, e-mailing or calling any of my Google contacts (swipe left twice); or doing Google voice searches and performing a number of in-built functions (stopwatch, timer, alarm – swipe left three times) all from the comfort of my wrist, I’m still a bit of a stickler even when it comes to smart watches. I like to be able to see the time at a glance. This is arguably one of the best features of the TAG Heuer Connected. Even when it is in stand-by mode, you can still easily read the time, which is handy if you’re running late and about to miss your train. If you do need to wake the full-colour display up, a quick tap on the screen or a push on the crown brings it to life so that you can check the time down to the second. Another handy feature is the ability to scroll up and down through your notifications by just flicking your wrist – very handy when you are waiting for a train with a cup of coffee in your hand. The resolution on the screen is great and you can choose from a range of different dials, from day-date to GMT and chronograph.
This being a true smart watch, battery life is an issue and to get the most benefit out of the TAG Heuer Connected you will probably have to charge it every day, much as you would charge your phone. At 1,500 US dollars, however, it is a lot more expensive than most other smart watches and indeed most telephones, so you really need to be sure about when you are going to wear it and how you are going to use it.
Click on the image at the top of this article to see a photo gallery from our test.
Over 150 years of watchmaking savoir-faire and technical innovation have made TAG Heuer a global reference in avant-garde sports watches. As it tracked the rise of sports demanding increasingly precise timekeeping, TAG Heuer continually developed its unique capabilities through a long-term vision of what watchmaking is today, and what it will look like tomorrow.Find out more >
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