Timepieceking is reader-supported and might earn a commission (at no additional cost for you) for purchases made via links in this article.
The first 2 years of the new decade will bring more smartwatches than the entire last one. Not to freak out at the number of choices, let’s stick to brands that guarantee quality and newest features. This article will help you decide between a Michael Kors smartwatch and an Apple watch.
To perform at our best in modern times, we need the tools that make receiving, keeping and sending data as fast as possible. With the release of the latest models, we can safely say that both brands we are going to discuss do just that – and more.
The Michael Kors smartwatch vs Apple Watch bout is a close one but I believe my analysis will help you make the right choice. Let’s go!
This article covers both the reviews of the two best watches from Michael Kors and Apple, as well as a general comparison of the brands. What would you like to read first?
Michael Kors Smartwatch vs Apple Watch: General Comparison
There’s no getting away from the fact that analog watches will soon be stigmatized “old school” just like the non-smartphones have been branded for the last 10 years. With the growing number of world-renowned tech brands getting into the smartwatch business, it’s a matter of great importance that we don’t get overwhelmed by the choice and make the right one.
A popular trend amongst many smartwatch companies is that some of them put maximum effort into making sure the watch looks beautiful but they often forget about the importance of its functionality and a user-friendly interface. On the other hand, we also have brands that neglect the design in favor of focusing solely on the software. Not many people want to wear a pretty watch with an outdated list of functions. At the same time, they won’t fancy flashing a horribly-designed timepiece even with all the latest apps on board.
Luckily for you, such worries relate to neither of the two brands we are going to discuss here. Whereas the smartwatch industry gets more crowded with each year, Apple and Michael Kors are still one of the names we can trust to deliver both in the aspect of smart design and up-to-date functionality. And I’m hoping this short but detailed Apple Watch vs Michael Kors comparison will prove just that.
The first striking difference between Michael Kors smartwatch and Apple Watch is the design.
Michael Kors is a brand that is primarily renowned for its high-end fashion products for both men and women. Therefore, it focuses on a more elegant style of their smartwatches.
On the other hand, we have Apple Watch series that definitely has more of a sporty look to it. Hence, it’s usually the favorite amongst people leading a more active lifestyle.
The first question that springs to mind when considering the purchase of one of those two watches is: what is the dominating type of an occasion on which I will be wearing the smartwatch? Will it be more of an everyday workplace accessory? Or one that will look best on you when crushing your fitness goals at the gym?
When trying to compare Michael Kors Smartwatch and Apple Watch on the functionality level, we have to mention the operating system. Michael Kors is run on the Android software (WearOS by Google) whereas Apple Watch, of course, uses the IOS. This fact might prove pivotal when deciding on which one to buy as you will learn in the latter part of the article.
Michael Kors has a slightly shorter market presence. The high-end fashion manufacturer launched its first smartwatch line in the middle of 2016, one year after Apple had set in motion its own smartwatch collection with the introduction of Apple Watch Series 1. Over the last few years, Apple has released 4 more series (Apple Watch Series 2, 3, 4, 5). Michael Kors’s current smartwatch collection stands at 18.
Both Michael Kors and Apple offer smartwatches from ~$200, allowing you to get great value for money. Of course, for the lowest price available, you won’t get the newest models on the market. For example, the mentioned price can get you the Michael Kors Access MKGO smartwatch whereas the same expense will also secure the Apple Series 1 watch. The most recent Michael Kors smartwatch models will cost you more than $400 while you will need to spend more than that on the newest Apple release.
Which One To Choose? MK Smartwatch vs Apple Watch
Let’s dive into the comparison of the two current (in my opinion) best smartwatch models from Michael Kors and Apple. Here we are talking about the Michael Kors Access Lexington 2 and the Apple Watch Series 5.
Michael Kors Smartwatch Review (Lexington 2)
It was a close call with Michael Kors Access Runway but I decided to go with this one.
Lexington 2 smartwatch was released in 2019. Just like any other watch produced by Michael Kors, it presents a very classy, elegant design. What I think gives an even more impressive look to this smartwatch is the raised bezel around the watch face. The engraved MK logo on the crown is another little detail I find to be really refining. The watch strap is just as elegant as the face and it also carries the Michael Kors name.
The version of the Michael Kors smartwatch described here is the stainless steel one with the predominant silver color but there are also other available: gold, rose gold and a tri-tone that combines a bit of all 3 designs. The product comes with an AMOLED display with a 328 pixels-per-inch resolution that makes it super readable indoors. In order to comfortably see it in direct sunlight, you will have to shield the screen a bit.
Like any other Michael Kors smartwatch, Lexington 2 is run on Wear OS which is Google’s Android smartwatch platform. You will get the absolute maximum out of this smartwatch if you own an Android smartphone.
At the same time, you no longer have to worry about Wear OS smartwatches’ compatibility with iOS devices. In other words, you will be easily able to pair your Michael Kors smartwatch with an iPhone. In such instance, even though the two devices will be run on two different operating systems, you will enjoy most of the smartwatch’s prime functions anyway.
Notifications are probably one of the main reasons why we buy a smartwatch in the first place and most of them will be visible on your smartwatch display when connected to an iPhone. That’s a nice change from some of the previous Michael Kors models. Thanks to the latest Wear OS version, you can now also answer text messages and phone calls with the smartwatch. With previous versions, you had to use your iPhone to do it. A solid improvement!
Interface and the user experience
Once paired with your phone, Lexington 2 allows you to use the mobile app to decide which notifications you wish to be displayed on your smartwatch screen. Through the mobile app, you can also set up Tiles and select your favorite watch faces. All of this can also be done on your smartwatch display but it’s much quicker to do so using your smartphone.
By holding the crown you will open a list of most frequently used apps. To launch the menu, you will have to press the top button. Doing so will enable you to configure your watch faces as well as connect with your social media accounts. The bottom button will open your Google Fit app.
As far as navigation is concerned, most will be done through swipes on the watch screen. It’s possible to have the always-on watch face although be aware that it will wear off your battery quicker. If you decide to use the AOD, you will have to tap the screen before being able to swipe.
Swiping down from the top is the shortest path to the quick settings menu. Swiping up from the bottom will display all the notifications from your apps and your fitness targets. Swipe left to right and you will open the Google Assistant. The other way round will open your Tiles. The list of tiles on display is changeable meaning that you can hide them and add your own.
This Michael Kors smartwatch has a long list of features even the pickiest customers will consider appealing.
Lexington 2 has a built-in GPS, meaning that you will be able to easily measure and keep track of the distance, speed, and pace of your fitness endeavors. The smartwatch also has NFC (Near Field Communication) for Google Pay. This function will allow you to pay for your dinner in a restaurant. Or a grocery shopping at your local market. All of that – without having to use your credit card.
Sometimes taken for granted but just as essential, the smartwatch has a built-in microphone and speaker, enabling you to easily connect with Google Assistant as well as answer your phone calls. If you are more into swimming than running, the watch is water-resistant up to 30 meters. The heart-rate monitor is another feature we need to mention here.
One thing that is missing and that would make the Michael Kors Lexington 2 a near-perfect smartwatch is the support for LTE. Unfortunately, the smartwatch doesn’t offer it. As a result, in order to unlock its full potential, we always need to have our smartphone at hand. Smartwatches with the LTE support can be used as stand-alone cellular devices and sadly this one can’t.
Michael Kors Lexington 2 model can last up to 36 hours by default. Of course, like in the case of any other smart device, this will purely depend on how you exploit it. Should you always want to have features like GPS and heart-rate monitor on and also use a maximum number of notification alerts, you will probably have to charge the watch about every 28-30 hours instead.
On the other hand, you can extend the 36-hour battery life by using some of the available energy-saving modes. Doing so might make the battery last as long as two days. On average, a 1% charge takes about 60 seconds. Such a result makes this smartwatch a bit of a standout, allowing a full recharge in just under 2 hours. That’s pretty impressive.
Apple Watch Review (Series 5)
The great thing about any Apple Watch is that it’s so easy to customize and adjust to your own style. Apple Watch Series 5, just like any of its predecessors, has tens of different watch cases and straps to choose from. That essentially makes the design of this watch pretty much up to you!
Whereas Michael Kors’s Lexington 2 has three different styles to select from, you have so many more design options when opting for an Apple Watch. Depending on your own taste, you can purchase the Apple Watch Series 5 with different types of straps (sport strap, leather strap, Milanese loop), cases (stainless steel, aluminum, titanium, ceramic) and a whole color palette to choose from.
In general, the Series 5 isn’t much changed visually from its predecessor, Apple Watch Series 4. The only noticeable differences are a slightly larger display and the addition of titanium and ceramic watch case variations.
Lack of many visual changes is actually the news we should embrace as the iconic design is one that shouldn’t need many alterations anyway. The smartwatch comes in the usual rectangular shape that helps to stand out from most of the other smartwatches designed with classic round faces.
Apple Watch has two versions size-wise: the standard 44mm case size and the 40mm one for people with slightly slimmer wrists. The case of the watch case weights just 36 grams making it hardly noticeable.
No matter how iconic the design of Apple Watch is, it will present a more sporty than elegant look. Compared to the Lexington 2 model from Michael Kors, it’s definitely less official and maybe better suited for fitness activities and everyday life than for more official activities.
Whereas connecting the MK smartwatch with an iPhone is not an issue, here the situation looks a bit different.
All smartwatches from the Apple Watch series use WatchOS that’s been exclusively designed for iOS devices. Unfortunately, that can only mean one thing. Unless you own an iPhone, you won’t be able to connect your mobile with any smartwatch from the Apple series. This is a huge setback for any people in love with the design and functionality of the Apple Watch who currently own an Android smartphone.
We consider the lack of compatibility between Apple Watch and Android devices as a huge drawback. At the same time, though, we have to respect Apple’s way of making sure everything Apple stays exclusive to Apple device owners only.
Important: in order to successfully connect the Apple Watch Series 5 with your smartphone, you need to own an iPhone 6 or newer with the latest iOS version installed on the device.
Interface and the user experience
Probably the biggest change from the previous Apple Watch series is the availability of the always-on display mode. Apple Watch Series 5 is the first that allows you to enjoy a constantly-visible time on your wrist. And according to Apple, it has zero ill effects on the battery life of the smartwatch. As much as I try to treat most of the things Apple says as gospel, I’m not so sure about this one. In a moment I will explain why.
With the AOD mode on, apart from being able to peek at the time with practically zero effort, you can now also quickly check for any unread messages, missed phone calls or upcoming events in the calendar. Gone are the days when you raised your wrist only for the Apple watch not to react to the action. For me, it really feels more like an actual watch than just a gadget thanks to that.
Thanks to watchOS 6 which was released in conjunction with the Apple Watch Series 5, you no longer have to use your iPad or iPhone to install apps on your smartwatch. The latest version of the operating system allows you to do it directly on your Apple Watch. A welcome change!
When it comes to watch faces, Apple still doesn’t allow any third-party developers to submit their own unique designs for Apple Watch users to download onto their devices. The current number of watch faces stands at an impressive 34 with hundreds of variations available. But that doesn’t stop Apple users craving for more. Unfortunately, a separate watch face store for outside-made designs still hasn’t arrived. And it doesn’t look like it will anytime soon.
This is the round of the Apple Watch vs MK Smartwatch battle that in my opinion Apple clearly wins.
The Apple Watch Series 5 has what I missed so much in the Lexington 2 model from Michael Kors. The Apple Watch version with GPS + Cellular allows you to connect with the LTE network if you have an active cellular plan. That pretty much makes the watch a stand-alone device through which you can call and text without the need of being connected to your iPhone.
What’s more, Series 5 is the first smartwatch that supports international emergency calling – even without an active cellular plan. How about that for staying safe and sound?
Despite the addition of the AOD (always-on display) to the Apple Watch Series 5, Apple announced that the battery life of the smartwatch won’t decline compared to Apple Watch 4.
The reality is a bit different though; turning off the always-on display does increase the battery life of the watch a bit. Many users got it tested already and the watch can stay alive for about 20% longer if we don’t use the newly-added function. On the other hand, it’s really hard to resist it as the watch just looks so much better with the AOD activated.
All things considered, you can enjoy all the perks of this newest Apple Watch for up to 18 hours a day. Even though it’s not any worse a result compared to any of the previous series, it’s still a considerably shorter lifespan than that of the Michael Kors smartwatch.
Michael Kors Smartwatch vs Apple Watch: The Verdict
The Michael Kors Watch vs Apple Watch battle has proved to be super close. Both smartwatches have their stronger and weaker sides. Both have definitely more pros than cons. And finally, each of the two is one of the best in the business in its own sense.
When considering buying either of these, there are two pivotal questions you need to answer first: am I after a smartwatch that would look good on me on any occasion, including an official one, or do I want a more sporty look? Am I an iPhone user so I can have the comfort of choosing either of the smartwatches?
If you would like just one timepiece for any occasion, I suggest going for the Lexington 2 model. The Michael Kors smartwatch, compared to Apple Watch, is simply more stylish. Thanks to its high-end appearance, it won’t look out of place either during an important meeting at work or at your gym.
This particular MK model will also allow you to connect with either an Android smartphone or an iOS device – making it a more flexible choice. Lexington 2 will also be a wiser option for people that don’t feel like charging their watch too often. Its relatively long battery life span is a huge advantage over the Apple Watch.
Should you be after a more feature-rich smartwatch, then Apple Watch Series 5 might be a better choice. The GPS + Cellular version, in particular, is an appealing one.
Thanks to its support for LTE, you can basically use the watch as your wrist phone without the need of carrying your mobile. Apart from the lack of compatibility with Android and slightly poorer battery life, I can’t find many faults with it. Since I’m an iPhone user myself, if I were to choose between the two, I’d opt for Apple Watch. But only just!
Whether you choose Michael Kors smartwatch or Apple Watch, you are highly unlikely to be disappointed with your buy. Both of these devices will serve you well for years – it’s just the matter of picking one that appeals to your own taste and needs more.
I really hope that this article has given you a clearer idea about what your next purchase should be. If you feel like I haven’t covered some important points here, please let me know in the comment section below. In case you already own any of the products described here, I’d also love to hear your views on it. Let’s interact!