Unlike Android, Google’s Wear OS is pretty locked down to OEM customization, but thankfully, apps and watchfaces can help make one watch unique when compared to others. For the past several weeks, I’ve been able to see through my wife’s usage how the Kate Spade Sport pushes customization on Wear OS better than any other watch I’ve seen.
The Kate Spate Sport or, KSNY Sport, is the latest in a collection of Wear OS watches from the brand. Being a part of Fossil Group, there are some familiar aspects to the watch include rotating crowns, magnetic charging rings, and a solid overall experience.
Two things help set the Kate Spade Sport apart from the crowd (and since I didn’t directly use this watch) are what I want to talk about here.
Compact hardware with a slim band
The problem with a lot of smartwatches is that they’re simply not small. This is a problem that a lot of women have had trouble with, as bigger watches simply don’t look as good on a small wrist. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve seen complaints online about this.
The Kate Spade KSNY Sport addresses this with a design that overall is slim across the board. The thickness is roughly the same as other Wear OS watches at around 12mm, but the physical body is 41mm wide and the design makes the watch look slimmer than it actually is.
Perhaps the biggest contributing factor to all of this, however, is the compact band. Most smartwatches have band sizes at either 20mm wide or 22mm wide, but the KSNY Sport lands at just 16mm. This makes a huge impact on the look of how big this watch is.
All variants of the Sport ship with a silicone band of different colors, and they’re sturdy bands with a secure clasp. The thickness would be my only concern, but it’s something my wife never seemed to have trouble with.
Kate Spade’s customization modes are excellent
When it comes to software, the Sport is using the same Wear OS platform as literally dozens of other Fossil-made wearables. The OS is good at notifications, has a ton of pretty alright apps, and does OK when it comes to basic fitness using apps like Google Fit.
What Kate Spade’s watch excels at is its custom additions to Wear OS through watchfaces. Kate Spade preloads the KSNY Sport with over a dozen different watchfaces that are all heavily customizable. Each watchface can be customized with colors, complications, and more. This can be done in part through Wear OS’ built-in watchface carousel, but the more powerful features are available within the “Choose your Look” app. That app is also quickly accessible using the bottom button by default, though that button can be changed to open any other app.
Opening that app allows users to quickly create a special design for their watchface by selecting the time of day, the color of their other jewelry, the color of their clothing, and the color of accessories such as a purse. Once these are all selected, tapping the Kate Spade logo has the app generate a set of colors and applies it to one of the 16 Kate Spade watchfaces.
My wife’s favorite watchface on the KSNY Sport was “Daisy,” an analog watchface that “plucks” a petal off the flower through the day as you reach your step goal. Each watchface has a clever design with either a functional display like that or some fun visual. The “Taxi” face, for example, has a taxi cab drive onto or off the screen when the watch turns on of off.
While my wife didn’t wear this watch every time we went somewhere, she customized the watchface just about every time she wore it.
These customization modes are, by far, the most unique part of this watch. They work very well and really set this hardware apart. An Apple Watch, for example, can’t be customized in this way, and it’s not something that’s easily possible with Samsung’s Galaxy Watch, either. The best part of most Wear OS watches is the physical design, and with the KSNY Sport, Kate Spade and Fossil show how the software can further help with that.
What else should you know about KSNY Sport?
- Battery life: Overall, battery life is relatively good on the Sport. It lasts a day with ease, but it’s definitely a watch you’ll need to charge on a nightly basis. Otherwise, you’ll find yourself running out of juice by the time you get to work the new day.
- Performance: The Kate Spade Sport uses Qualcomm’s latest Snapdragon Wear 3100 processor paired with 512MB of RAM. I’d much rather see 1GB, but the space savings are important for this super-compact hardware, and it doesn’t seem to ruin the experience. At the end of the day, it works out, and performance is far from a deal-breaker.
- Display: As with the rest of Fossil Group smartwatches, the KSNY Sport has a fairly good circular display. It’s bright enough for most scenarios, and it has vibrant colors and good viewing angles. There’s basically nothing to complain about here.
Where to buy
KSNY Sport is available in several colors, including some new ones that debuted at CES 2020. Pricing starts at $275 with colors including Rose Gold/Green, Black/Pink, and Rose Gold/Pink. You can buy all three from Kate Spade’s online store, and Amazon, too.
More Wear OS Reviews:
- Moto 360 (2020) Review: A Wear OS favorite revived and better than ever
- Review: Diesel Axial is a good reminder that choice is Wear OS’ strength
- Michael Kors Access Lexington 2 review: Style spoiled by pricing [Video]
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