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Image credit: Cherlynn Low / Engadget

Marc Jacobs is (un)fashionably late with its first touchscreen watch

The Riley Touchscreen runs Wear OS, charges wirelessly and looks basic.
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Cherlynn Low / Engadget

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At this point in the smartwatch game, it's hard to get excited about yet another Android Wear -- sorry, Wear OS -- device. But that's not stopping Marc Jacobs from showing up fashionably late to the party. The designer's new Riley smartwatch ($295) is its first with a touchscreen display and runs Wear OS. It has a somewhat chunky round case with one button instead of the three that adorned the side of its hybrid sibling released last year, which was based on the company's existing Riley analog timepiece.

Gallery: Marc Jacobs Riley Touchscreen hands-on | 16 Photos

I've said it before, and I'll say it again. When it comes to something as personal as watches, everyone's taste is going to differ. The black unit with black strap that I received is a little bland for my liking, but some might appreciate its simplicity. Based on the pictures, the white-and-gold combination seems prettier. I also wish its 1.19-inch AMOLED screen wasn't surrounded by such a thick bezel and that the case were a bit thinner. In general, the Riley Touchscreen feels light and comfortable, though some of my colleagues find its rubbery band and overall build cheap for the brand.

Like most other Fossil Group smartwatches, the Riley runs Wear OS with brand-specific watch faces pre-installed. You can choose from the iconic Daisy design or options emblazoned with Marc Jacobs logos, and you can customize your dial and accent colors. Basically, it's the same skeleton of a smartwatch that Fossil makes, skinned with Marc Jacobs faces and squeezed into a physical watch that fits that brand's aesthetic. One thing that's different: The Riley uses wireless charging, so you simply attach the magnetic disc to the watch to juice it up. Like most other Android watches, this watch also uses a Snapdragon Wear 2100 processor, which is due for an update.

Gallery: Marc Jacobs Riley Touchscreen watch press images | 4 Photos

All told, nothing truly stands out about the Marc Jacobs Riley, other than the fact that it's the brand's first touchscreen smartwatch and uses wireless charging. Fans will probably be at least curious, if not happy, to check out this new device. Meanwhile, all we can do is wait till Google decides to share more information about upcoming Wear updates to see if it might ever be worth getting excited about smartwatches again.

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