Apple has a reputation for rolling out products that do less than competitors but do it better. With its first proper smartwatch, the company takes a different tack trying to do just as much and still doing it better.
Even if we are late to the Apple Watch review party, we wanted to make it special and also nail it right. No matter how much you feel about Apple, you have to admit the company makes beautiful hardware and software.
So how does the Apple Watch compete? Is it a smartwatch for you? Or, will it be a market success? Let’s find out about this and more in this Apple Watch Review.
Even the entry-level Sport version of this smartwatch, the attention to detail is evident in everything; from the narrowed digital crown, to the placement of the heart-rate sensors, to the seam between the cover glass and the aluminum composite body. The 81 gm of watch and band is solid, neither too light nor too heavy and the band itself whose material looks rubbery and stiff in some photos is actually comfortably soft and swapping it for another band is just a button push away.
Our watch Sport review unit came with two bands and sizes in the box and apple also sells additional styles at typical Apple prices. Also, included in the box is a charging pop with a simple design that attaches magnetically and charges via induction. That makes it similar to the inductive pedestal that ships with the Moto 360 smartwatch. Apple’s version isn’t quite as elegant in that it doesn’t stand the watch up, but at least its compact for travel.
And speaking of size, our review device is the 42 millimeter version of the Apple watch. Those with smaller wrists will appreciate that there’s a 38 millimeter version as well. Both feature a 1.32 inch high pixel density OLED display and all versions of the watch can be set up for either right or left-handed users. The watch is rated IP-X 7, meaning it can theoretically survive immersion in a meter of water for at least 30 minutes, though Apple doesn’t recommend this.
Apple Watch OS 1.0
Driving the day-to-day experience is Watch OS 1.0, which is based on iOS and powered by Apple’s S1 processor. The feature set is where Apple goes the extra mile with the watch compared to much of its competition, but once you’ve paired it to your iPhone there’s awful lot you can do without taking your phone out of your pocket. And, a lot of it works very well.
MY WATCH EXPERIENCE
I’ve been using the Apple watch tethered to an iPhone 6 on and off for two weeks. And, in that time I’ve found more than a few reminders that this is very much a version one product. First, all those separate kinds of interactions make the watch more confusing than some of the competition. The digital crown is fun but it also feels underused, I would twist it while trying to scroll through glances for example, only to find that most of the time it does nothing. Also, you can use it to scroll through your favorite contacts but try selecting one of them by pressing the digital crown, and you will surprisingly be taken back to the watch face. I understand that Apple’s trying to keep its behavior consistent as a kind of home button of the watch, but there’s a whole another button that could do that.
Speaking of, it’s great to use that other side button as a shortcut to the friends list, but confining such a prominent control to such a limited purpose feels pod somehow. Almost as odd as sharing your heartbeat with another Apple watch user something I never got to do during my review period.
1. Greater convenience
2. Phenomenal build quality
3. A heart rate monitor and better health and fitness assistance
1. One more device to manage
2. Battery life will be disappointing for some
3. Very very pricey