Review: Apple Watch | iLounge


Review: Apple Watch


Company: Apple

Models: Apple Watch

Price: $349-$17,000

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Phil Dzikiy

Pros: Very nice overall design that’s easy and enjoyable to wear. Customizable look and software. Ambitious. Bright, vibrant screen. Often makes notifications (and subsequent responses) quicker and easier. Message dictation is very accurate. Minimal hardware is cleverly incorporated into software, especially Digital Crown button and Force Touch. Taptic Engine is effective and neat. Health and fitness abilities are strong enough that many users will see value when compared to a fitness tracker. Offers quick and easy access to key bits of information. Relieves the urge to constantly check iPhone. Strong first-party apps including Camera Remote. Apple Pay works as well on iPhone, and the process is even quicker. Does some things without being connected to an iPhone. Water-resistant. Loads of potential.

Cons: Limited nature compared to iOS devices will make device feel like unnecessary toy to some. Users might find price too high when compared to other wearables. Requires Bluetooth connection to iPhone for most features. Overall speed is lacking — it takes about a minute to boot up, and many apps are slow. Battery life disappointing; there’s also some iPhone battery drain due to constant Bluetooth connection. Charging time is too slow. Not as initially intuitive as other Apple devices — users likely won’t be sure when Force Touch can be used, when to use Digital Crown, etc. Lack of a Voice Memos app is a bit puzzling; users still can’t remove unwanted Apple apps. Digital Touch still needs to work out kinks, and ideally, become more entertaining. Many third-party apps are disappointing thus far.

Apple Watch is Apple’s first smartwatch and represents the company’s much-anticipated foray into the wearables market. Credible reports on the existence of an Apple-designed smartwatch started to surface in early 2013, with most people generally referring to the proposed device as “iWatch.” Apple CEO Tim Cook continually referred to “new categories” in a number of interviews before Apple Watch was officially revealed on Sept. 9, 2014, alongside the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus. No release date was given at the time — Apple later unveiled the April 24 launch date at a March event.

Apple Watch comes in more pricing options than any other Apple device, based on its many configurations. There are three separate models: Apple Watch Sport ($349-$399), the stainless steel Apple Watch ($549-$1,099), and the high-end Apple Watch Edition ($10,000-$17,000). Each model comes in a 38mm or 42mm size, and the stainless steel Watch and Apple Watch Edition differ in price based on which interchangeable watch band is selected. (Apple Watch Sport only comes with a sport band.) The 42mm Apple Watch is $50 more than the 38mm watch when paired with the same band (this doesn’t apply to the Edition). Apple started taking pre-orders for Apple Watch at 12:01 a.m. Pacfic Time on April 10 and limited stock sold out quickly — mere minutes after being made available to order, many model/band options weren’t available to ship until months later. Within six hours or so, all model/band options showed shipping times delayed at least four to six weeks.

So, what should we expect from Apple Watch? Expectations are key to framing the success of nearly any new product, but it’s especially true with a product as personal as this. While smartwatches have existed in recent years with varying degrees of success, many people were waiting for Apple Watch to come along and revolutionize the wearables market. Has it done so? And even if it hasn’t, is that such a bad thing? Should we look at Apple Watch simply as another Apple device? Or as a watch — a watch which happens to do more than any other watch? We might not find all the answers during our review, but we hope that at the very least, by the end of these 10 pages, you’ll have a better idea of whether Apple Watch is right for you.



Editors' Note: iLounge only reviews products in "final" form, but many companies now change their offerings - sometimes several times - after our reviews have been published. This iLounge article provides more information on this practice, known as revving.

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