Should You Buy an Apple Watch?
The Apple Watch
With all of the build up and excitement that comes from new product launches, specifically from Apple, where does the Apple watch truly stand? And should we buy one? Do we need one? What is the overall feel for the watch at this point? With the smoke starting to clear and the sales starting to come in, the jury it seems, is a bit unenthusiastic but hopeful.
The Apple watch is really the first new product to launch from Apple in over 5 years. And the first real new product to be launched without the legendary Steve Jobs. There is a lot riding on the development and acceptance of the watch, not only as a proving point for the new CEO Tim Cook, but for Apple as a whole to prove that they are still pushing the envelope when it comes to technology and technology design.
The Apple Watch is generally going to run between $350-$400 for the standard sport edition. This depends on the actual size, as you get to choose between the 38mm and the 42mm. However that cost can greatly fluctuate depending on what flavor you want to get and the scale is no joke. The high end 18k yellow gold watch will cost you roughly $17,000.
The differences of price really just comes from the type of band you are looking for and the type of casing and clasp for the watch itself. Your choices for the type of casings are as follows:
- Silver Aluminum - $350 to $400
- Space Gray Aluminum - $350 to $400
- Stainless Steel - $550 to $600
- Space Black Stainless Steel - $550 to $600
- 18-Karat Rose Gold - $10,000 - $12,000
- 18-Karat Yellow Gold - $15,000 - $17,000
As far as being a game changer in the wearable technology market, the Apple watch, simply isn't. And to be fair neither is any other smart watch on the market today. Think of smart watches as a minor extension of your phone that you no longer have to dig out of your pocket. If you are looking for the next giant leap in fashionable technology, this may be a great first step, but it's not mind blowing and may even be a little bit of a let down.
That being said, there are definitely some great things about the the Apple watch compared to other smart watches on the market today.
For starters, Apple has done a good job with creating a clean design. The watch itself is pretty organic with soft edges and rounded curves, but the really great part is the screen and watch face. The display is literally beautiful and eyecatching and is protected by either Ion-x glass or ultra-hard, polished, precision-machined sapphire crystal(Starting with the stainless steel casings).You may find yourself just looking at it because it's aesthetically pleasing instead of finding out what time it is or who just texted you. Which is to be expected from apple as this is where they tend to shine compared to their competition.
The watch itself has a decent weight to it, which really gives the watch a good sturdy feel. It makes it feel as though you are truly wearing a watch as opposed to wearing an expensive bluetooth calculator. The watches are also water resistant however they are NOT waterproof. That means that you can get them mildly wet, say if you are caught in the rain, but submerging the watch in any way should be avoided.
One of the cooler aspects to the new watch is that Apple has added button functionality to avoid finger blockage when attempting to perform tasks. For instance you can scroll through pages or contacts via their 'Crown' scroller. Which looks like a windup on a normal watch. It definitely does take some time and practice to fully grasp all of the button functionality, but not to the point where it can feel overwhelming. However, if you prefer, the watch can be used just as easily by touching the screen interface as well.
The watch also has all of the basic functionality that we've seen from other smart watches so far. The heart rate and health monitor, the gyroscope and bluetooth. However there really isn't too much to set this watch apart from the rest in this regard. It all feels kind of standard.
Apple has begun to step up their game for their new Apple Pay system with the implementation of Apple Pay on the watch as well. If you use Apple Pay regularly, this may be one of the greatest features about this watch for you. The setup is relatively simple and once synced and logged in you no longer need to dig out your phone for the Apple Pay system to function. You won't even need your phone to be on your person for this feature to function. Once you have the watch configured, to make a payment you simply need to hit the side button(Under the crown) twice and hold up your watch to the payment terminal. That's it, you're done. Probably the fastest payment method conceivable at the moment.
Some of the bad
Although this watch has some great things going for it there are definitely some pitfalls as well. For instance the watch appears to be a little weak in the power department. I'm not talking about the battery, which can last upwards of 18 hours, but instead it seems to slow down after running throughout the day. If you receive a lot of notifications or are constantly playing with the watch it will tend to become slower and bogged down. Apps can begin to become noticeably slower throughout useage. But not to the point where its frustrating. The only time it may become a real annoyance is really when you are attempting to load location data.
It's a great start but it almost seems as though the watch is still in beta at the moment. There is a lot of loading screens for not as much functionality as was hoped for. Apple however counters this by acknowledging that it's a new product that 3rd party developers haven't really jumped in to yet. So they and we are hopeful for better functionality and apps in the future.
Lastly, one of the biggest complaints about the watch is the bands that the watch comes with. Apple, in apple fashion, has made the bands specific to the watches. So you can't swap a regular watch band for the original band that it came with. However there is currently an ongoing effort to fund an adaptor to make this a reality. https://www.indiegogo.com/projects/adappt-standard-bands-adapter-for-apple-watch
The product is still fairly new so it's probably just a matter of time before we start to see all sorts of 3rd party accessories coming out of the woodwork to support the watch.
The Final Judgement
All in all, Apple has shown once again, that when it comes to the look and feel of their product it is top notch. Definitely the best looking smartwatch on the market as far as design is concerned and you will certainly be turning some heads and having people ogle over your new toy. The watch has a better feel than most others on the market, but at the end of the day its like you are loading apps remotely on to a smaller version of your phone. It doesn't have any real wow factor beyond the design and the Apple Pay functionality at the moment but i would still say this is the nicest smart watch on the market currently. It's definitely a step in the right direction but don't hold your breath for any sort of mind shattering awesomeness.