Thursday, 12 March 2015

Apple watch Reviews

Most of us expected the Apple Watch to appear in 2015, but it's made a (semi) surprise launch with the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus.
It sadly won't be seen until next year though, which means this is a deliberate ploy by Apple to make sure you're not buying a Samsung, LG or Moto 360 option in the run up to Christmas.
But there's a pretty good reason for most to hang on - this is a very stylish wearable indeed.
Apple watch review
Apple's clearly aiming this at the fashion market as much as the person who loves to be an early adopter - given the smartwatch market is still yet to take off, it makes sense to focus further afield in terms of consumer targeting.


The Apple Watch is coming in six different versions: there's the Apple Watch, the Apple Watch Sport and the Apple Watch Edition. And each of these comes in two sizes, for those that like a larger or smaller device for their wrist.
You can't call it a lady or man's watch, but there will be those that do, and it's opened Apple up to a new market in doing so.
While I expected it to be rounded, the fact is the Apple Watch looks like a small fusion between iPhone 6 and iPod Nano. It's not unattractive, but it is on the chunkier side of things.
Apple watch review
It's rounded, which works in its favour, and the curved back makes it feel nice, if a little heavy (depending on the band) on the wrist.
The interface is curious, but I really think Apple has done better than most with the way it's approached interacting with a wrist-dwelling device.
The Digital Crown is essentially a scroll wheel that lets you zoom in and out of the interface, so for apps (with a fun new home screen that looks NOTHING like the iPhone's version, more a spherical look at all the apps available on the watch).
Tapping it in sends you back to the home screen, but you can also use the touchscreen on the Watch to to interact with apps.
I'll dive deeper into this very shortly, but the interface is at least intuitive for a smartwatch.
Apple watch review
The Apple Watch is neither a fitness band, watch or fashion accessory though, despite taking a bit from each of those camps. It's hard to define what it really is, which means that users may struggle to justify the purchase.
I think its greatest chance of success is in the health market, as Apple has made this a decent choice for people looking to get a little bit healthier.
Not just checking steps or heart rate once in a while, the watch will be able to help you be a bit less sedentary as well as noting when you run around and how hard the exertion is.
Of course, it needs an iPhone to work really effectively, but it works very well autonomously too in terms of tracking the above. The inbuilt GPS means that you can use it as a running watch from the off, although the lack of Nike+ compatibility is surprising.
Apple watch review
This partly explains why Samsung has teamed up with Nike to make the Gear S a running companion - but at least Apple has got its own internal system to allow for it.
As a smartwatch, the Apple Watch is a pretty nifty device too. Its discreet dimensions mean that while it's obvious when it lights up, most of the time most won't know you're wearing a smartwatch.
It's annoying needs to be flicked upwards to turn the screen on - unlike the Android Wear devices which are visible when in standby mode - and I wasn't able to test this function during my limited hands on time.
The Apple Watch will also come with the ability to pay for things with the aptly-named Apple Pay - however, this wasn't available for demo, and therefore I can't work out how the security aspect will be handled.
With the phone you'll need to hold the TouchID element to confirm it's you that's paying, and without that on the Watch it's hard to see how you'll manage it.
If you have to press it on your phone, it kind of makes it redundant as a mechanism on the watch.

Early verdict

The Apple Watch is a device that many will want to own with the iPhone 6, as the stylings match really well, and let's be honest: people like buying wholeheartedly into the Apple ecosystem.
It's annoying we don't know the price or the exact release date then, as it's hard to say how successful the Apple Watch will be as a result.
One thing's for sure - now Apple has brought visibility of wearables to the wider market through the Apple Watch, everyone will benefit through higher consumer traction.
Will we see everyone wearing one? Probably not, but then again not everyone owned an iPad or iPhone at the start. This is phase one of a much longer product game - but the Apple Watch One is a quite good start.