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Apple Watch review

7.5/10 AVG.
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Apple Watch
Apple Watch

Every time I put it on it feels like I'm putting on the future, and I love it.

- Rene Ritchie, iMore 

The Apple Watch excels as a fitness tracker and remote control, but it's hampered by app loading times and home screen clutter.

- Susie Ochs, Macworld 

Specs / Features

Warranty (Months) -
Release date 10-April-2015
Weight N/A
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Reviews summary section

What's good

  • Highly customizable
  • Good fit
  • Quality design
  • Magnetic charger
  • Extensive app selection
  • Apple Pay

What's bad

  • Limited standalone use
  • Limited size options
  • Learning curve

The wearable market has big missing a big player since its creation, but that is about to change. With the unveiling of the Apple Watch, fans of the iOS ecosystem now have an option for jumping into the world of Smart watches. While the technology is still relatively new, the Apple Watch has some big shoes to fill already. Does it live up to the hype, and most of all, was it worth the wait? Let’s see what reviewers are saying!

While many other makers have chosen to go with a traditional round face, Apple is sticking to a rectangular design. Available in both 42 and 38mm sizes, you have a few options for finding a good size and fit for your wrist and preferences. Reviews loved the 42mm models in most cases but found the 38mm a little cramped for regular use.

It is also available with a variety of bands, ranging from the rubbery Watch Sport bands to the linked chain and leather of the Watch and Watch Edition. CNet noted, “They all had a great wrist feel.” One area where many reviews conflicted was the price of the watch bands. While some are affordable, others can add to the cost of the phone surprisingly fast. However, if you don’t mind the price, and should want to change bands, most feature quick disconnects and universal connection points to make swapping a snap.

One thing is clear from reviews--Learning to use your watch efficiently takes a little time. Fortunately, reviews also agree that this is one of the most full-featured smart wearables to date. Operating the phone is done through swipes, tabs presses, the Digital Crown and one other button. While initial thoughts on the Digital Crown were pessimistic, reviewers found that the concept of a scroll wheel combined with the smaller screen works well for navigating the phones various menus. That is, once you remember which gesture does what. Gizmodo sums up concerns well, stating, “Sometimes when I tried to tap, it thought I was trying to Force Touch—and it wasn’t always clear which one I needed to do to perform any given action.”

The watch is compatible with iPhones models starting at the iPhone 5 and up. Pairing is achieved with both Bluetooth and Wi-Fi, allowing greater range and more consistent connections than other wearables. Reviews didn’t much about stability, but did mention that pairing with the phone was effortless and easy to understand. While the watch will function without pairing, your options are limited to basic features, such as music playback, direct communication, Apple Pay and activity tracking. Notifications are relayed using Apple’s Taptic feedback and audio cues. Reviews of these systems were great, with TechCrunch stating, “Compared to most haptic feedback in wearables that I’ve tried before, it’s almost on a completely different level.”

Adding apps to the Apple Watch appears to be simple. You just launch the App Store on your phone and tell it to install on the device. Support from third-party developers appears good, even out of the gate, and will only increase with time, adding additional functionality to the watch. But don’t expect to play 3D games or run anything too intensive. AnandTech notes, “Apps other than the clock – which is essentially part of the home screen – have a short but distinct loading time. Once you’re in an app most move smoothly as you’d expect, though flipping through one of the Apple fitness applications saw noticeable stuttering.” While it's clearly not a powerhouse, there aren’t really any wearables that are currently.

Apple says a single charge is good for roughly 18 hours of mixed usage, including 90 notification checks, some light app usage and a couple phone calls. Phone calls can be taken on the watch, thanks to a speaker and mic, but will quickly drain the battery. Charging the watch will also mean adding another charging cable to your collection. However, reviews on the charger are quite good. Using a magnetic connection, you simply snap the charger on the back of the phone. This avoids any awkward clips or hard to position stands seen with other smart watches.

Overall, reviews are positive for Apple’s new device. The biggest questions have nothing to do with the Apple Watch at all, but the future of wearable gadgets as whole. AnandTech sums up the general thoughts well, stating, “More than a few people I know gave up watches because their phone was convenient enough for a time piece, so getting them to buy back into watches is not a given, particularly since the Watch only has very limited functionality without an iPhone by its side to provide it with data.” If it’s something that you think you’d find useful, reviews indicate that it works great, it’s just a matter of finding the best ways to use it.

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