The Apple Watch, one of the most popular wearables by Apple, has reached out far enough to grab my hands on it and for the past few months, I have had a daily interaction and this is my take. Note that I live in India and the NFC Chip and Apple Pay is irrelevant (although it is a great feature) so it will be omitted in my review since I have not used it. I will be using the 42MM Apple Watch Sport Edition with the white sports band. This is a in depth review, so if you do not want to read a lot… The summary is right at the end.
So first, let’s see if it stand the test of time. Since the Apple watch has been my daily driver, I have seen the physical progress of the watch. It has gone through the wear, tear and the occasional drops yet it has only had some minor body scratches. Since the screen was not sapphire but Ion-X glass, there are a lot of minor scratches which is a disadvantage of this Edition. Though I was impressed with the actual watch, the white strap was a huge letdown. From the pristine white color, it is now in progress of turning grey with a hue of blue. The strap could not handle the extreme Indian weather and the fact that no official accessory is available at any (so called) iStore in India does not feel good. For the strap, I would recommended the black color, since it has higher durability than its white counterpart. The watch is also very thick and becomes heavy and I feel that if the watch was thinner, it would have felt more like a watch.
In terms of the software, it mimics the home screen of the iPhone with the apps in a small circular icon.
Though there are a lot of applications available, all of them are dependent on the iPhone and have a lot of loading time. This defeats the purpose of quick actions on the Apple Watch and most applications take a very long time to load. The one place the watch achieves its purpose of quick actions are the notifications, which have reply options where you can just “speak” your reply for messages. If you have a lot of apps, then your watch would become very clunky and would be very slow.
The digital crown is like the “home” button, used to maneuver around the Apple Watch. You can zoom, scroll and select elements with the digital crown. There is another physical button, which brings up the list of your friends in a circular diagram and you can maneuver your list of friends using the digital crown.
The watch faces are very limited though, since they are only a few that are provided by Apple and you have to live with those. That is where the Apple Watch has a limit of customization.
There are many features, but one of the most relevant feature is the forwarding of iPhone calls to your watch.
In this, any calls (including FaceTime calls) can come from your iPhone to your watch and you can speak directly to the person through the watch. The call quality is amazing and it is a really cool feature. The apple watch mimics your iPhone and uses bluetooth and Wi-Fi to connect to your phone.
The apple watch is marketed and designed as a fitness product. It reminds you regarding when to stand up and alerts regarding other fitness related goals. It uses the latest HealthKit technology to get haptic feedback and user inputs regarding multiple health issues and tracks your sleeping patterns and heart rates. There are several sensors, most notably the heart rate sensor, which keeps data in the heath app and provides you with historical feedback. The consumer can also send that data to partners with HealthKit, so that they can provide feedback regarding certain health problems.
The apple watch is a companion device which requires the iPhone to be on you. It lasts about 1 full day with a overnight charge. The taptic engine provides feedback with subtle vibrations so that you do not missed all the mirrored notifications from your iPhone.
The models and pricing vary based on size and band. 42mm models are $50 more expensive than 38mm models, and bands vary in price from $49 to $549. Apple offers more than 40 Apple Watch and band configurations, which it has changed every six months or so with the introduction of new bands. The apple watch edition is 24k plated gold and starts around $10000.
Overall, I feel that the Apple Watch is something that is a very good attempt for Apple for capturing the wearable market. Though its lackluster battery life, limit of customizations and lack of feature international does not suite every consumer, it is great for people who are diehard apple fanboys. Also, the integration of the Watch into other apple products is something that makes this product a great buy. Overall, if you are a heavy fitness user or a would just like to try it out, give it a shot, because it is only 349 and it is a smart watch.