Wait a minute. Stop right there. Listen. A man walks into an Apple Store. Are you listening? OK, A man walks into an Apple Store to check out the new Apple Watch. After a little while he calls over the sales person, he says salesperson I want to see the time. Sales person asks, is there something wrong with the Apple Watch on display? Guy says and I want to track my fitness. Sales person asks, is there something wrong with the display, is it on? Guy says, look I just want to take pictures. Sales person asks is there something wrong with the display, sir? Guy says can I just go on social media. Sales person asks, look is there something wrong with the watch, can I get someone to come check it out? Guy says and I need to make phone calls. Sales person says ok, where’s your iPhone? Guy says “Ah Ha”.
Probably one of my favorite scenes from Coming to America but completely appropriate when it comes to the feeling I got checking out the new Apple Watch. Now, if you are one of the Apple faithful who have glared at passerbys flaunting their android smartwatches, Apple’s reveal of probably the worst kept secret in technology history, was what you have been waiting for. At their event in San Francisco on Monday, Apple gave the world the first look at their Apple Watch and its strongest pitch on why they think you should want an Apple Watch. But do you really want one? If you are amongst the iFaithful, the question of if you are picking up an Apple Watch might be more of a function of not if but when. But if you were on the fence going into Monday, I’m not sure Apple said anything to move the needle.
So what is the Apple Watch? The answer to that question is probably the biggest pro and ironically con of the device. It’s an iOS 8.2 compatible smartwatch and communications device, designed to improve your quality of life by increasing efficiency. It’s really a cool piece of technology that lets you read emails, answer phone calls, track fitness goals, interact with social media and a number of other things all by just looking at your wrist.
The design that we were shown on Monday wasn’t too far off from the rumors as it resembles the iPod Nano but with a band, a side button and a digital crown which gives it more of watch aesthetic. It comes in two sizes a 38mm with 272×340 resolution and a 42 mm with a 312×390 display. Although the system, memory etc… doesn’t change, the Apple Watch comes in a number of materials and colors so they have different price points. And while bands can be swapped, there are certain ones that are specific to each collection.
So the three different collections breakdown like this:
Sport – The most affordable and closely resembling the current iPhones. Aluminum cases and an Ion-X glass display. Starts at $349
Watch – Mid-level device with more of a refined look. It has a stainless steel or space black stainless steel case with a sapphire crystal display. Starts at $549
Watch Edition – The high-end option for those who want to have a luxury piece. 18-karat yellow or rose gold case with a sapphire crystal display. Starts at$10,000
The Apple Watch allows you to receive messages and calls as well as interact with social media like facebook and twitter. It has a number of stock faces, with each being able to be customized giving you the ability to make the watch face unique to the owner. There are also a number of sensors built into the device including one for heart rate and motion that allow you to track your activity. Also gives you the ability to track your workout on any machine in the gym and goes beyond the general running or workout options. There are a number of standard apps that come with the device with others that can be downloaded. These can be accessed through use of the digital crown to open the app screen and swiping around and tap the icon of the app. Which sounds easy enough, but in practice will lead to opening up other apps depending on the size of your fingers. Also Apple Pay is integrated into the Apple Watch which allows you to pull up your credit card with just a double tap of a button. When it comes to the battery, Apple says it can be used all day, which while you might think is 24 hours it’s more like 18 based on a day filled with 90 time checks, 90 notifications, 45 minutes of app use, and a 30-minute workout with music playback from Apple Watch via Bluetooth.
Ultimately, the Apple Watch seems more like a companion piece to an iPhone rather than a device that supplants the need for one. Aside from the tracking sensors, you’re paying to look at your watch instead of taking out your phone, which is fine if you have the money to toss around. Add to it that of the 8GB of storage for the device you can really only utilize 2GB to store music and are regulated to 75 MB for photos. Now that is still a good amount of data for a device on your wrist but reinforces the idea that it’s more of an accompaniment to the iPhone and not a standalone device. So if you’re in the market for a high tech, statement piece the Apple Watch might be right up your alley. But if you’re looking for a ground breaking piece of technology that will make your life significantly easier and take the place of your iPhone, the joke’s on you.
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