If you’re short on time and in need of instant gratification, then this is the only part of the review you need to read: don’t buy the Apple Watch…yet (hereafter referred to as Watch and not to be confused with the noun “watch”).
If you’re still reading this, I’m glad you stayed. Don’t get me wrong – the Watch is beautifully crafted and boasts all the hallmarks of great design that you come to expect from Apple. There are three models: Watch Sport, Watch and the 18-carat rose gold (and incredibly expensive) Watch Edition. I’ve been wearing the Watch for three days now, only taking it off to charge it when the juice runs low. And while the battery supposedly lasts for 18 hours, the power reserve read 40 per cent after a day of medium usage.
As a watch, the Watch does its job of telling the time. The watch face is highly customisable and allows the wearer to include or take away information as he sees fit. You want the temperature? Sure. Need the watch to vibrate to tell you about your upcoming meeting? Bzzt. Fancy seeing how much or how little you’ve been active throughout the day? Here’s the circular graph of fame (or shame).
Apple has also made available a variety of bands in different materials. My favourite, by far, is the gorgeous quilted Venezia leather that feels as great on your skin as it looks. But those not inclined to wearing Italian leather can also opt for stainless steel or high-performance fluoroelastomer. Be prepared for a wave of third-party vendors and craftsmen coming up with their own version of Watch bands.
But, unfortunately, while the Watch scores high marks aesthetically, the whole package is incredibly underwhelming. In a nutshell, everything that you can or want to do on the Watch can be done in a far more efficient fashion on your iPhone. In the weeks and months leading up to the launch of the Apple Watch, there was a lot of buzz about the myriad of functions that the Watch would purportedly come with such as sugar count and even an app to detect an irregular heartbeat that might signal an impending heart attack. Now, there’s only a heartbeat tracker.
Also, every time my Watch vibrated to signal an impending notification, email or message, I would look at it on my Watch and retrieve my smartphone to respond to it. Apple wants you to look at your smartphone less with the advent of the Watch. I don’t see it happening at all with the first generation of the Watch.
There is speculation that new versions of the Apple watches shipping next year will come with a boatload of new features. Hopefully it does because at the moment, the Apple Watch is a beautifully designed empty vessel.