As eye-catching as the Apple Watch may be, it’s not the best product on the market today.
Rebecca Paredes --0001-11-30 00:00:00
For an idea of Apple’s goals with the company’s first step into wearable technology, look no further than the official product page: “Apple Watch isn’t just something you wear. It’s an essential part of who you are.” As it stands, the Apple Watch has a ways to go before that goal is reached. As eye-catching as the Apple Watch may be, it’s nowhere near the best product on the market today in wearables for mainstream consumers — at least until Apple works out all the kinks.
First, the obvious good: the smartwatch looks like a proper Apple product. It’s far from just an iPod Nano shoved into a plastic band; the Apple Watch is truly a joy to wear, from its vibrant screen to its range of designer bands (which will cost you a pretty, anodized, aluminum-cased penny).
Apple’s implementation of haptic feedback is a genuine game-changer; instead of the low-level buzzes that define notification settings from other watches, the Apple Watch’s notifications can feel like a gentle tap on your arm to let you know that you need to pick up some milk on the drive home. Those notifications are designed to help you use your watch with just a glance, not a swipe. That shift makes the Apple Watch less of a product and more of — well, a part of you.
There are still plenty of obstacles Apple has to overcome in order to truly make their first smartwatch a seamless part of everyday living. For instance, if you’re a runner who wants to keep your running gear as minimal as possible, you’re out of luck — without bringing along your iPhone for GPS support, the Apple Watch is basically a spot on your wrist for you to gather $300 worth of sweat.
And even with your iPhone on hand, you might feel frustrated as you try to navigate through any apps; inexplicably, Apple decided to force users to sacrifice valuable space on their watch face for the same bloatware apps that usually end up secreted away in folders on our phones (looking at you, Stocks). To conserve its one-day battery life, the screen shuts off when it isn’t being used, which is fine — but the watch is inconsistent about turning back on when it’s needed. And once you’re on that home screen, selecting your desired app might take some expert-level pointing; the more apps you have, the smaller your margin is for error when your fingertip comes crashing down.
For fitness aficionados, the Apple Watch does not match the offerings of similar smartwatches at more reasonable price points ($300 is for the 38mm model with the cheapest bands). And even for people who want a smartphone that’ll truly integrate seamlessly into their lives, the Apple Watch isn’t quite there yet. But if you’re a dedicated Apple fan who is willing to work through some growing pains, the Apple Watch may be worth the experience — and the bragging rights.
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