The Apple Watch was announced last year and people were confused about its practicality. Now that the Apple Watch is officially available to order, reviews are pouring in.
So what do people think about Apple’s first major new hardware release in years? We’ve rounded up some of the reviews online to give you a look at what people are saying:
The New York Times:
“What’s more, unlike previous breakthrough Apple products, the Watch’s software requires a learning curve that may deter some people. There’s a good chance it will not work perfectly for most consumers right out of the box, because it is best after you fiddle with various software settings to personalize use. Indeed, to a degree unusual for a new Apple device, the Watch is not suited for tech novices” (Source)
Apple has always focused on making its software and hardware as user-friendly as possible. At times, Apple even seems to take this approach too far by making some customization settings un-editable. The Apple Watch seems to require more time to setup than any other Apple hardware or software released thus far.
The Verge Calls it “Kind of Slow”
The Verge published an extensive review of the Apple Watch after days of testing. One of the first things mentioned in the review is the following quote:
“Let’s just get this out of the way: the Apple Watch, as I reviewed it for the past week and a half, is kind of slow. There’s no getting around it…Sometimes it’s just unresponsive for a few seconds while it thinks and then it comes back.”
The Verge sums up its review with the following:
“There’s no question that the Apple Watch is the most capable smartwatch available today. It is one of the most ambitious products I’ve ever seen; it wants to do and change so much about how we interact with technology. But that ambition robs it of focus: it can do tiny bits of everything, instead of a few things extraordinarily well. For all of its technological marvel, the Apple Watch is still a smartwatch, and it’s not clear that anyone’s yet figured out what smartwatches are actually for.”
CNET has long been accused of being one of the most Apple-biased websites on the internet. They seem to gush over every new Apple product release while laughing at Android devices like they’re for poor people.
So how did these noted Android lovers like the fancy new Apple Watch?
CNET loved most things about the Apple Watch. The only thing they didn’t really like about the Apple Watch was the pathetic battery life, which barely lasts for one full 10 hour day of use. Other than that problem, CNET summed up its review like this:
“We’re still two weeks away from Day One of the Apple Watch. It’s already got tremendous potential, lots of software, and beautiful design. I like wearing the Apple Watch, and it might be my favorite smartwatch…if its battery life lasted beyond one day.”
CNET did have some trepidation over the $350 to $400 price tag, which means the Apple Watch is priced at twice the price as most other smart watch competitors. CNET claims that you shouldn’t buy the gold edition because it’s too expensive (it’s only $10,000+!) and you should also avoid the overpriced Apple bands. Otherwise, CNET believes that $400 is a fair price to pay for a watch that costs less than $50 to make.
The Wall Street Journal Doesn’t Like It
The Wall Street Journal echoed the sentiment of many early Apple Watch reviews: it’s an okay device, but it’s still a smart watch. And I still don’t know what smart watches are for or why I should pay $400 for one:
“People who can identify it immediately ask if I like it, and if they should buy one.
I’ve told most: No.
“Wait, what?” you ask. “I thought you liked this thing!” I do. But every time I gaze down to admire it, I start seeing how the next one will look better.”
The Wall Street Journal talked about how this edition of the Apple Watch will look outdated and out-of-style almost immediately, and that users would be better off waiting for the next version.
Bloomberg Calls It the World’s Best Smartwatch
Bloomberg called the Apple Watch an “epic product release” and claims it’s “the world’s best smartwatch.” The reviewer praised features like the following:
“I’m in a meeting with 14 people, in mid-sentence, when I feel a tap-tap-tap on my wrist. I stop talking, tilt my head, and whip my arm aggressively into view to see the source of the agitation. A second later, the small screen on my new Apple Watch beams to life with a very important message for me: Twitter has suggestions for people I should follow.”
Yes, that sounds very useful. Others have complained about getting Trivia Crack notifications and other spam on their watch when they’re doing something important.
In spite of these problems, the reviewer still concludes the review with the following:
“So Apple has succeeded in its first big task with its watch. It made something that lives up to the company’s reputation as an innovator and raised the bar for a whole new class of devices.”
Conclusion: What’s the Verdict on the Apple Watch?
The Apple Watch is Apple’s first new major product release in 5 years. Perhaps more importantly, it’s the first major product release since the death of Steve Jobs.
The Apple Watch seems to have ignored some of the things that have made Apple the most valuable company in the world: like fast hardware speeds and easy-to-use software.
Most reviewers like the design and the aesthetics. Most reviewers, however, still aren’t sure how to use the Apple Watch or why they need any smart watch for that matter.