So yesterday Apple held its Spring Forward event. And officially launched the Apple Watch. It comes in 3 pricing tiers. Cheap, Expensive and if you need to ask, you cannot afford it. Or Apple Sport from £299-£339, Apple Steel from £479 to £949 and Apple Watch Edition from £8,000 to £13,500. You can also buy extra straps and a spare charger for the Apple Watch.
The included apps by Apple are messages, phone, mail, calendar, activity, workout, maps, passbook, siri, music, camera remote, remote, weather, stocks, photos, alarm, stopwatch, timer, world clock and settings. The Apple Watch allows you to take calls, see your notifications, respond to them, share your heart beat, download third party apps and a whole lot more. The US version has Apple Pay app included.
If you want to learn more about the Apple Watch click here – http://www.apple.com/uk/watch/
So what do I think based on the Spring Forward Event and all the information released on the web.
Pros – Beautifully designed watch, stunning looking apps and also stunning third party apps. Likely to get launched with tons of apps and likely the best watch app eco system from day 1. Just look at some of the apps here – http://www.apple.com/uk/watch/app-store-apps/ .Price points. Different prices depending on your budget and then a mega expensive version for exclusivity. I have no qualms with any of Apple’s pricing models as the Sport version looks superb and is the cheapest. Of course you do need an iPhone. If you want to know more about the finishes, Apple produces a number of videos – http://www.apple.com/uk/watch/films/ . The taptic feedback system is a clever idea, as is all the customisable watch faces/options. The heart beat sharing is cool. The hardware is gorgeous for a smartwatch. Phone calls on the watch don’t have to be just via bluetooth as the watch also connects via wifi, meaning you phone can be anywhere in the house and connect to the watch, so long as its connected to the same wifi network.
Cons – Dreadful battery life of only 18 hours. There is a powersave mode to help keep the watch alive until you get home to recharge, so at least in this mode you can still use it as a watch. Untested in real world for reliability. You need to own an iPhone 5 or later, so if you had a iPhone 4S which is only 2.5 years old, you would have to upgrade your iPhone to a newer model.
So based on all my current experience using many wearables (see my reviews on wearables, index, reviews), my main concern is its battery life. This is not good enough based on what Apple declared as all day battery life equalling 18 hours. Secondly, all these apps and services – the more you have on the Apple Watch the worse the battery life will be. Plus, it is likely the watch will drain your iPhone battery too. Also, it is trying to be everything for everyone. Maybe the smartphone is dead, and the new smartphone will be on your wrist. But seriously, if I want to check items out, the iPhone has a much better and larger screen.
I will reserve further judgement until I have seen and used the Apple Watch myself. But I stand by my thoughts for now. I also asked myself how many people actually wear watches now? I used to years ago, but now use my phone to check the time. Well that was the case, but now I can use my FitBit Charge HR if required.
What do you think about the Watch?
Update – Apple has released a new battery page for the Apple Watch – http://www.apple.com/watch/battery.html – All-day battery life is based on 18 hours with the following use: 90 time checks, 90 notifications, 45 minutes of app use, and a 30-minute workout with music playback from Apple Watch via Bluetooth, over the course of 18 hours. Battery life varies by use, configuration, and many other factors; actual results will vary.Talk Time Test -Up to 3 hours. Hmmm. Dreadful as I first thought.
And one last thing. Apple choose 10th April as the day pre-orders go live, the same day Samsung launches its Samsung Galaxy S6. Coincidence?