Apple Watch has been on the early adopters’ wrists for a month now. With mixed reviews popping up on the web every day we gathered some of the most relevant to answer a simple question: should the fashion crowd buy it now, wait for a new version or forget about it altogether?
As the first wearable to ever have such extensive exposure to the masses, Apple Watch has a lot to prove. Expected like the Messiah, the smartwatch has already thousands of reviews about it. But who should we believe? Between everything that has been written on the Watch, we gathered some of the most relevant reviews to help you decide whether it’s worth paying at least $349 to get it on your wrist, now or later. With all sorts of design and technical issues, you might want to wait before you spend your money on it.
MIRROR, MIRROR ON THE WALL, WHO’S THE PRETTIEST OF THEM ALL?
38 options. That makes a pretty big change among Apple’s product designs. If you think about it, they waited until the iPhone 5c to bring in some colour (and yet, we still wondered what they were thinking when they did that). Offering so many options for a single product is a quite a new thing for Apple but as the company is trying to position its smartwatch as a fashion item and luxury accessory, this abundance of choice makes sense. Fashion, after all, is about individualism and personal expression, so standing out of the crowd is a must. Proudly representing the female early adopter segment, when we looked at the available options, the only one that got our attention was the Apple Watch Sport all black that goes well with any outfit (although the Internet says the plastic band is not that resistant). That said, the majority of the team would rather spend the same amount of money on a Vivienne Westwood time piece.
THE TECHY BIT
Overall, the screen of the Apple Watch is said to be of excellent quality, although the 38mm size option (versus 42mm) makes the screen really tiny and difficult to navigate.
At the core of the watch is its processor, the Apple S1, which is said to be slow on occasions, depending on its usage. Reviews state it is especially tricky when using third-party apps. And even though the Apple Watch has multiple features – sensors, gyroscope, accelerometer and heart rate monitor – it is missing perhaps the most fundamental one: GPS.
Apple also advertised the watch as a device that would record your heart rate every ten minutes, but soon after users got their hands on it, they started noticing the readings were more sporadic. An updated information page on Apple’s website, first spotted by 9 to 5Mac, says the device “attempts to measure your heart rate every 10 minutes, but won’t record it when you’re in motion or your arm is moving.” The page was updated just couple of days ago, it previously made no mention that certain movements would prevent a passive heart rate reading… So this is “a feature, not a bug”. Perhaps ditch the heart rate monitoring for now and stick to sending your heart beat to loved ones.
As with almost every wearable on the market, the battery is a challenge and has been under a lot of criticism. Rather than going on about the issue again, we though we should raise another question and reconsider the usage of the Watch. As it relies on connection to an iPhone for much of its functionality, the more advanced things you can still do with your phone should probably be left there if you still want to be able to tell the time by the end of your day.
If you’re considering getting your hands on the Apple Watch and you’re also covered in tattoos you might want to think again. Users noticed that the device is not properly working on ink lovers and even darker coloured skin, causing inaccurate heart rate results and loss of connection. Following the complaints Apple admitted the problem on its support page. We’re guessing we won’t see Stephen James modeling the Watch any time soon.. *sigh*
THE WATCH IS NOT A PHONE
Even if you’re ready to snatch one you might have to wait until July at least. Why? According to the Wall Street Journal, one of the two suppliers Apple is working with for the Apple Watch produced faulty components, which means there are less Apple Watches to sell than what Apple provisioned for.
Waiting for the next version of the watch might be a sensible thing to do. We hope the company will address all current issues and find solutions to the occurring problems mentioned above. Of course, this is a learning process for Apple but it’s also quite an expensive gadget for consumers. And having in mind the device will have half of its current value in less than six months’ time, even the early adopters might opt in for a different luxury item.
This might be a small step for Apple but a big one for the wearable and fashion tech market. Apple Watch has set the primary codes for this new product category and, undoubtedly, making other companies rethink the way they build such products to match the mass market expectations and usages.
If you want to find out more about the future of fashion join us at #INTERLACED2015 on 3rd September. Early bird tickets are on sale now.