Is the Apple Watch the Smart Watch You’ve Been Waiting for?
After other companies released several iterations of their respective smartwatches and after many iWatch rumors, Apple finally unveiled its first ever wearable device. The device expected to stimulate the smartwatch market is finally out, revealed in the grand tradition of Apple product announcements. Does it live up to the hype? It is going to shake the wearables market? examine the different features and aspects of this new Apple device and decide if Apple’s effort is what will bring vigor to the smartwatch product category.
There has been some confusion with the name of Apple’s wrist-worn smart device. Fans and observers noticed how the staple “i” prefix was replaced by the Apple logo in the visuals for the product reveal. Many thought that the Apple logo was to be read as the “i” in the conventional Apple naming. Alas, Apple apparently abandoned the “i” prefix at least for the watch. Some say this is because Swatch may lodge formal complaint since “iWatch” sounds very close to “iSwatch,” a product of the world’s largest watch maker that has been in existence for years now.
Anyway, going back to the more important details, the official page for the Apple Watch provides a comprehensive presentation of the device, from athe design to the features. To sum up the details presented in that page, the watch will be available in three different varieties. There’s the standard Apple Watch, the Apple Watch Sport, and the high end Apple Watch Edition (yes, it’s oddly called “Apple Watch Edition”). Apple claims that the Apple Watch is their most personal device yet.
The standard Apple Watch has a stainless steel body, sapphire glass protection, and replaceable bands. The Sport version comes with anodized aluminium cases in silver or space grey, strengthened Ion-X glass (more on this below), and colorful hard-wearing bands. The “Apple Watch Edition,” on the other hand, features 18K gold cases, sapphire crystal protection, and sophisticated bands and closures.
Specs and Features
Apple brags about using “revolutionary new technologies” in their smartwatch so the specs and features are definitely worth examining. First of all, the watch is available in two sizes: a 38 mm and 42 mm version (referring to the display height). They have different sizes but they mostly have the same internals. The display is rated as a “Retina” display so you can expect a resolution of over 320ppi. The device has a custom S1 SIP (system in package) chip. The sensors embedded include an accelerometer and built-in heart rate sensor. For connectivity, the watch has Wi-Fi support but only limited to 802.11 b/g. It also comes with GPS. The device supports MagSafe wireless charging.
Just like other smartwatches, Apple’s watch does not only tell time. It also serves as a stopwatch, provides weather updates, displays stock quotes, and presents various other types of information in a personalizable way. Expectedly, it also provides alerts or notifications for messages and calls (as linked with an iPhone 5, 5C, 5s, 6, and 6 Plus ). Text messages can be read directly through the watch. Likewise, calls can be answered through the watch although they can be seamlessly transferred to the phone immediately, especially when the battery is already low. Additionally, the watch can serve as a fitness tracker with its pre-installed fitness app and related sensors. Also, Siri is on board so users can enjoy having their iOS virtual assistant right on their wrists.
As a device used for telling the time, Apple touts their watch to be “incredibly precise.” It is said to be using multiple technologies complementing the iPhone tech to be able to keep time within 50 milliseconds of the definitive global time standard. For travelers, It can also adjust to local time.
For the controls, Apple introduces what they call the “digital crown,” which is said to make it easier to control the watch with its relatively small display. The rotatable digital crown can do a number of actions including the zooming in and out of images and the scrolling through lists or items on the display. It also serves as a home key (pressing it brings you to the home screen).
The Sport variant of the Apple watch comes with a display protected by Ion X glass. This glass is an ion-strengthened glass particularly used for the Sport variant to provide added protection.
Moreover, Apple’s smart watch also features “Force Touch.” This is a technology that makes the display sensitive to the amount of force being applied on it. It involves the use of an array of electrodes around the display. This makes the device capable of distinguishing a tap and a press.
Is It the Smart Watch You’ve Been Waiting for?
Well, the answer to this question will certainly vary depending on personal preferences. Loyal Apple fans will most likely think it is already the best smart watch. The more pragmatic potential buyers, however, will be skeptical. For one, the battery life leaves much to be desired. According to reports, it will require daily charging. Even the design is not met with enthusiasm as people in the fashion industry appear to be divided over it. The features of the watch are typical of Apple’s efforts but the battery life seems to create a major constraint.
Hopefully, Apple can still do some tweaks, adjustments, and additions to make the official Apple Watch better than what was announced. While the recently revealed specs may be enough to please loyal Apple fans, they are not that appealing to others who have seen better specs and features in other smart watches, especially in terms of battery life.