Unless you’ve been living under a rock, you’ve probably heard about the Apple Smartwatch. In fact, you’ve probably seen this gadget on several wrists around town. The Apple Watch launched on last year following a TON of hype from industry experts, technology blogs and the press, as well as some pretty high expectations from consumers. So how well is it doing in terms of sales? That’s a pretty good question with a very vague answer. As USA Today reports, Apple senior vice-president Jeff Williams said that the sales to date have been “fantastic” but would not disclose any numbers. This is a big departure from the way the company bragged about its iPhone 6 and 6 Plus sales (over 10 million unit sold in the first weekend).
Now that this product has been on the market for a year, it’s time to cut through the crap and discuss if you really need yet another Apple device. If you’re a little tired of giving Apple all your money every time a new gadget comes out (iPhone, iPad, Mac Book Air, iPad mini…) you’re not alone. It’s getting to the point where our home looks like an Apple store, minus the genius bar. So is this watch going to transform your life? The verdict is still out, but as the reviews roll in, it’s clear that there are some undeniable pros to the Apple Watch, and some unfortunate cons. Here’s the breakdown of everything you need to know before you buy the Apple Watch.
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The Watch Is Beautifully Designed
Much like the other Apple products that have come before it, the Apple Watch is gorgeous to look at. It is sleek and simple, yet also very cool and modern. Depending on the band you choose it can look sporty, stylish, feminine, bold, casual or chic. As Farhad Manjoo wrote in The New York Times, the watch “looks quite smart, with a selection of stylish leather and metallic bands that make for a sharp departure from most wearable devices.”
It’s the Best Smart Watch Out There
While the Apple Watch might not be perfect (we’ll get to that), as far as smart watches go, it’s by far the best to date. Other brands have tried to succeed in the smart watch arena (the Sony SmartWatch, the Pebble Steel and the Samsung Gear Live, for example) but they have all fallen short in one way or another. All previous watches have felt like yet another device you need to carry around and manage, whereas the Apple Watch is an extension of your already existing digital life, and it aims to make your mobile world more accessible, not more complicated.
It’s Less Invasive Than a Phone
Sometimes whipping out your phone in the middle of a business meeting can seem rude. The Apple Watch is almost like an extension of your arm that also has the ability to keep you connected just with one glance. In fact, as US News reports, “the watch’s Glances feature lets people scroll through apps that relay information such as messages, sports scores, weather forecasts or news,” so can literally glance down and see everything you want to know.
It Can Be Synced with Your Phone, for a Seamless Transition
A huge pro is that your Apple Watch can synced with your Apple phone and your iCloud account, making the transition seamless and the syncing of information incredibly easy. You don’t need to start from scratch, as your contacts, settings, favorites, playlists, apps etc. will all be loaded and ready to go.
It’s Easier to Review Alerts and Stay on Top of Notifications
Arguably the biggest pro of the Apple Watch is the ability to receive notifications in a quick and convenient manner. According to a review on Forbes.com, “the real drive, of course, is in notifications, and the idea that the Apple Watch will see you use your smartphone less, because you have a second display you can triage notifications.”
It’s Not Exactly Cheap
If you are a watch collector then a few hundred dollars might not sound like a lot of money for a nice watch. But if you think of this watch as a digital device and not a piece of expensive jewelry, then yeah, it’s not cheap. The watches can range from $349 for the Apple Sport Watch, all the way up to $17,000 for the Edition version in rose gold. Oh, and those prices don’t include the bands, which also range (from $49 up to $449). No matter how you choose, you’re definitely paying some big bucks for a device that you’re not even sure you really need.
You Still Need to Have Your Phone with You
If you’re thinking that the Apple Watch is going to eliminate the need to carry your phone around at all times, you will be disappointed to know that your watch will actually only work if you have your phone on you as well. Because it is linked to your mobile device (which must be an iPhone 6 or 6 Plus), you will need to have both your phone and your watch if you want to make mobile calls or send text messages from the watch.
The Watch Doesn’t Have a Long Battery Life
Perhaps the biggest complaint about the Apple Watch is that the battery life is short, which means you need to charge the watch daily for it to work. And while it might seem like a no-brainer to regularly charge your phone, a watch can be easier to overlook. Other smart watches have longer battery lives, and here’s hoping that the next generation of the Apple Watch follows suit.
This Watch Will One Day be Obsolete
Like most modern mobile devices that are exciting and groundbreaking now, one day this Apple Smartwatch will be an old device with dated technology. While classic timepieces can be stylish forever and become collector’s editions that you keep and cherish, the Apple Watch will one day be an old gadget you toss in the back of a drawer or you recycle. If you like playing around with the latest and greatest technology, you’ll enjoy this watch regardless of its potential lifespan. But for many people, it’s a hefty price tag for a device you don’t really need and that you won’t use for the long haul.