Not content with dominating the premium smartphone market in the last quarter of 2014 with the top-selling handset, Apple is now making a play for the wearables market with their audacious new high-tech timepiece, the Apple Watch.
Just like Apple’s iPhone range, the Apple Watch is a luxury product. You can expect the same premium level of design and construction as you get from their smartphone range, naturally with a price tag to match. It’s beautiful, impressive and practical.
However, like any grand attempt to make an impact on an already established market, some compromises have also been made.
The question now is whether the Apple Watch will suit your lifestyle and be worth your money, or simply wind up a talking piece that doesn’t live up to expectations.
Here’s our rundown on the pros and cons to consider.
Reasons to buy
• Device continuity – if you use other Apple devices, the Apple Watch will seamlessly tie them all together into one easy-to-use gadget.
• Exclusivity – Apple has partnered with many app developers to offer a superior experience for popular apps on the Apple Watch.
• Premium product – inventing superior metal alloys, redefining the look of the smartwatch and developing a dedicated version of iOS are just some of the steps Apple took to make the Apple Watch stand out as a luxury item.
• Mobile alerts – never miss a phone call, email or text message again with phone notifications sent straight to your wrist.
• Health tracking – a core feature, this smartwatch takes a complete portrait of your biometric variables.
• Options – choose a size and style to match your life. Two sizes (38mm and 42mm) are available in three model options (standard, sport and gold) with various wristbands.
• Connectivity – communication is over Bluetooth and Wi-Fi, regardless of where your other devices are in the house.
• All-in-one – health tracking, communications and device control form the complete Apple Watch experience, giving you access to all things digital from your wrist.
• Siri – yes, Siri is now at your beck and call from your wrist. No more taking out your phone to chat with your virtual personal assistant.
• Digital Touch – got a friend or family member with an Apple Watch? You can send your heartbeat, a simple sketch or message them anywhere in the world.
• Wrist calls – live out your spy movie fantasies when you make and receives phone calls on your smartwatch.
Reasons not to buy
• No iPhone, no dice – If you don’t use a model iPhone 5 or later, you can forget about buying an Apple Watch. It’s simply not worth it. The device could tether to your home wireless network at home but the apps designed to work with an iPhone would be useless.
• Battery life – like your smartphone, your new Apple Watch will require daily trips to the power adapter to recharge.
• Price – no matter how you spin it, the price ranges from expensive ($499) to prohibitively expensive for the Apple Watch Edition (starting at $14,000), some models costing the same as a small car.
• Privacy – all of your iPhone notifications are visible for all and sundry to see on your wrist: learn to use those privacy settings fast.
• No GPS or mobile service – you will need to pair this watch with an iPhone to access location tracking and internet services, like email.
• Redundancy – don’t expect your new Apple Watch to last as long as a traditional timepiece. Be prepared to upgrade to a newer model in less than five years.
• Water – hold onto that waterproof sports watch you bought to track your swim sessions: the Apple Watch is only splash resistant.
• No sleep tracking – you can’t wear the watch while it charges at night, so forget sleep tracking.
• Digital crown – the side-located dial, or crown, will take some getting used to for those who have never done anything more than tap and pinch to navigate on a digital device.
Apple Watch pre-orders start April 10 from the Apple website. The Apple Watch then starts shipping on April 24.
Will you buy the new Apple Watch? Let us know your thoughts below.