In this Apple Watch Review of 2016, we’re going to take a deep look at newest Apple Product. Actually when a new gadget comes to the market, everybody resists against it and looks at it with some skepticism. However, when Apple introduces that same product, everybody becomes sure that it has a bright future. Stay with us!
With all doubts and skepticism against practicality of smartwatches, Cupertinoians released Apple watch to the market which received incredible welcome at the beginning. Apple Watch Review of 2016 shows a deep-dive review of the newest family member of Apple as well as answers the question why we should trust this new smartwatch.
In 2010 was the last time when Apple added a new gadget to its family redefining tablet concept. That was the first appearance of iPad on Steve Jobs’ hands. Now, 7 years after wearable gadgets became popular, Cupertinoians have introduced their new gadget called Apple Watch. Before that, well-known companies such as Sony, Samsung, Motorola and LG released diverse smartwatches to the market.
Google even introduced Android Wear which helps Android smartphone manufacturers produce and develop smartwatches compatible with Android easier than before. Although these smartwatches had many features and improved day by day, they failed to succeed in the market. But the story with Apple is different. The power of Apple brand is so huge that sale experts predict thirty six million dollars of sales for the first year of Apple Watch release, even though its battery life is too low!
In fact, two years after first release of smartwatches, its idea is still raw and it hasn`t matured yet. Absolutely great sales of Apple Watch make it difficult for other smartwatches like Android Wear or Pebble Smartwatch. But on the other hand, it helps to bring smartwatches in everyday use as well as turn it into an essential gadget what can be good news for other smartwatch manufacturers.
Design and Build Quality
Apple Watch has been released in three different versions: Apple Watch, Apple Watch Sport and Apple Watch Edition. The only difference between them is about their body material and band. These smartwatches are available in two sizes: 38mm for women and 42mm for men. The 38mm version of this smartwatch has very small display which, in my opinion, isn’t very suitable to work with even for women.
The price varies from 249$ to 380$ for different versions and it depends on size, display, band, etc. The first model we are going to review is 38mm Apple Watch Sport with a simple band which is the cheapest one. Apple 42mm MediumWatch with its leather band has the highest price.
The good news is that bands of Apple Watch are replaceable what lets you give a new appearance to your smartwatch by replacing its band in the future. Materials used in Apple Watch are very good in terms of quality; the design of its aluminum body is perfect and in addition to high resistance, it feels really good on the user’s wrist.
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Front view of this smartwatch is simple and as you see its display has rounded corners. There are no buttons on the display – its control buttons are placed on the right edge.
The device body is made of aluminum and is fully integrated with the display which contributes to its ergonomics. Bands get attached by sliding into upper and lower edge of Apple Watch. We can see a speaker on the left edge, closer to the back of the device. The microphone is placed right under it.
There’s also a button called Digital Crown which is actually the main button of this smartwatch.
The circular shape of this button makes it very similar to a normal watch. A push-button that is called Side Button is placed right under Digital Crown. Press it once and you`ll see the list of your friends, press it twice – and activate Apple Pay, press and hold – and the watch will turn on or off.
Digital Crown button is the most functional button of Apple Watch. By pressing it, you can see home screen, pressing it twice gives you access to the last app that you run. Siri will be activated if you press and hold Digital Crown button, and finally when you rotate it, zooming, scrolling or adjusting setting options will be available depending on which part of User Interface you are in or what app you`ve run.
Heart rate sensor is on the back panel of the body; your pulse will be measured through your hand’s wrist and then your real time heart rate will be shown.
Since Apple Watch has been released in different versions, each one of these versions has different weight. The weight of Apple Watch depends on its dimension and body material. It starts from 25g for 38mm aluminum sport model to the heaviest one which is 42mm Edition model with gold body and weighs 69g.
The weight of diverse bands of this smartwatch varies from 37g (black band for sport model) to 75g (steel band of Apple Watch).
Because of Apple Watch design, you won’t feel any heaviness when you put it on your hand’s wrist; so it must be said that ergonomics of this smartwatch is on top level. Personally, I prefer circular shape watches; however, if it had a circular shape, its performance may have been worse.
Apple Watch supports Bluetooth 4.0 (Low Energy) and its connection with iPhone is based on Bluetooth. Also, for system connection it uses Wi-Fi 802.11b/g/n. This smartwatch is IPX7 certified which means it’s waterproof down to 1 meter under water for 30 minutes. So in addition to its high resistance against rainfall, it’ll be probably safe if it falls into water down to 1 meter.
Apple Watch display is high quality. Developers used an IPS panel with density of 290 PPI (pixels per inch) for this product which gave its display high brightness and resolution. The black color is deep and white color is clear and precise on this display which results in an excellent contrast of image on its screen.
Brightness is probably the most important thing for smartwatch display as it lets users see displayed content in direct sunlight clearly, and Apple Watch is awesome at it.
There is no need to press any buttons to see the time and the watch face. You just need to turn your wrist towards your face and then the display will turn on and then off automatically when you take it away from your face.
This display also supports Force Touch feature which means the pressure that comes to the display through your finger will be measured and depending on that, different commands will run. For example, if you press the display firmly, you`ll delete all notifications or change the watch face.
Home Page in Apple Watch displays time which is the first and basic function of any watch.
Apple provides various watch faces; users can download them and change the appearance of their watch according to their preference. However, these watch faces are offered only by Apple, and third developers aren’t able to design and release watch faces.
Apple Smartwatch Capabilities and How to Use Them
In terms of how it works, there’s no big difference between Apple Watch and other smartwatches we’ve seen before. The main features of this smartwatch is displaying notifications and monitoring sport activities which are available in most of other smartwatches too. But in addition to these features, Apple applied some special features to make its watch unique.
To set time, you should use touch screen and side buttons. We all are used to swiping down to see notifications; it’s the same in Apple Watch, and by doing this, you’ll have access to notifications.
You can read each notification by tapping it, and remove it by dragging it to the left. As we’ve mentioned before, you can remove all notifications at once by pressing and holding your finger on the display.
Some people think that using smartwatches decreases their smartphone’s battery life because it’s always connected to their smartphone via Bluetooth, but that’s not right. In fact, this wearable gadget uses low energy Bluetooth and does not take battery energy a lot. Even studies show that using a smartwatch can increase your smartphone’s battery life up to 20%. When all notifications can be seen on the smartwatch, you don’t need to take your iPhone out of your pocket and turn its large display on, so the time that your iPhone display is on will be reduced and as a result, battery life of your smartphone will increase.
One of the issues of smartwatches is their vibration engine. Vibration engine should have enough power to draw your attention to the watch. On the other hand, if vibration is too strong, it’ll be annoying for you and even others may notice vibration on your hand wrist! Apple’s performance is excellent in this field; Apple designed vibration feels like a small shake on your wrist.
One of the health features in this smartwatch is that when you sit and don’t move for a long time, you’ll get a notification from Apple Watch to stand up and walk a bit. This feature can be very useful for tech savvies (like me!:D) who spend a lot of time behind their computers without movement.
Apple Watch depends on iPhone so much that without iPhone it`s just a simple watch. You need to use iPhone to install and arrange apps. Apple Watch apps aren’t separated from iPhone; they are actually part of installed apps on iPhone.
Only some apps in App Store are available for Apple Watch. Of course, most widely used and popular apps are available for this smartwatch. When you want to install an app on iPhone, you can see whether it’s compatible with smartwatch in description. Moreover, changing the arrangement of Apple Watch apps is only available through iPhone, and you just can`t rearrange them directly on Apple Watch.
Most of Apple Watch apps run fast, but some of them have lags and run with a delay because of lack of optimization. It seems that this problem will be solved if developers optimize them. UI of Apple Watch has 60fps (frame per second), so movement between different parts of user interface is easy and fast what makes user experience more enjoyable.
Here is a list of famous apps which are available for Apple Watch: Yahoo, Camera Plus, Accuweather, Nike+, Instagram, Twitter, OverNote, Runtastic, TripAdvisor, etc .
OS of Apple Watch is WatchOS which is based on iOS. Its new, second version has developed by Apple as well.
Battery life of Apple watch isn’t better than in other smartwatches, but it’s not worse either. At the best scenario and if it’s not used much during the day, it should be charged every night. That’s not easy to accept charging another gadget while we have many other devices that should be charged everyday like smartphone, tablet, laptop, camera, power bank, etc. Apple announced that battery charge of Apple Watch is enough for 18 hours in daily use which seems to be realistic, but if you use it more, get more notifications or turn its screen on more often, you’ll have to charge it two or even three times during the day.
Apple Watch charges through connectors that are embedded on the back panel of the device. There’s no port for a cable and the only way to charge it is to place it on Charging Dock.
It’s very easy to use, but its appearance isn’t as attractive. Fortunately, its full charging process doesn’t take a long time and charges up to 80% in 1.5 hours and reaches 100% in 2 hours.
Apple Watch is the first step of Apple in wearable gadgets. Although wearable gadgets and especially smartwatches haven’t turned into people`s basic need yet, good welcome of Apple Watch shows that this product has a great potential and maybe can get even more success in the future.
The first version of Apple Watch is a high quality product with appropriate ergonomics perfectly applied to Apple platform. Its detailed design and variations which make you able to choose between different models, dimensions as well as different bands and body materials deserved Apple Watch good success among users.
However, as we’ve mentioned, it hasn`t turned into a basic need yet and you`ll do pretty well without it. We are not used to charging our watch every night, but if you’re willing to buy Apple Watch, you should gain this habit and charge your smartwatch just like your smartphone, tablet and laptop. Apple Watch battery is its main weakness and it seems, Apple should focus on improving it in its next versions.
In total, if you have iPhone and would like to have a smartwatch too, without a doubt, the best choice would be Apple Watch.
- High Build Quality
- Lightweight and comfortable
- Suitable Display
- Replaceable Band
- Low Battery Charge
- High Price
Images Courtesy of Zoomit
Thanks for such a great review! It seems like a really great watch with great features. I definitely understand the vibration issue, my husband has a smart watch and if he’s not wearing it and it vibrates it’s so noisy, it’s louder than his phone!
The only problem I have with this watch (and apple in general) is that everything is so integrated into each other so in order for all their products (watch, phone, ipad, ipod, laptop/comp) to function best you have to only own apple products. On the other hand, Samsung works great with many other brands.
Hi Batya and thanks for your comment. Yes, you’re right, good or bad, Apple has created its own land many years ago, actually from the time that it started to the war with Microsoft! ) But the positive side is that they offer really high quality products. Apple Watch 2 is newest series of Apple smartwatch which continues its success of first series.
There is nothing, absolutely nothing that can compete with Apples’ technology. I’ve been saving to buy an Apple watch for my husband for his birthday. But you know what, after reading your amazing review I think I might get one for myself too 🙂 I hope I’ll manage the tech part and it won’t be too complicated for me though. Are they easy to operate? Thanks Hannah
Hi Hannah and thanks for your comment. Yes it’s absolutely easy to work with Apple watch. Actually Apple knows that age range of their customers are different from 10 years to 90 years old so they always try to keep simplicity on their new products.
As an Apple fan, I was intrigued by these watches but it took me a while to purchase one. Once I got the “bug,” I had to have one! However, someone asked me the other day about whether it was worth it or not…and it got me thinking, “is it really?” I mean, what do I use it for? I look at the time, discreetly check my emails in meetings (haha), and get texts on my wrists. I’m curious about what makes it worth it to others.
My answer to the person who asked me was that I wasn’t sure since I don’t feel I use it to full advantage.
Thank you Marlena for your comment. This is what many other people think too but the fact is that this is technology and it’s going to be like smartphone in the next couple of the years. Of course you may not need it now but what about the future? And what if it’s not easy to live without a smartwatch! 😉 Of course I haven’t one yet but according to past experience, I guess they’re going to be famous more and more in the future. Thanks for sharing your opinion again )
This was a really nice review, with reliable cons and pros, great pictures and easy-to-read specification table!
I don’t have an iPhone but if I had I would for sure have bought one 🙂
Thank you Jan and happy to see that you enjoyed reading it )
What a great review. I’ve been toying with the idea of getting one of these watches but I keep worrying that I’ll buy one only to find out that the new watch is going to be released. Your post, full of amazing pics has definitely swayed me towards getting my hands on on of these beautiful watches. Great post.
Thank you Jon ) Nice to hear that it was useful for you. Yes they’re great widgets and are going to be popular more and more everyday. Go ahead and pick up the best one for yourself )