On Sunday I got to try on an Apple Watch. Two in fact, one was the stainless steel Watch with the stainless steel link strap, the other was the space grey Sport Watch with a black rubbery strap. I didn’t try on the Watch Edition as I don’t like the look of the gold casing. That and the prices START at £8000.
The Watch is beyond my budget too, clocking in at around £900, but ohhh it’s a thing of beauty, and that’s just the strap. As it was slide onto my rest if felt reassuringly solid but the strap needed adjustment. A few pushes of some buttons on the strap itself and out pop some of the links before it’s all snapped back together. The clasp itself closes in two parts and sits wonderfully smooth against the wrist.
If I had the money I’d buy that purely for the small moment of joy that strap would bring everyday.
But I don’t, so the Sport Edition is where my budget lies. Sort of. This is a very ‘luxury’ item that I’m still not entirely sure I’ll buy. I really don’t have £400 to throw at this thing… do I?
In the display cases the difference between the brushed aluminium (think MacBook case) casing of the Sport Edition doesn’t appeal, especially as it sits next to the shiny chrome of the polished steel Watch, so for me it will be the space gray option which is essential a dark grey matt finish. I might plump for an alternative strap in the future, the classic clasp leather strap was nice.
As for the ten minutes I was wearing it my initial impressions are that it is physically smaller than I thought it would be, I have watches with bigger faces at the moment. It doesn’t stand proud of the wrist in an obvious way, and it feels quite light, comfortable and very wearable for every day use.
The demo mode showed me some of the screens and, importantly, let me experience the haptic feedback, gentle vibrations, tiny pulses to alert you to a notification. It’s very subtle, yet noticeable and feels, I have to say it, organic. It doesn’t feel like a metal device tapping you on the wrist. It’s hard to describe but I think it works.
An article I read said it took them almost a year to work through the various iterations for those haptic interactions to get the right intensity, sensation and duration. Attention to detail that seems to have paid off.
Of course this is all from only 10 mins wearing the watch, the rest of the time I played with one of the demo models setup on a stand so you can try the scrollable crown, touch the screen, and interact with it directly.
The screen is incredible and was surprisingly usable, even with my big fat fingers I was able to fire up the Music app and select a track from an album. It’ll take some getting used to of course but it’s a lot more usable than I thought it would be on first appearances.
So what to do?
I know that the next version will be thinner, have a better screen, longer battery life and so on, but part of me is already thinking of life without dragging my phone out of my pocket every two minutes.
I didn’t think I’d be that excited by the Apple Watch but I think I am. I thought it would be CarPlay that would be what I wanted to look to get next but I have to say I’m very tempted to take the plunge now.
I’ve always been happy to be an early adopter.