The long awaited Apple Watch finally materialized at today’s iPhone 6 launch. It will be available in 2015 in three different versions, and it’s incredibly dull-looking.
After so many years of rumors and hopes, you would’ve expected Apple to launch an otherworldly smartwatch. If any of those design concepts that we’ve seen in the past years had been taken into consideration by Apple designers, we probably wouldn’t be looking now at a wearable that feels anything but special. The square face is complemented by a stainless steel, rubber or leather case, depending on the version that people will want to buy. The selling point of the watch is the Digital Crown that enables wearers to zoom in and scroll, even though I’m not sure why anyone would ever want to perform any of those actions on such a small display. Swiping used to work perfectly fine for scrolling long texts, and zooming… well, looking at pictures on a minuscule display is pretty dumb.
Apart from the Sport version, which features strengthened Ion-X glass, the other two come with a sapphire crystal face. Lots and lots of swappable bands will be sold as accessories, most probably at steep prices that the iSheep will pay blindly. Keep in mind that the Apple Watch will start at $349, price that makes it one of, if not the most expensive smartwatches around. Qualcomm’s Toq smartwatch had the same price at launch, but that company quickly shaved $50 off when it realized it won’t sell as expected. I wouldn’t be surprised if the Sport version were the cheapest, with the others costing something in the vicinity of $500.
The Apple Watch packs a heartbeat sensor, something that has become rather common in smartwatches and smart wristbands. Of course, this feature is presented by the company as a never-seen-before innovation. The Workout app is able to determine whether you’re standing, exercising or running, but then, any fitness smartwatch app can do that with the help of the device’s built-in accelerometer.
“The next chapter in Apple’s story,” as Tim Cook named this wearable, was showcased with a lot of confidence by the company’s CEO: “We love to make new products that improve people’s lives. We love to make things that allow our users to make things that they could never have imagined. We think it will redefine what people expect from its category.”
I have yet to discover the perfect smartwatch, as neither Apple, nor its competitors have shown something mindblowing. The Android Wear watches are closer to perfection, but their terrible battery life will determine a lot of people to pass on them.