The smartwatch is an odd one. It's new territory for the watch market which has been around for hundreds of years unlike smartphones or tablets. We still don't know what smartwatches are for or what we should do with them but it's exciting to see where they go.
The Apple Watch is not the first smartwatch but it's probably the most anticipated. The only question is has Apple delivered a premium quality product that we've come to expect from them.
The packaging for the watch is typical Apple style - very minimal and very white. It comes in two boxes. There is a main cardboard outer box which is similar to what you'll find with other Apple products. Inside is another box that is made from a very high quality plastic that I haven't seen used before in Apple packaging. If you've bought other watches before it will be recognisable.
For those with Sport Watch you'll most likely get the long rectangular box instead of the one you see here.
I ended up going for the 38mm Space Black Stainless Steel version which is just behind the Watch Edition (gold model) and costs a whopping £899. My main reasons for going with this one were for the more traditional watch-like appearance such as the use of stainless steel and a link bracelet. It also features a sapphire crystal protected display which is scratch resistant and very strong.
Every model of the Apple Watch is charged through a little pad that uses Apple's MagSafe and inductive charging to charge the device. It snaps into place perfectly every time with the use of magnets. Why Apple haven't brought tech like this over to the iPhone or iPad is beyond me.
Apple says on it's website that it takes nearly nine hours to cut the links for a single strap. It's one of the best link bracelets I've ever worn. The quality of the finish, the feel of the steel and strength is absolutely sublime.
Taking links out of the bracelet was an absolute breeze. There no need for any tools. You can simply use the end of your fingernail and press down inside of a link and it comes apart. Super easy and very fast.
You'll even find a pocket in the box where you can store unused links. Nice touch.
The face of the watch is made from sapphire crystal and it is amazing how scratch resistant it is. Unlike our smartphones, a watch is nearly always out going up against the elements. I've dropped and scraped my watch more times than I can count yet it still looks as new as the day I got it.
It's of course very comfortable as any watch should be. But is it pretty? I'm not so sure. The design of it looks great but it doesn't look as pretty as some other watches out there. It actually looks like a mini first-gen iPhone on your wrist.
The only smartwatch that I think looks pretty is the Moto 360. The rounded display is much more traditional and looks more natural on the wrist.
The screen on it is fantastic. It's been designed so that it blends perfectly into the bezel, you can't see the screen at all when it's off unless you put it under bright light. The colours are very nicely saturated and it has retina resolution so everything looks super crisp.
The Digital Crown as Apple likes to call it, is the main button on the watch. There is another button underneath it but it is only used for accessing friends. The Digital Crown can turn and click in. It's a good way to scroll and zoom in on apps as the screen is way to small for pinch-to-zoom.
One major problem with the Apple Watch though is that it's not actually all that useful. It's pretty slow and one of the main reasons for that is that it streams apps from your iPhone, the apps themselves don't live on the watch. Apple did announce at WWDC that this will be changing and that apps will live on the watch itself to make it much faster but that's still a few months away.
There were only two useful apps I found on the watch and that was Maps and Uber. With Siri you can ask for directions and the Maps app starts giving you directions. With Uber you can call up a taxi with just one tap and it'll show you contextual information whilst on your journey such as current location and time left on your journey.
Like the first year of the iPad, the watch is still trying to work out what it's main use cases are.
It's pretty good when it comes to fitness if you're into running or cycling. But if you go to the gym and mainly do weights you will not find it useful at all really. It also bugs you every hour, telling you stand up and move about if you've sat still for a while. This can either be annoying or pretty useful, I personally like it, gets me up and moving.
Apple Pay is coming to the UK very soon which will hopefully make the watch much more useful. I'll be able to quickly pay for food and use the underground in London without ever having to get my wallet out.
Battery life is just right. It easily lasts more than a day but you will still need to charge it every night if you want to use it the next day.
If you're considering buying one I'd recommend waiting till the next model. The Apple Watch still needs some work and it's not all that useful. The next model should be much sleeker, the app store will be much more developed and there will hopefully many more useful features.
I'll admit I've even forgotten to wear it sometimes when leaving the house - I think that really sums up how important it is in my life.