Apple Watch preorders start this Friday, and Apple has given a few reviewers the chance to play with the watch before it officially launches later this month on April 24. In general, the reviews have been positive, but reviewers seem to see it as more of a luxury than a necessity.
Here’s what critics are saying so far:
Yahoo Tech’s David Pogue found the watch most useful when using features like fitness tracking, taking phone calls hands-free, and Apple Pay. “You could argue that the Apple Watch helps to streamline your consciousness,” he wrote. “Once you’ve customised who and what is allowed to tap your wrist to get your attention, it truly does help to filter out the noise of the world that tries to reach you through your phone.” But, he was a little disappointed with the battery life, which lasted 18 hours rather than a full day. Still, he says it’s better than any other smartwatch on the market, although it’s a luxury more than a must-have gadget.
Re/code’s Lauren Goode, however, was satisfied with the Apple Watch’s battery life, although she noted that it didn’t last as long as other wearables. But, similar to Pogue, Goode agrees that it’s not a necessity, although Apple fans will probably love it. She writes: “But Apple Watch is not a cure-all, and it’s likely not a timepiece you will pass down to your grandkids. It is a well-designed piece of technology that will go through a series of software updates, until one day, years from now, when the lithium ion battery can no longer hold much of a charge and it won’t seem as valuable to you.”
The Wall Street Journal’s Joanna Stern found the watch most useful as a timepiece. “Going out with the watch has given me added confidence” she wrote. “It looks nice. The steel body and mesh band match almost any colour I wear — admittedly, mostly black.” But, Sterns says she thinks the future iterations of the Apple Watch will get better, so it’s probably best to hold off and see how Apple refines it down the road.
The New York Times’ Farhad Manjoo says there’s a learning curve when it comes to getting used to the watch’s interface. “While the demo looked simple, there are unseen depths to the watch. Figuring out what it can do, and how, takes a few days of adjusting,” he wrote. He also notes that the watch really does make it easier to see your important notifications and alerts without getting sucked into your phone. “It is far less immersive than a phone. There just isn’t that much to do on such a tiny screen, so you rarely feel yourself getting sucked in and lost,” he wrote.