After seeing all the reviews, watching all the interviews, and hearing Tim Cook sing its praises, I finally decided to get over to an Apple Store and try on the Watch for myself.
As I’ve written before, I’m not a smartwatch rookie. I’ve been wearing a Samsung Gear Fit for eight months and I’m a big fan both of that device and the concept of a smartwatch in general. So I know what it feels like to wear one of these things on your wrist everyday.
I was eager to see how the Apple Watch compared.
One thing was clear to me within 20 seconds of my Apple Watch appointment: The cheapest version made of aluminium, the Apple Watch Sport, is the best. There is almost no reason at all to choose any other model as your first Apple Watch. Unless you have a ton of extra money, the Sport is the best option.
The Apple Watch Sport was the first one she put on my wrist, and it felt fantastic.
It was soft, but not slippery thanks to the rubbery sport band that let the Watch cling to my wrist. It attaches to the aluminium casing on the watch seamlessly and looked quite nice. I unbuckled and buckled it back up a couple times to see how easy it was to take on and off. I found it to be even easier than my current smartwatch, which I regularly have to perform finger gymnastics to attach.
It was great.
Then I asked the Apple Store employee if I could try the Milanese loop band, which is generally one of the most popular early bands. I was not a fan. It leaves me wondering what all the fuss is about with this band. It got off to a good start. The Milanese loop goes on about as easy as a band possibly could. It fastens with a magnet, sort of like those slap bracelets from the 90s. The stainless steel mesh band looks pretty nice too, but that’s where all positive aspects of my experience with this band end.
I found the Milanese loop to be very uncomfortable. I didn’t like the feeling of the metal links against my wrist. But the worst aspect of the band was simply that it never felt like it fit. It’s easily adjustable, but no matter how I adjusted it, I always felt like the band was going to fall off. It felt heavy and cumbersome. And you couldn’t even consider wearing it to a workout. You’d have to shell out an extra $US50 for another band.
This band alone will run you an extra $US150. It looks alright, but the Sport is all you really need. Which bring me to my finally important point: You can buy any band at any time and attach it to your existing Apple Watch.
So if you buy a Sport now and genuinely feel like you want something more premium-looking (which I’m guessing most people will not), you can always buy another band later and simply attach it.
I didn’t get a chance to try on the classic buckle loop ($US149), the modern buckle ($US249), or the pricey link bracelet ($US449). And who knows, maybe there will be more people out there than I think interested in those bands. But there’s no reason to buy anything but the Sport out of the box. You can always easily change your mind and get another one, and chances are you’ll want the Sport anyway for exercising.
In short, it’s hard to screw up your purchase by spending the minimum on the Apple Watch Sport, which starts at $US249. I’d recommend everyone try on these things first before they buy them, given the high price differential, but take it from me, you’ll probably end up with the Sport.