The latest Apple live event has come and gone. We all had time to pick through all the Apple watch details and share their $0.02. So I might as well jump on the bandwagon and give you my take on the first smartwatch from Apple.
Via the “Spring Forward” Apple live event that we either attended in-person or via the live stream (shout to to Apple for getting the streaming right this go ’round), we finally have all the launch details for the Apple Watch. There was a ton of information that was announced (I’ll get to that later). Just in case you haven’t been paying attention (or the slightest bit interested), here is a rundown of the important information you should know.
Apple Watch Sport (Low-end)
38mm – $349
42mm – $399
The Apple Watch Sport case is made of a custom aluminium alloy and has a special Ion-X Glass Retina Display created to better protect from every day wear and tear. Sport comes in two case colors: Silver and Space Gray, and you have a choice of a 5 colored sport bands (White, Blue, Green, Pink, Black) that are made of (you guessed it) “special” rubber.
Apple Watch (Mid-Range)
38mm – Starts at $349
42mm – Starts at $399
The Apple Watch case is made of customized Steel and uses Sapphire Crystal Retina Display. Watch also comes in two case colors: Stainless Steel and Space Black.
Now here’s where things get interesting. Out of the box, Watch comes in the Stainless Steel color with a choice of a White or Black sport band. From there you can choose to upgrade (read: pay extra) for the Space Black case, and different bands made from special metals, leathers, colors, and clasps. The top-end price for Watch is $1099 when max out the options.
Apple Edition (Ballers)
Starts at $10,000 “If you had to ask…”
Apple Watch Edition case is made with either a “special” 18-Karat Yellow or Rose Gold and uses the same Sapphire Crystal Retina Display as the Watch. The 38mm entry-level version has a Rose Gold case and White sport band (with 18-Karat Gold clasp). If you got it like that, you can choose the 42mm 18-Karat Yellow Gold case with Midnight Blue Classic band with 18-Karat Gold clasp for $15,000.
Before I give my opinion, here are the essential features for Apple Watch
- Companion device tethered to your iPhone 5 and up phone for network connectivity
- Bluetooth as well as WiFi iPhone tethering for greater range
- Connect to other Apple Watches for special communication
- Haptic (vibration) notification feedback with speaker and mic to answer calls and make voice notes
- Measures heart rate via Infrared and LED technology
- Download and manage Watch apps from iPhone
- Water resistant (not waterproof)
- Connects to Apple TV (remote) and other HomeKit-enabled devices for control
- Can Download songs and playlists to watch (no word on storage space amount)
- “All Day” 18-hour battery life
Additionally, Apple Watch introduces a new mobile OS and user interface that combines touch interaction with the use of a “digital” crown to scroll and click through screens. During the event, Apple showed off several launch apps that can do everything from integrate with vehicles, check into and unlock hotel doors, monitor home systems, check scores, weather, and social media feeds, among integrating with Apple-specific apps that let you check messages, calendar events, and pay for things via Apple Pay. Of course Apple has baked in HealthKit so the Apple Watch adds a wealth of health and fitness functionality that can measure heart rate, track your exercise and activity.
I’m not trying to get into anybody’s pockets and tell them what they should or should not buy. “It ain’t trickin’ if you got it”. Personally, I plan on getting the Sport version with the Silver case and Black band. I know people who like watches, and they like technology, so I would not be surprised if they opt for a more expensive version. More power to them.
Now I know Apple has created all these “special” metals that set it apart from all other smartwatches and even fine timepieces. when you add the tech into the mix, and the cache that goes along with supporting the Apple brand, you have a wining combination.
My beef with Apple Watch is two-fold
1) Outside of the different materials used in the design, the technology is the same…They all do the same thing. The $400 Apple Watch Sport I plan on buying can do the same thing as the guy who plans on spending 5-figures for their Apple Watch Edition. I’m not a watch guy (yet), but I’m pretty sure I can’t buy a $400 dollar Rolex that does the same thing as a $10,000 Rolex. Hell, a $400 Rolex doesn’t even exist.
If I spend $10k for the higher-end Apple Watch, I’m going to need more separation function-wise from the person who spends $400. For instance, I’m going to need my watch to do more than show me the weather and my Instagram feed, or send my heartbeat and a goofy drawing to Mrs. Tech. For $10k, I’m going to need my Apple Watch to come with J.A.R.V.I.S., not Siri (sorry Siri).
2) Apple came out with too many versions for its first time in the smartwatch category. They were not first to market in the wearables category, so I personally think Apple higher-ups felt they needed to one-up all the current smartwatches. So they went the opulence route and worked with all these precious metals and materials to put some distance between its watch and competitions.
The issue with that is people were already going to buy the crap out of this watch even if it only had two sizes, two different metal cases, and three different bands. Apple didn’t have to come out with soo many versions the first go ’round. Even though folks were gonna love the Apple Watch regardless (I do), the reception of the Apple Watch hasn’t been as overwhelming as when the iPhone or iPad dropped. In my opinion, all that effort to create those beautiful expensive versions may just fall on death ears, as folks without investment portfolios who can move around enough dividends to pay for a watch, will overwhelmingly opt for the entry-level version.
All that to say, Apple Watch is dope, and the functionality is what I would expect from a smartwatch made by Apple. But maybe (just maybe) Apple kind of overdid itself right out of the gate?
Apple should have saved all that class for Apple Watch S that will drop next year…Which is a whole ‘nother problem in and of itself.