Apple entered the wearable market with the Apple Watch, and they have created quite a splash in this category. Just within 90 days of the launch of Apple Watch, it already dominates the smart watch category by owning 75% of the market. While the Apple Watch is yet to be released in India, I got a chance to get my hands on the Apple Watch when i was visiting Sydney, Australia.
At the Apple Store, I got to see all the Apple Watch options available for sale and got to try on the Apple Watch Sport and the stainless steel Apple Watch. Apple Watch Edition (Gold and Rose Gold) was available for display but I was told that nobody was allowed to try them on.
As this was before the actual launch of the Apple Watch, i had to book an appointment in order to try it. Just as i entered the Apple store, all the Apple watch options were kept on display under the glass on various tables very neatly. An employee at the store took me to another table where i would be trying on all the Apple Watch models.
First i was asked if i wanted to go for the 38mm watch face or the 42mm watch face and if i had a specific model in my mind which i wanted to try, I was not sure about the size or the model so i ended up trying out all of them. I tried on both the sizes and decided to go ahead with the 42mm Apple Watch.
The very first Apple watch which i tried was the Apple Watch Sport which is made from 7000 series Aluminium and has ION-X glass on the front as opposed to the Sapphire glass found on the Apple Watch and the Apple Watch Edition. The fluoroelastomer straps of the Sport watch looks hard and rigid but is actually is very soft to the touch. I really love the way Space Grey Sports watch looks on my hand. You can swap out the bands on all Apple Watch models with just a press of a button, which is really convenient. Behind the watch sits the IR sensor and heart rate monitor, which keeps a track of your heart rate throughout the time you are wearing this watch. The inductive charger is attached magnetically to the back of the watch for charging it.
Then i tried on the Apple Watch which unlike the Sports model comes with a stainless steel body and a sapphire glass. The Milanese loop looks pretty good, the chain links are very close which gives it a very smooth finish. It has a strong magnet attached towards the end of the belt which helps to get a good strong fit on the wrist.
Next i tried the leather band with modern buckle. The leather feels good on your hand but the modern buckle because of being made of stainless steel carries some weight. I could feel the weight at the front and back of my wrist, instead of it being evenly distributed around the wrist.
The leather loop band looks the best but it is available only for the 42mm watch face and not for the 38mm watch face. The band which I tried was large but it also comes in a smaller size which will fit you if you have smaller wrists. This black leather loop band will definitely look great with the Space Grey Apple Watch Sport.
The link bracelet has a cool brushed metal look to it and comes in silver and grey colour. It gives the watch a very bold and strong feel, but it is makes the watch noticeably heavy on your wrist. If you want to adjust the size of the watch band, the links are very easy to remove with just a press of a few buttons.
All of the watch bands offer the Apple Watch a level of customisation that no other smart watch in the market does. All the watches which i tried on were running a demo loop so i was not able to interact with them while i was wearing them. There was a separate area in the Apple Store where i could interact with the watches which were on display. I played along with the software on the Apple Watch and i think it deserves a complete separate post of itself, so i will do just that.
In the mean while, i will leave you with few of my initial impressions of the Apple Watch. This watch takes a very different approach towards the smart watch category compared to other watches available out there. Other then the Moto 360 none of the watches even make a slightest effort towards looking good while providing you the features they have. Apple has matched almost all those features and also made the watch look extremely beautiful. If i would have to choose a watch just based on the appearance i would definitely pick the Apple Watch.
Now, pricing is different game altogether. The Apple Watch Sport starts at $350 which is higher than any of the Android Wear smartwatch options in the market. The stainless steel Apple Watch starts at $550 and the Apple Watch Edition starts at $10,000. I would purchase the Sport model because anything higher than that, and you are just paying for the choice of the material with everything else remaining the same. You can just buy the Apple Watch Sport and customise it with the third-party watch bands that are available at a much lower price than Apple.
Stay tuned for my post on the software of the Apple Watch and also share this post with your friends if you liked it.