Monday 9 March 2015

Should you buy the Apple Watch?

Should you buy the Apple watch?

The smartwatch market was established in 2014, with early adopter Sony competing with Pebble, the crowdfunded e-ink masterpiece. Then, Google decided they wanted a slice of the pie and introduced their wearable OS in Android Wear, allowing the devices to run on either a square, or a circular display. This sparked the creation of the LG G watch, the Moto 360 and the Samsung Gear Live. All of these were the early players in the game, but now in 2015 we are getting closer and closer to the release of the Apple watch, but how does it compare and, should you consider buying it?
Standard Apple Watch in Large
First of all, I must mention that I own an LG G watch R, which features a 1.3” round OLED display, allowing pixels to turn off when not in use to conserve power. It’s powered by the largest battery in any smartwatch on the market to date and I end each day running around 50% battery. It ships with a charging cradle, allowing me to easily take it off before bed, charge it overnight and slip it back on after my shower in the morning. It’s a hassle, but you get used to it. That is, so long as you don’t have to charge it to keep it alive throughout the day.
The Apple watch will come in 3 editions, the standard Apple Watch, the Apple Watch Sports and the Apple Watch Edition. These will, in turn, each come in 2 size, small and large to accommodate for smaller wrists, which is a good idea, I’ll give them that. The cheapest of the devices will be the Apple Watch Sports, in small, shipping at about $350, which is just under £250. This is the one with the rubber band as a strap. The Edition will cost anything over £2,000 and up to £20,000. So unless you have more money than sense and would rather wear a first generation smartwatch than a new car, then you’ll be crossing that out straight away.
The most exciting smartwatches so far have been the Moto 360 and the LG G watch R. This is because of their circular face, allowing them to actually look like a watch, rather than a computer on your wrist. They also feature relatively thin designs and batteries that will, on the LG G watch R, at least, last for a whole day and more. Unfortunately for Apple, they have been developing their watch purely for iOS and so opted out of using Android Wear, and out of having a circular display. Oh, and the device is 4mm thicker than your average phone. Oh, and the battery will not last a full day. All of this combines to be a fairly unpleasant description of a smartwatch. Allow me to explain in the form of a description of the device.
Picture, if you will, a watch. This watch sits snugly on your wrist. Your wallet sits in your pocket, lighter than usual. You couldn’t be seen with a rubber band on your arm, you aren’t seven. You opted for the Apple Watch, in large. You’re a grown-up. You go to check what time it is. You can’t. Your watch has run out of battery. You charge it up. You want to use an app. You unlock the watch, you twist the digital crown, you squint to find the app on the tiny display, you zoom back in when you’ve found it and you tap it. You see the app working for you, then black. Your battery dies again. You’re left with a useless piece of metal on your wrist bulging out of your shirt, eye strain and crippling lifelong debt.
Of course, there are some positives. The second gen of the Apple watch might fix all the issues of the first. The necessity for voice control on smartwatches means Siri may become usable. The digital crown will either be a massive hit, or a fatal flop.
I dislike this watch. It seems so unnecessarily Apple centric. It only works with Apple iPhones. The straps on it can only be bought from Apple (unlike android wear, which allows any normal watch strap to be used no problems) and the Edition is just a joke.
In conclusion; No. I don’t think you should buy the Apple watch. Even if you like the device, think twice. If thousands of millions of people buy the device, Apple will think they’ve done it right. Android Wear will be forced to copy to scrape up any leftover market share and innovation will be a thing of the past. However, if you don’t buy the Apple watch, and you let Apple know why, then your issues will be fixed in the next generation. Maybe. Apple have failed before and they will fail again.

So what do you think? Are you going to buy the Apple watch? Are you waiting for the second generation? Do you prefer Android Wear? If so, why or, why not? Let us know in the comments below!

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