After preordering the Apple Watch on April 10, I decided to try on the Watch to make sure my wife and I are happy with our watch & band selections. Our try on experience was roughly 15 minutes. With the exception of the (18k Gold) Edition, we tried on both Sport and Watch (stainless steel) collection with a variety of bands. On initial first blush, we were blown away on the fit and finish of the stainless steel watch collection. I ordered the 42mm steel with the Milanese Loop/Sports band and was impressed by the experience of wearing this soft comfortable form fitting sheet of metal. Since tracking activity and workouts was one of the many reasons for getting an Apple Watch, I tried on the Black Sports Band. My expectations were exceeded as I was expecting a very cheap rigid plastic. The Sports Band felt like a nice quality band yet not something I would want to wear with a suit (hence the reason for the Milanese Loop).
Hands-on with the Apple Watch
Next, I moved to the hands on Watch area that included a stationery Watch to play with the device. My objective was to compare the Apple Watch against Android Wear. Keep in mind. I’ve worn a Moto 360 for six months/Google Glass for 2yrs and really wanted to see how the interface and features stacked up. Glances on Watch OS are very much like the timeline on Glass. Notifications on Watch OS are similar to Android Wear but better – richer & functional. There’s too much to say here about the comparison between Android Wear & Watch OS so I’ll leave that for a full blown review/comparison at a later date. All I can say here is this first generation Apple Watch product is 100x better than what I’ve experienced on Android Wear OS. It’s so feature rich. After my hour or so experience with Watch OS, I envisioned Apple making an Apple Watch with an LTE cellular connection within 3 years. I believe this will truly transform the way we will use our Phone going forward.
Breakdown of my first impressions
- Watch face customization very accessible via Force Touch yet limiting; can’t add background images for example.
- Adding a new a Watch face only allows you to save your customization for easy access.
- Apple Pay seems really cool. By far paying for things via my wrist is going to be the top use case.
- Siri was awesome on Watch. It was able to hear my voice in the noisy crowded Apple Store. For some reason Siri, seems 10x better on Watch.
- Reading messages & email was very legible and didn’t feel like I was squinting to read.
- I doubt I’ll use the Digital Touch feature much especially drawing on the screen. Morse code taps, Yes.
- Watch is really smaller and more pristine in person so really glad I got the 42mm.
- This thing is not sluggish at all. Very fluid and smooth.
- Apple Watch is a beast in terms of functionality. A lot of time is needed to learn all the advance features.
- The basics are really simple to learn. Digital Crown is the Home button. Tap Side Button once to get favorite contacts. Double tap Side Button to access Apple Play. Say “Hey Siri” or Press and hold Digital Crown to speak a command such as open email, find a place or search for information on the Internet.