After months of speculation, Apple has finally unveiled the Apple Watch. We take a look at Apple’s new baby, looking at the design, the range of features offered, and how it feels to actually use the Watch, in order to see what makes it tick (sorry, we couldn’t resist)…
It’s been rumoured for months, but now, after what seems like an eternity, the Apple Watch has finally shown its face (pun possibly intended) to the world! And so, while it hasn’t got the name we all expected (i.e. iWatch), we can finally take a look at the world’s most highly anticipated smartwatch.
One simply needs to look at the Apple Watch, to know that this is an Apple device through and through, albeit an Apple device that’s had some tweaks to fit into the new form factor. Thus, it has a sapphire fascia that almost seems to flow downwards at the sides of the watch-face, flowing into the metal band around the edge of the watch. It’s a smartwatch that screams “premium”.
The Apple Watch is available in three different finishes, each one having a slightly different name: there’s the standard stainless steel model, the Apple Watch Sport with its lightweight aluminium chassis, and finally, there’s the Apple Watch Edition, which comes clad in 18-karat gold. Combine that with a range of different straps, and you have a smartwatch that’s as customisable as it is beautiful!
Specifications & Features
Apple’s keen to show people something new with the Apple Watch, and that also includes the internal hardware of the device. It uses Apple’s new S1 chipset, which goes beyond chips like the Snapdragon series, by basically being an entire computer in one chip. There’s no indication, yet, of how fast the S1 might be, but squeezing everything into one unit is a definite eye-opener!
We’re also waiting to find out exactly what the battery life will be, but there are rumours that a charge will last around 12 hours. We’ll have an update on this when there’s more info.
The Apple Watch also comes with a raft of sensors built in, including heart-rate monitors to allow for health and fitness tracking, but the biggest addition is arguably NFC. That’s been added alongside the Apple Pay service, thus allowing iPhone/Apple Watch users to pay for things when shopping, just by touching their watch to the payment terminal!
Using a smartwatch is inherently different to using a smartphone, and so, Apple has built in a new way of interacting with the device. While it does have a touchscreen (a flexible screen, in fact, that can tell the difference between a tap and a press), it also has a rotary dial on the side of the device, just like an old school watch.
Apple calls it the ‘Digital Crown’ and, grandiose names aside, it does prove to be a rather neat way to interact with the Apple Watch, allowing you to navigate through menus, zoom in on photos, and so on, all actions that are a lot harder with such a small screen.
Bear in mind, however, that as nice as the Apple Watch is, it needs to be linked up to an iPhone to actually do anything useful beyond telling the time. It will of course link up seamlessly with the newly unveiled iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus, and it will also link up with the iPhone 5s and the iPhone 5, but be aware that models earlier than that are not supported.
And that, in a nutshell, is the Apple Watch. Before it was launched, many people were saying it would be the saviour of smartwatches, and while that’s possibly going a bit far, there’s no doubting that Apple has made a quality product here. It’s due out some time in 2015, so stay tuned for more news!
*All images courtesy of Apple.com