The Apple Watch is the most hotly-anticipated Apple product launch since the iPad. Reviewers have gotten their first looks, and here's what they think.
The Apple Watch becomes available for pre-order later this week and will get into the first buyers' hands on April 24th. We'll have our review posted as soon as possible. In the interim, check out what others have to say!
John Gruber, at Daring Fireball:
To me, the breakthrough in Apple Watch is the Taptic Engine and force touch. Technically, they're two separate things. The Taptic Engine allows Apple Watch to tap you; force touch allows Apple Watch to recognize a stronger press from your finger. But they seem to go hand-in-hand. The new MacBook trackpad has both haptic feedback and recognition of force touches, and Apple Watch has both, too. I don't think Apple will ever release a device that has one but not the other.
Lauren Goode, writing for Recode:
Of the half-dozen smartwatches I've tested in recent years, I've had the best experience with Apple Watch. If you're an iPhone power user and you're intrigued by the promises of wearable technology, you'll like it, too.
Geoffrey A. Fowler, writing for the Wall Street Journal:
I've found the Apple Watch isn't a replacement for the iPhone, but it's the right screen for many important things. I only look at it in blips, for rarely more than five seconds. It shows me the weather with one finger swipe. It gets physical, gently tapping my wrist when something important needs my attention and lighting up when I lift my arm to look. It nudges when I've been sitting too long.
Ben Bajarin, on his Techpinions blog:
It is rare in this industry to get to experience the beginning of something new, something for which you have no frame of reference. While not a stand-alone computer (yet), I'm convinced the Apple Watch represents something completely new. It is a unique way to interact in a digital world. I say this having used nearly every smartwatch to hit the market over the last few years. None of them felt like a mass market product but more for a tech enthusiast or early adopter. The Apple Watch is easily the first smartwatch I've used that was designed for the average consumer.
Nilay Patel, writing for The Verge:
There's no question that the Apple Watch is the most capable smartwatch available today. It is one of the most ambitious products I've ever seen; it wants to do and change so much about how we interact with technology. But that ambition robs it of focus: it can do tiny bits of everything, instead of a few things extraordinarily well. For all of its technological marvel, the Apple Watch is still a smartwatch, and it's not clear that anyone's yet figured out what smartwatches are actually for.
Joshua Topolosky, for Bloomberg Business:
The watch is not life-changing. It is, however, excellent. Apple will sell millions of these devices, and many people will love and obsess over them. It is a wonderful component of a big ecosystem that the company has carefully built over many years. It is more seamless and simple than any of its counterparts in the marketplace. It is, without question, the best smartwatch in the world.
Farhad Manjoo, writing for The New York Times:
The Apple Watch is far from perfect, and, starting at $350 and going all the way up to $17,000, it isn't cheap. Though it looks quite smart, with a selection of stylish leather and metallic bands that make for a sharp departure from most wearable devices, the Apple Watch works like a first-generation device, with all the limitations and flaws you'd expect of brand-new technology.
Scott Stein, writing for CNET:
The watch is beautiful and promising -- the most ambitious wearable that exists. But in an attempt to do everything in the first generation, the Apple Watch still leaves plenty to be desired. Short battery life compared with other watches and higher prices are the biggest flags for now. But Apple is just setting sail, and it has a long journey ahead.
David Pogue, writing for Yahoo! Tech:
And this much is unassailable: The Apple Watch is light-years better than any of the feeble, clunky efforts that have come before it. The screen is nicer, the software is refined and bug-free, the body is real jewelry. First-time technologies await at every turn: Magnetic bands, push-to-release straps, wrist-to-wrist drawings or Morse codes, force pressing, credit-card payments from the wrist. And the symbiosis with the iPhone is graceful, out of your way, and intelligent.
Carolina Milanesi, writing for Kantar:
In my opinion, there is no learning curve with Apple Watch; there is a discovery curve. Users will find different ways to perform the same tasks and the Apple Watch will learn more about the user and adapt to them as time goes by, thus refining and enriching the user experience.
Check out the reviews and then come back here and let us know: Did any of them change your mind about the Apple Watch, either favorably or unfavorably? Are you still sitting on the fence about ordering one?