The reviews are in, and everyone loves the Apple Watch! Wait, actually, there have been some pretty mixed reviews of Apple’s first wearable device. Beneath a thick layer of WOW! in the early reviews often lies confusion and even disappointment in some aspects of the device.
As a matter of fact, some things reviewers had to say about the Apple Watch were downright brutal.
What could end up being pretty interesting is the simple fact that Apple Watch reviews actually matter.
By that, I mean that reviews of something like a new iPhone or a new iPad are essentially inconsequential for Apple. Unlike most phone and tablet reviews, iPhone and iPad reviews do little or nothing to influence shoppers’ buying decisions — the iPhone and iPad brands carry the devices.
The Apple Watch is completely new, however, as is the smartwatch category. People don’t yet know what to make of it, and they might not like what they see in early reviews.
Here are some examples.
From The New York Times:
I grew used to calling on Siri to set kitchen timers or reminders while I was cooking, or to look up the weather while I was driving. And I also grew used to her getting these requests wrong almost as often as she got them right.
There’s a good chance it will not work perfectly for most consumers right out of the box, because it is best after you fiddle with various software settings to personalize use.
The most exciting thing about the Apple Watch isn’t the device itself, but the new tech vistas that may be opened by the first mainstream wearable computer.
For now, the dreams are hampered by the harsh realities of a new device. The Watch is not an iPhone on your wrist.
From The Verge:
The Apple Watch, as I reviewed it for the past week and a half, is kind of slow. There’s no getting around it, no way to talk about all of its interface ideas and obvious potential and hints of genius without noting that sometimes it stutters loading notifications.
There’s no doubt that being able to send quick replies from your wrist is a powerful idea; it’s the stuff of science-fiction legend, and every smartwatch has to be able to do it. But the Apple Watch is just the first step towards making that reality. It’s not anywhere close to being an actually-powerful communications tool, especially not when it’s competing with the phone in your pocket.
Out of the box right now, the Apple Watch is a very expensive, barebones fitness tracker. It’s much nicer than its competitors — I used it with the white sport band and thought it was really quite striking — but it’s certainly not more full-featured.
I’ve found the experience somewhat inferior to that with a conventional wristwatch, due to one small issue. The Apple Watch activates its screen only when it thinks you’re looking at it…Think about the way people normally look at their watches, then make it twice as aggressive.
I’m in a meeting with 14 people, in mid-sentence, when I feel a tap-tap-tap on my wrist… A version of this happens dozens of times throughout the day—for messages, e-mails, activity achievements, tweets, and so much more. Wait a second. Isn’t the promise of the Apple Watch to help me stay in the moment, focused on the people around me and undisturbed by the mesmerizing void of my iPhone? So why do I suddenly feel so distracted?
And finally, from Re/Code:
Apple Watch strives for high fashion, but it still looks like a techie watch. Even if you can easily swap out the basic, smooth plastic band for a more elegant one — the $149 leather band, the $149 Milanese loop or the $449 link bracelet — the face looks kind of like a miniature iPhone.
The Apple Watch becomes available for preorder beginning this Friday at 3:01 a.m. EDT / 12:01 a.m. PDT.