back to article The Apple Watch: Throbbing strap-on with a knurled knob

No, this isn’t the first Apple Watch review you’ve seen. Cupertino supplied review units to a few selected journalists at the start of April; the rest of us had to order our own. I almost ignored mine arriving because I was looking out for a watch. It came in a box more suitable for a truncheon. Apple Watch Sport No, we're …

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  1. jason 7

    I'll...

    ...pass!

    1. AMBxx Silver badge
      Thumb Up

      Re: I'll...

      Not so sure - be nice to know I'd be prevented from reading the Grauniad.

      1. Titus Technophobe
        1. jason 7

          Re: I'll...

          Looks like it should go round his ankle...

      2. Bleu

        Re: I'll...

        A year in the future.

        'iOS 8 wiii no longer support the Apple Watch, but by then, your watch battery will be dead, so hey guys, just support us by throwing more of your cash our way. Just buy the latest one! Apple's gratitude to you, our valued mark, is unlimited!'

        I recommend checking the repair plans, FFS, talk about gouging.

    2. Jim Herd

      Re: I'll...

      For a tech website it's amazing how many of the commenters seem to hate technology.

      Seemed like a good idea to me to get the first version to see how it evolves and then get a new one in about three years when the battery lasts a week and it's a lot slimmer. I'm going to find the heart rate monitor useful and it'll be nice to reduce the cacophony of dings and dongs from my phone. Not to mention reducing the possibility of being robbed every time I pull out my iSchlong in public.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: I'll...

        "For a tech website it's amazing how many of the commenters seem to hate technology."

        Just because you are interested in technology and/or generally like technology, you don't have to like every single piece of technology that's put out there.

        You can be an ice cream enthusiast and still not see the point in the latest creation from, say, B&Js.

        1. Jim Herd

          Re: I'll...

          It's a new paradigm. I tend to find most of them at least mildly interesting even if I don't intend to buy one. I found the original iPad interesting and promising but I didn't buy one as it lacked things like a camera for video conferencing etc. There seem to be way too many folk claiming not to see the point which seems to me to be displaying a staggering lack of imagination.

      2. anfromme

        Re: I'll...

        "I'm going to find the heart rate monitor useful"

        Another one of those things - you can then monitor your heartrate 24/7 if you so wish. But what does that heart rate (and/or blood pressure) even tell you? "Look - I've just walked up the stairs at a leisurely pace, I'm out of breath and my heart is at 110bpm. I'm out of shape." "Wow, I just lay on the couch for an hour, and I'm down to 20bpm - way lower than my mate who can only get down to 40bpm."

        "it'll be nice to reduce the cacophony of dings and dongs from my phone."

        Ever heard of silent mode?

        "Not to mention reducing the possibility of being robbed every time I pull out my iSchlong in public."

        Wow, where do you live where an iPhone still (this is 2015!) gets robbed off you whenever you take it out?

        1. Jim Herd

          Re: I'll...

          I'll be able to tell if my heart rate is within the necessary range to improve my cardiovascular health when I'm walking and it'll record improvements over time without any hassle unlike some of my previous heart rate monitors.

          I don't tend to find silent mode much use when I'm out and about walking in the streets. I usually miss calls because I can't feel the vibrations as I'm not a hipster wearing skinny jeans. YMMV.

          East London.

      3. Loyal Commenter Silver badge

        Re: I'll...

        "For a tech website it's amazing how many of the commenters seem to hate technology."

        Apple isn't a technology company, it's a marketing company.

        Most people with any appreciation of technology, and how things actually work, don't like arrogant marketeers.

        1. Jim Herd

          Re: I'll...

          For a marketing company they certainly seem to come up with a lot in the way of technical innovation.

  2. stefan 5

    So basically after many pages we all find out what we knew anyway. That its a piece of overpriced cr@p designed for hipsters and idiots with money to burn and no braincells. Less functions then a 1980s calculator.

  3. Matt Siddall

    I’ll say this for the Watch, though: I’d rather have it round my wrist than Google Glass on my head.

    But would you not rather still have an Android Wear watch that has a browser and on-screen keyboard? Why no comparison?

    1. Voland's right hand Silver badge

      Obvious reasons

      How about this reason: "Because I do not want a browser and on-screen keyboard".

      It is rank raving lunacy to stick a browser on it (and a keyboard) when you have a 5in + slab to type and read on.

      The value of the watch (or any other wearable that does not interfere directly with your field of vision) is in unobtrusive notifications, sensors and a set of simple UI tasks which specifically relate to these two categories. If you need to use a keyboard on a wearable, that means that the UI design for that wearable is a failure. This bit Apple got right (and so does Pebble and most of its apps). The current crop of Android smartware has this wrong. The level of wrongness is different - from Sony which tried, but failed to get it right (it was on the right track, just too early on) to Samsung whose Smart Watches are a complete idiocy as they are effectively a second phone - one you wear.

      In any case, when you give it a thought, let's suppose we have the next wearable gadget - a wearable ring or an earing (there are use cases where making either of these smart may make sense). So, what's next - having a keyboard and browser on that too? Mobile radio? Wifi?

      1. Bleu

        Re: Obvious reasons

        ... and a very rapid and cynical cycle of planned obsolescence.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Obvious reasons

          "and a very rapid and cynical cycle of planned obsolescence."

          That's pretty much how the billions were made. Make sure the hipsters wouldn't be seen dead with last year's model. Sell them one nearly the same, but 'better' in a couple of tiny areas technically, and make it look a bit different. Make sure there's room for improvement though : if it's too good the fanbois wont want the next iteration. The perfect business model in a lot of ways, and massed ranks of media / advertising / telesales people (basically the vain and stupid) ready and willing to part with fat pile of cash every 18 months. Even if they don't actually have it. I'd be fascinated to see if there's any kind of correlation between peaks in payday loans and apple releases.

          1. AstroNutter

            Re: Obvious reasons

            I've been an owner of several apple products, iPhone 3GS, 4S and 5S skipped the rest. Bought my first iPad a couple of weeks bad (iPad Air 2) and have a Macbook Pro from 2009. So yes, I'm very much in the apple camp, but I do have other things (my desktop is a self build windows box for a start)

            On my phone front, I didn't want the iPhone until after it had enough features - hence waiting for the 3GS, prior to that I was using a Nokia S something or other. That phone gave me everththing that I needed, and could do a whole lot more than anything I'd had before. Skipped the 4 as it wasn't a big enough upgrade, went to the 4S as I wanted more storage, my 3GS was given to my brother, so didn't go in the bin. Again I skipped the 5 (and 5C) as it wasn't a big enough upgrade for me to be bothered with. Wasn't planning on upgrading from my 4S to the 5S, but did this as I changed to a better data plan at the same time. If it wasn't for the data plan change, I'd probably have kept with the same handset, and been happy with it. I'm not bothering with the 6's at all, will look at the features they bring in on the next model, but I'm not expecting there to be a killer reason to upgrade from my 5S, so will probably end up staying as I am for another year.

            My Macbook Pro is getting old, but it's not ready to be replaced, far from it, there's probably a good few years life left in that machine, also as my main machine is a windows desktop, there isn't a compelling reason to upgrade. The laptop does everything that I want my laptop to do, upgrading will mean a smaller screen (I've got a 17" screen at the moment) so, that's a compromise before we even begin.

            I finally bought an iPad a couple of weeks ago and can see why people love tablets - the extra screen space makes things so much more convenient, and less squished. Again, I'm not expecting huge upgrades, and frankley I don't think I'll be missing any features. It'll be interesting to see how long until I decide to upgrade this things. At the moment, I'm not even thinking about it, in a couple of years, will there be enough of an upgrade for it to be worth it?

            In all the upgrades that I've done, there have been huge improvements in the performance of the devices. Adding extra sensors, screen size is about all that's happened - but that covers the real differences. The software has changed a huge amount, I can see why apple stop supporting older devices - sometimes it looks like it's just plain they want to make us spend money, and I won't argue against it, sometime's it's also that the hardware simply will fall of the cliff if it tries to do it.

            Yes, I freely admit that I like my apple products. I've looked at the android versions, and at the time of my iPhone 3GS, my opinion was that the apple product was better, since then, I have kept an eye on the Android stuff, it's good, but I haven't seen a compelling reason to migrate away from the Apple stuff. Those that know me, know that I was looking at the Nexus before I decided on the iPad. That was one of the reasons that I didn't have a tablet for a long time - couldn't decide between iOS or android - and that was whilst owning an iPhone and a MacBook pro. I know that I made the right choice for me, but it wasn't a blind decision.

            In short, I'm sure sure that I'll be upgrading any of my iDevices over the next 12 months. Don't think there will be enough of a reason to do so.

      2. Matt Siddall

        Re: Obvious reasons

        I don't disagree with you - I'm sure there are definite advantages to having no browser or on screen keyboard, but the point is that it would have been nice for the article to at least mention the Android watches available, and let us know how the Apple watch differs - and possibly even which is better (or which the writer prefers)

      3. Dan 55 Silver badge

        Re: Obvious reasons

        I'm pretty sure a T9 keyboard would do the trick, it'd fit and it's an interface which many are already familiar with.

    2. Dave 126 Silver badge

      >So basically after many pages we all find out what we knew anyway. That its a piece of overpriced cr@p

      Is that genuinely what you understood the bottom line of the review to be? You have an opinion and that's fine, but misrepresenting the views of someone else is disrespectful. A normal person would parse the review as being more like:

      Useful for some people, comes across as a version 0.9 product, software needs some tuning and that will probably happen... if it's your sort of thing then maybe wait until hardware MKII, and even then it won't suit everybody - and that's fine.

      Really, no iDevice ever came into its own until at least version 2.

      1. cosymart
        FAIL

        So

        If you purchased a normal watch for £339 and lets say the calendar didn't do leap years you would quite rightly take it back for a refund. Why is this for some reason different? It isn't a finished product, not fit for purpose so take it back and ask for refund.

    3. This post has been deleted by its author

      1. Fuzz

        "So - will dead ones still get into Silicon Heaven?"

        There's no such thing as silicon heaven

        1. petur

          only silicon landfill

        2. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          No Silicon Heaven?

          Then where do all the calculators go?

          1. VinceH Silver badge

            Re: No Silicon Heaven?

            They never truly leave us, they just hide away in a quiet spot to die - on top of cupboards, underneath sofas and beds, buried under old, long forgotten video recorder instruction books at the back of TV unit drawers, behind sideboards, places like that.

          2. 45RPM Silver badge

            Re: No Silicon Heaven?

            For is it not said that the iron shall lie down with the lamp?

    4. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Pedant

      "Fewer functions" or "less functionality", not "less functions".

      /pedant

      :0)

    5. rtb61

      No it is not. The people at Apple have finally developed a truly grand sense of humour and provided the majority of us the opportunity to snicker at anyone foolish and gullible enough to put one one after paying for it. Victims of marketing on parade. Fad products, to keep the scam going eventually they jump the shark and in this case the shark is public derision at crass classless consumerism and people who think they can buy poseur status by obeying marketing, well, you can but no one thinks much of poseurs.

    6. Truth4u

      It even has less features than that fixed decimal point calculator that was on the EEVBlog earlier. Lol

  4. Neil Barnes Silver badge

    That is massive.

    My 'get with the times, Granddad' 1960 watch is 34mm diameter - though I do wear watches on the inside of my left wrist.

    Can't see this replacing it, somehow.

    1. Lallabalalla

      Re: That is massive.

      It's about the same as a Seiko Divers. I have puny wrists and they fit OK.

      1. Dave 126 Silver badge

        Re: That is massive.

        In the traditional watch market, watches have got a lot bigger in the last 20-odd years... 38 mm used to be the norm, but now 43 mm and bigger is common. Partly it is to do with the resurgence of the mechanical watch market in the late eighties - as it was a given that quartz was more accurate, functional and cheaper, it meant that mechanical watches were largely status symbols, so may as well be large.

  5. Tromos

    Health is touted as the Watch’s killer app

    I knew too much exercise wouldn't be good for me!

    1. JamesPond

      Re: Health is touted as the Watch’s killer app

      1st Person: I run everyday and it'll make me live 10 years longer.

      2nd Person: But you'll spend those 10 years running!

      1. Tim Jenkins

        Re: Health is touted as the Watch’s killer app

        And those 'extra' 10 years will be in the wrong place.

        I'd like mine somewhere between 25 and 35, please. Back when I had the life experience to avoid a lot of mistakes, but was fit enough to survive making them anyway....

    2. Sarah Balfour

      Re: Health is touted as the Watch’s killer app

      What's that about never a truer word than is spoken in jest…? It isn't, seriously. The Second Law of Thermodynamics doesn't apply to Homo sapiens, and overdoing things - cardio I'm referring to here - will cause the catabolism of lean muscle, rather than flab, because muscle is more readily turned into an energy source, a process known as 'gluconeogenesis', this happens with all forms of protein, not just your own muscle (which is technically meat, after all…).

      However, if you restrict the carbs you eat, and switch your diet from high-carb to high-fat, you can 'reset' your body to burning fat as fuel, rather than glucose, thus forcing it to burn your own fuel reserves.

      Doing it the NHS way, eating a LFHC diet and slogging it out at the gym, or on the street, all you're doing is 'burning' off what you've eaten, thus causing a massive drop in blood-sugar, which causes the release of both grehlin (the 'hunger hormone') and insulin (the 'body-fat creation' hormone as it should more accurately be termed). Chronic cardio also causes the release of cortisol (which I'm sure most know as 'the stress hormone') and, because cortisol has no way of knowing what the stressor is, it covers all eventualities - one of those being famine, and so eating after you've been to the gym will cause most of the carbs you've eaten to be converted to body fat. This is the reason why LFHC diets fail 100% of the time (it's IMPOSSIBLE to drop body fat eating LFHC because you're replenishing it the whole time; you may lose WEIGHT, but most of that will be catabolised muscle).

      Eating LCHF breaks the chain as fat doesn't cause insulin release. No insulin release = no storage.

      Over 24 stone says I'm not talking out my arse. Did it the NHS way, shot from 24 stone to 32. Did it the right way, dropped from 32 to 7.5. Like I've said before, obesity is a food intolerance. Thing is, nobody believes me because the notion of a high-fat diet being even remotely healthy is lunacy.

      Sadly, the flab-bags I REALLY wanted to lose are still there, stubbornly attached to my chest. Losing weight unfortunately DOES NOT cause boob-loss. Moob loss is a different matter.

      As I can't afford surgery, guess I'm stuck with the useless sacks of shit. Perhaps I could offer them to Katie Price as 'natural silicone'.

  6. Little Mouse

    "...simply called Watch..."

    Have Apple trademarked the name yet?

    Let the lawsuits commence.

    1. O RLY

      Re: "...simply called Watch..."

      I suspect they'll fail on the trademark based on Microsoft's history. Microsoft Excel is trademarked; Microsoft Word is not.

      1. Danny 14 Silver badge

        Re: "...simply called Watch..."

        apple grease more palms though, Microsoft was pretty late to the palm greasing table, they relied on bullying instead.

  7. Sil

    Not convinced

    I wasn't convinced by the smartwatches on the market.

    I'm not conviced by the Apple Watch.

    It's just a super expensive remote for a smartphone 40 cm away, hardly useable with such a tiny screen for anything remotely useful. Apple brings features.

    Sharing heart rates or horrible doodles, Apple's contribution to the genre as far as I can see, isn't my cup of tea.

    If the aim is to wear a gadget that desperately wants to be forgotten for lack of battery, I'd rather keep my wrists free.

    If I was into fitness/health, I think I would go with the Microsoft Band, which does have a GPS and is OS agnostic.

    I fear you'll learn, sooner than later, that non sapphire glass was not a good compromise on the cheaper Apple watches.

    1. johnnymotel

      Re: Not convinced

      I have an old fashioned ORIS, with plexiglass cover, that's a lot softer than this glass. It does get scratched, but not that I'd really notice.

  8. Thoguht Silver badge
    Headmaster

    Apple Watch device

    The usage "Apple Watch device" is required because "Apple Watch" is a trademark, and trademarks are adjectives. Using a trademark as a noun can lead to its eventual loss.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Apple Watch device

      The plural of the Apple Watch is Apple Watches

      They may think they control the world but they don't control how I use my own frikking language.

      1. Cliff

        Re: Apple Watch device

        And the collective is 'steaming pile', just if that helps.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Apple Watch device - trademarks are adjectives

      Trade mark rules, UK

      "You can register your trade mark to protect your brand, eg the name of your product or service."

      "Your trade mark can’t describe the goods or services it will relate to, eg the word ‘cotton’ can’t be a trade mark for a cotton textile company"

      It would seem that the UK government disagrees with you on its website.

      It would also seem that US law may be different, based on a few lawyers' websites I looked at. They want to distinguish "trade names" from "trade marks". But if these are correct, they lead to the absurdity of the "Apple Watch (R) watch". I have to say that if I have parsed all this correctly, UK usage is sensible and US law is an ass.

  9. Yugguy

    The box epitomises why I don't Apple

    Look at me!!!

    Look at ME!!!

    LOOK AT ME!!!

    PLEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEASE please look at me so I can validate my existence via the shiny.

    1. jason 7

      Re: The box epitomises why I don't Apple

      But give it 6 months and it will be -

      Look at me!!!

      Oh you've got one too!!

      And you!!

      And you!!

      And you!!

      Bugger!

      So much for 'be different!'

      1. Martin

        Re: The box epitomises why I don't Apple

        And six months after that it'll be

        Look at me!!

        Hmmm, you've got one too.

        Oh, look, you've still got last year's model.

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