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Apple Watch announced: are we impressed?

Today Apple announced the Apple Watch, its first wearable device. But is it the "beautiful wearable champion" many thought it would be?
September 9, 2014

If you were expecting Apple’s Watch to arrive with killer aesthetics and design that clearly stands out against existing wearables, you’ll be sorely disappointed. Today Apple took the veil off the $349 Apple Watch and honestly, it’s not nearly as stylish as you might think.

Instead, we are presented with a square watch that looks close to what we’ve already seen from Android Wear and even earlier devices before that. Sure, there’s stainless steel and sapphire glass, but it’s hard to call this thing beautiful when pitted against the Moto 360 or even devices like the ZenWatch. That said, it does appear to be a bit smaller than AW devices, more along the lines of the Pebble at least judging by first glance. There’s also quite a few bands to customize the look of the device.

One of the more ‘unique’ outer elements is the “digital crown”, a side dial that looks somewhat like we’ve seen on the G Watch R but is used to control zoom in and zoom out within various apps. There’s also a home button on the side. It is worth noting that, like the Moto 360, the Apple Watch does feature wireless inductive charging.


As for the software? The usual suspects are present here, such as a calendar, fitness, calling, messaging, navigation, Siri integration and more. Unlike Android Wear, the screen apparently isn’t always on, and instead you lift your wrist up to wake the screen (similar to what we’ve seen from Samsung). Interestingly enough, Apple also seems to be pushing customization here (ironic considering iOS) with things like allowing you to tweak watch faces to add specialized functions like stock quotes, weather updates, stopwatches and more to the faces. Apple also says WatchKit will soon arrive as well, a dev kit so developers can send notifications to your wrist and more.

We will be putting together an “Apple Watch vs Android” piece shortly (likely to release late tonight or tomorrow sometime) that will go into more details about how the new Apple Watch stacks up against Android Wear, but in the meantime you can find out all the details about the device directly from Apple’s website.

In the meantime, we have to ask, based on what you’ve seen so far — find yourself impressed by the Apple Watch or not? Will this “put wearables on the map” like some have claimed or does Android Wear have a greater chance at making a real impression among consumers?

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